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The Sheffield College

5 careers you never knew a Health & Social Care degree could lead to

Updated: 13/02/2018

The health and social care sector is one that encompasses a vast range of job roles and employment opportunities, with the NHS alone employing 1.5 million people! So what kinds of career can you hope to go into with a university level health and social care qualification; and what do these jobs actually entail?

5 careers you never knew a Health & Social Care degree could lead to

A Health & Social Care student practices taking a patients blood pressure

Adult Nurse

Adult nurses care for adult patients who are suffering from a variety of health conditions, ranging from minor injuries and ailments, to acute and long-term illnesses and diseases. They support recovery by using care plans, carrying out care procedures and assessments, and evaluating and focusing on the needs of the patient.

There are also opportunities to specialise in specific areas of medical care such as intensive care, oncology or accident and emergency.

A newly qualified/graduate level nurse will usually enter on a Band 5 salary of around £22K per year.


Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapists help children and adults of all ages with mental, physical or social disabilities to independently carry out everyday tasks or occupations with more confidence and independence.

They create individual treatment programmes and suggest changes to the person's environment, whether that be at home, work or school, and may introduce the use of equipment which will help with some activities.

For example, this may take the form of assessing a patient after an operation and ensuring their home is fit for them to return to (i.e. accessible for a wheelchair if they will be unable to walk whilst recovering) before they are discharged.

A newly qualified/graduate level occupational therapist will usually enter on a Band 5 salary of around £22K per year.


Social Worker

Social workers support individuals and their families through difficult times and ensure that vulnerable people, including children and adults, are safeguarded from harm. Their role is to help in improve outcomes in people's lives.

As a social worker, you'll work in a variety of settings within a framework of relevant legislation and procedures, supporting individuals, families and groups within the community. You may work in homes or schools, hospitals or on the premises of other public sector and voluntary organisations.

It can be a challenging role, as social workers can find themselves dealing with distressing situations or even media attention.

A newly qualified/graduate level social worker will usually enter on a salary of around £22K per year.


Personal Trainer

A personal trainer creates one-on-one fitness programmes for their clients, motivating and guiding them to achieve their goals. Clients may wish to lose weight or gain muscle, and as a personal trainer you'll teach and help them to exercise properly using workouts and specific plans. You'll instruct and advise your clients, using a range of fitness machines, classes or weights.

Similar roles include fitness instructors and gym instructors, but a personal trainer holds more fitness qualifications, meaning they're able to provide clients with tailored health and exercise advice. It's not uncommon for those new to the industry to train as a fitness or gym instructor first before qualifying as a personal trainer.

You'll generally work in a gym or a similar setting, but can take sessions outdoors or to other venues.

Earnings for a newly qualified personal trainer will vary depending on whether you are employed by a gym/venue or work freelance, however the average starting salary is anywhere from around £15-20 K per year.  


Health Promotion Specialist

Health promotion specialists help people to improve their health and increase their control over it.

Roles may vary from giving face-to-face advice to individuals to producing strategic policies for health promotion. You may set up schemes promoting a healthy lifestyle, run campaigns and implement government initiatives relating to public health. There may also be options to specialise in fields such as drug/alcohol misuse or the dangers of smoking.

A Health Promotion Specialist may work in a range of settings, including hospitals, schools and prisons or within a local community.

A typical starting salary for this or similar role would be a Band 5 salary of around £22K. If you have a foundation degree or HND (such as one of our courses!) then you may be able to enter this field with just one year of further study such as a top-up degree in health promotion.


Whichever career path you end up following, one of our university level Health and Social Care courses will give you a fantastic grounding in the field, and equip you with the professional knowledge, skills and flexibility to progress into your chosen job role.


*Please note: you may need additional qualifications and work experience to qualify for some of these job roles but a degree in this area can form part of the route into the above careers. Talk to us about how we can help you get into these careers!