How to get a job in healthcare without any experience

Working in the healthcare industry can be one of the most rewarding career paths there is…

The problem is, if you don’t have any relevant experience or the right qualifications, finding the right job for you and getting your foot in the door can seem like a mountain to climb.  But contrary to popular belief, there are hundreds of opportunities out there for anyone interested in working their way up.

To help get you started, here are five jobs to help you break into the healthcare industry – no experience necessary:

 

Healthcare Assistant

Healthcare Assistants, or HCAs, help support doctors and nurses by providing care for patients.

Typically found working within hospitals (as well as doctors’ surgeries), the work they do is absolutely vital in ensuring that patients have the most comfortable stay possible, with typical duties for a HCA including washing and dressing, making beds, serving food and taking simple measurements such as temperatures and monitoring pulse rates.

Although previous experience or qualifications may help, it’s absolutely possible to become a Healthcare Assistant in a trainee capacity without any formal pre-requisites. There are also a number of apprenticeship schemes out there to get you started.

You’ll even have the chance to work towards certifications, such as the Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support Services, which could allow you to move onto positions such as becoming an Assistant Practitioner, or even start studying to move into nursing or a more specialist role within the sector.

Average salary: £16,000

Perfect for: People who want to work within the practical side of healthcare.

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Dental Support Worker

Another hands-on role for anyone looking to build experience in the healthcare industry, Dental Support Workers come with a wide range of different backgrounds.

As such, there are no set entry requirements to get started, with employers often favouring the right attitude and a strong work ethic (and/or a great smile) over any specific employment history.

You’ll often be provided with a good level of on-the-job training in dental support, as well as being encouraged to take study in your spare time to start building your credentials.

Typical duties for a Dental Support Worker include sterilising instruments, mixing fillings and assisting with X-Rays, as well as some general administrative tasks – all of which provide a great foundation for anyone looking to pursue a long-term career in oral hygiene.

Average salary: £15,000

Perfect for: People who are slightly over-obsessed with flossing.

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Medical Secretary

Not all healthcare jobs require you to work on the practical side of things. In fact, there are a number of non-clinical roles out there which can be just as rewarding.

Medical Secretaries, for example, are an integral part of the healthcare industry, helping to schedule appointments and deal with all the day-to-day admin that ensures doctors and nurses can do their jobs as effectively as possible.

Previous admin experience would be a distinct advantage when making applications, but sector-specific experience will not be considered a necessary requirement in most cases. More importantly is an aptitude to perform at the highest level in a secretarial role.

Once you’ve built up a good level of medical knowledge, you’ll then be able to specialise in certain areas, such as medical transcription, and move on to the more experienced of Medical Assistant, and possibly even management.

Average salary: £20,000

Perfect for: People with strong organisational skills who want to make a difference (but can’t stand the sight of blood).

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Care Worker

Not all healthcare roles take place within a hospital.

In fact, opportunities within the social care sector are up 24% year-on-year, according to the latest Reed Job Index, and vacancies within the industry are available for a variety of different skill levels.

Demand for Care Assistants, for example, is consistently high across the country. Operating much like Healthcare Assistants, but primarily operating within a client’s home, the position involves providing patients with the attention they need to deal with their particular situation.

Although becoming a Care Assistant can be competitive, voluntary or even personal experience in proving care will generally be enough to get your foot on the ladder. You can then choose to move forward in your career by taking a part-time qualification to quantify your credentials.

Average salary: £14,000

Perfect for: People who care about people.

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Pharmacy Technician

If you’re looking for an entry level pharmaceutical role, becoming a Pharmacy Technician or Pharmacy Assistant could be the perfect career for you.

Working under the supervision of a registered pharmacist, it’s their job to help collect prescriptions and sell over-the-counter medicines, as well as providing basic advice to customers on which product is right for them.

Aside from excellent IT and communication skills, there aren’t many other non-negotiable requirements, so a lack of previous pharmaceutical experience won’t be a hindrance.

As an added bonus, trainee positions and apprenticeships are available to anyone aged 16 or over who may not be in full-time education, which will allow you to work towards an NVQ or National Certificate in pharmaceutical science.

Average salary: £18,000

Perfect for: People who always take the recommend dose.

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Final thoughts

Whatever your background, be positive when it comes to your applications.

There are over 1.3 million employees in the NHS alone, working in more than 350 different vocations. And that’s without factoring in anyone working within private healthcare. So no matter what previous training or qualifications you have, there’s a job out there for you.

And it’s not just clinical roles. Both the NHS and private healthcare providers recruit for a number of non-clinical and administrative positions on a regular basis. Porters, Catering Assistants/Managers, Caretakers, Housekeepers and Domestic Assistants are all positions that require minimal experience to get into, and make a real difference to people’s lives on a daily basis.

So whether you’re considering a career in nursing and don’t know how to get started, or simply want to find a rewarding way to spend your day-to-day, there’s no reason not to work within healthcare.

 

Ready to find the right healthcare job for you? Search all available Healthcare jobs now.