The health sector

NursesA job in the health sector can be extremely rewarding. Jobs in health include caring for patients in hospital of the community and working in labs or with diagnostic equipment.  There are also support roles in administration, security and maintenance which are essential to the day-to-day running of the health service.  Studying a STEM subject will open up many opportunities.

What is happening?

  • Health and social care is the largest employment sector in Norfolk employing 53,500 people.
  • Continuing with STEM subjects after Year 11 can lead to many exciting careers in this sector.
  • There are over 350 different careers in the NHS.
  • The number of people working in private healthcare is growing.
  • The NHS has a shortage of over 100,000 staff including nurses and doctors and the shortages are particularly high in Norfolk.
  • New technologies and discoveries means new jobs in health including patient monitoring, diagnostics, robotics, genetics and bioscience.

Skills and qualities

  • Communication
  • Care and compassion
  • Team working
  • Planning and organisation
  • Leadership and management
  • Problem solving
  • Digital and ICT skills
  • Commitment
  • Calm under pressure
  • Flexibility

Useful subjects

  • Biology
  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Chemistry
  • Psychology
  • ICT
  • Sociology
  • Physics 

What could you earn?

Dental nurse £13,100 - £20,300
Lab technician £15,750 - £26,450
Medical secretary £15,800 - £23,500
Nurse £20,900 - £43,700
Midwife £21,000 - £44,050
Biological scientist £27,450 - £49,250
Pharmacist £31,400 - £48,550

£32,200 - £133,750

Local employers

Pathways into this sector

Getting good grades in English and STEM subjects such as sciences and maths will help you to get into this sector and keep your career options open.

At 16, your options include A levels in STEM subjects, an apprenticeship or a vocational qualification such as health and social care (at level 2 or 3).

Entry requirements for apprenticeships vary so always check first.

At 18 or 19, you could opt to study for a relevant degree at university or train through a higher or degree apprenticeship.

There are job opportunities at all qualification levels but some jobs in health and care need a level 4-6 qualification and some need a degree.  For roles such as nurse or paramedic, a degree apprenticeship may be an option.

Gaining relevant experience, such as work experience, a paid job or voluntary work will also improve your chances of finding a job in health or social care.

Alternative routes into this sector

If you don't yet have the skills, confidence or experience to progress into further education courses or get an apprenticeship in this sector, you could consider a traineeship or other short course - a course with work experience that can help prepare you for further education, work or an apprenticeship.

On Help You Choose you can find more information on courses, apprenticeships and other options.