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5 Reasons to Consider Pursuing a NHS Career

Read a summary written by WikJob on why you should consider starting a career in the UK's National Health Service.

A University College London researhcer working in a laboratory in the Pears Building, on campus.

23 April 2024

The National Health Service (NHS) is one of the United Kingdom's (UK) most respected institutions, offering a diverse range of career opportunities for students from various disciplines.

With the healthcare sector expanding rapidly, now is an opportune time for UK university students to consider pursuing an NHS career.

We outline five reasons why you should consider joining the NHS after graduation.

1. Diverse Range of Career Options

The NHS offers a diverse range of career paths with over 350 opportunities, going beyond conventional roles such as doctors and nurses. This includes auxiliary staff, biomedical scientists, physiotherapists, radiographers, and more, making up the NHS's workforce of 1.2 million staffers.

Regardless of academic backgrounds in science, the arts, the humanities, or technology, the NHS gives you access to valuable career prospects, all of which are significant for community health and national wellbeing.

2. Excellent Training and Development Opportunities

The NHS also stands out with its commitment to personnel growth. It offers graduates opportunities through initiatives like the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme, ranked as one of the top 10 graduate employers in the UK. This commitment to continuous training supports career and pay progression across all roles.

Moreover, Health Careers, an NHS service, offers over 300 courses for employees to acquire relevant professional qualifications. With this, the NHS encourages lifelong learning, making it a prime choice for those seeking extensive training and career progress.

3. Competitive Salaries and Benefits

A graphic showing the development of salaries upon pursuing a career in the NHS.

Not only does the NHS foster an environment of growth and learning, but it also remunerates its staff competitively. It follows the nationally-agreed Agenda for Change pay system, and as of April 2023, the starting salary for band 5 roles - such as newly qualified nurses - is around £27,055 annually.

Furthermore, the NHS pension scheme is among the most generous in the UK, with automatic enrolment for employees. Notably, this NHS-guaranteed pension is not dependent on investment returns.

Apart from fair pay and high-grade pensions, the NHS extends comprehensive perks, including:

  • 27-day annual leave allowance for new hires, plus eight public holidays
  • Access to numerous discounts on leisure activities, goods, and services
  • Access to discount platforms like "NHS Discounts" and "Blue Light Card"

4. Job Security and Stability

As the world grapples with health crises and aging populations, the demand for healthcare services is rising, making the healthcare sector, including the NHS, a rapidly growing industry.

The NHS, as a public sector organisation, also has a strong record of providing job security. Even amidst the economic uncertainty triggered by the global pandemic, the NHS continues to remain one of the UK's largest employers.

In addition, with NHS facilities spread across all regions of the UK, there are a multitude of opportunities for work placements in diverse localities, catering to the lifestyle preferences and family commitments of different individuals.

5. A Rewarding and Purposeful Career

Ultimately, working with the NHS offers a sense of job satisfaction and fulfilment that extends well beyond traditional job metrics. It dedicates itself to improving lives and promoting national wellbeing. This service-driven ethos attracts countless individuals, allowing them to find a deeper sense of purpose in their work.

This purpose-centric approach is highlighted in the 2022 NHS Staff Survey, where 56.5% of respondents agreed their organisation values health and wellbeing. This fulfilment is fundamental to the NHS career experience, where personal growth and societal impact go hand-in-hand.


A career in the NHS offers much more than just a job. It's a chance to profoundly impact people's lives positively.

Factors like career stability, continuous professional development, fair compensation, and excellent benefits contribute to a rewarding career. However, it's the immense personal fulfilment derived from community service that makes an NHS role truly remarkable.

This is a guest post from Rosemarie Gabinete Garganta of the WikiJob team. WikiJob is a platform for student and graduate job seekers to learn about employers, career tips, and interviews.