Looking for a caring career?

With more than 250 career pathways to choose from, a health and social care qualification could be the first step towards your dream job.

Health and social care workers are a vital part of any community and form a huge part of the UK workforce.

They drive our ambulances, keep GP surgeries open and care for those who need extra help or support.

Around four million people are employed in the health and social care sector across the UK and it offers more than 250 potential career pathways – from mental health practitioners to paramedics and carers.

If you are considering a qualification in health and social care, here is what you need to know.

What is the health and social care sector?

The sector is generally split into two core sub-sectors.

Healthcare includes hospitals and GP services, health clinics and other specialist provisions like mental health, paramedics and ambulance services.

Social care includes nursing and residential care provision, domiciliary care and social work.

What are the benefits?

One of the most important benefits of this sector is that the work you do will make a positive difference in people’s lives.

Lots of health and social care jobs also offer excellent career progression with opportunities to increase your knowledge and enhance your skillset continuing once you are employed.

What should I consider?

If you are looking for a nine-to-five job, health and social care might not be for you. Professionals working in this field are expected to show commitment to their patients and colleagues and this can mean working beyond contracted hours.

You also need to think about how you cope with both physical and emotional strain. Choosing this field means you are likely to be dealing with people at their most vulnerable.

What qualifications and skills do I need?

While specific requirements will vary depending on which career you choose, there are certain attributes which almost any job will require.

You’ll need good communication and listening skills and to have a genuinely compassionate nature. You also need to be able to work as a team.

In terms of qualifications, there are several different routes into health and social care, from apprenticeships and BTECs to foundation and master’s degrees.

What career could it lead to?

There are hundreds of potential careers in health and social care, here are just three of them (and their average salaries):

  • Paramedic – providing life-saving treatment, paramedics are on the frontline of medical care (£22,000 to £35,250)
  • Social worker – helping to protect vulnerable children and adults from harm, social workers also support people to live independently (£24,000 to £40,000)
  • Care worker – giving daily support to vulnerable people, care workers must be able to act with tact and sensitivity (£12,500 to £25,000)

We have a range of health and social care courses and our dedicated careers team is on hand to provide advice and support while you study.

Applications for this September are still being accepted and the college is hosting an open event on April 24.

For more information on courses, enrolment and open events visit www.grantham.ac.uk or call 01476 400 200.