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Healthcare and social services

Industry Sector


People are at the heart of healthcare and social services. If you have a passion for improving lives, a career in this field could be for you. There’s plenty of hard work and long hours but the rewards are worth it. These jobs bring the unique satisfaction of knowing you're helping people who need it. 

In healthcare, you could work with the public or provide behind-the-scenes support. As well as doctors, nurses, and other care-giving roles, there are opportunities for accountants, chefs, software designers and more. 

In social services you'll find roles in social work and social care, working with adults or  young people with a variety of needs and in different settings. You could support vulnerable people in overcoming their personal issues and achieving their aspirations.

Want to know more from people with experience?

My World of Work Live hosted virtual Meet The Experts sessions to find out about professions across various industries, from people with first-hand experience

We’ve picked out some of the best advice from Healthcare professionals working across the sector. Check out the videos below to find the answers to questions like:

  • What subjects would you recommend for someone interested in Healthcare?
  • What skills are required for your role in Public Health?
  • What’s the best way to get work experience to enhance my CV?
  • Do you need to go to university to get a job in Healthcare?

The industry now

  • 435,700 people work within the health and social care sector 
  • For the year 2020, the median advertised salary for jobs in the health care industry was £28,400 and for the social services industry it was £20,800
  • The health care sector adds an estimated £7,654m to the Scottish economy in 2020 and the social services sector contributed £3,657m 


*Information provided by Oxford Economics and Burning Glass Technologies

The future

Due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, the jobs market is constantly changing. All future figures are estimated:

  • An estimated 44,200 jobs will need to be replaced or created between 2020 and 2023 
  • The requirement for growth is predicted to rise to 100,300 jobs between 2023 and 2030 
  • It’s estimated that the value added to the Scottish economy by the health care industry will grow by 46% to £11,198m in 2030. The social services sector is also expected to increase its contribution by 46% to £5,334m