Healthcare, medical and pharmaceuticals

This large workforce sector includes a range of occupations and services providing diagnostic, rehabilitation, healing and preventive services.

This industry includes the holistic health and wellness of individuals as well as pharmaceutical production and sales. Professionals in the healthcare field typically work in hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacies, surgeries, private practices, laboratories and clinics.

The healthcare and medical industry has continued to grow over the years, with many hospitals now running like businesses. As the population lives longer and age groups with higher populations get older, long-term healthcare and preventive treatment as well as residential programs are needed more and more. There is a wide variety of careers and occupations in the healthcare and medical field. From administrative roles and pharmaceutical sales, to registered nurses, physicians, specialised practitioners and technicians, careers in the field offer quality stable jobs.

Individuals pursuing careers in the healthcare and medical field generally need to complete specific Bachelors programs for certain fields, as well as vocational education and training programs for positions such as technicians and pharmacists. Physicians, surgeons and other specialists are required to complete medical school programs and complete time working within the healthcare field learning hands-on experience. Many professionals start their healthcare careers in public health settings and move into private practices or establishments later in their careers.

Professionals in the healthcare and medical field should be prepared to work long shifts and varied hours. Nursing schedules typically include rotating 12-hour shifts and physicians working in hospitals may need to be on-call during weekends and work night shifts. Nursing aides and home care assistants may need to work 6-7 days a week helping clients/ patients with daily activities. Healthcare professionals deal directly with patients in different capacities and should enjoy working with people and promoting health and wellness. They should be sensitive to patient needs as well as highly analytical to diagnose problems and illnesses and offer treatment solutions.

Related degrees

Related subjects

Professional associations and industry bodies

Australian Sonographers Association 

Australian Traditional Medicine Society Ltd 

Dental Hygenists Association of Australia Inc 

Dieticians Association of Australia 

Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) 

Medical Technology Association of Australia 

National Australian Pharmacy Students Association

Nutrition Australia

Orthoptic Association of Australia Inc (OAA)

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia 

Pharmacy Guild of Australia 

Public Health Association of Australia 

Rehabilitation Counselling Association of Australia

Royal College of Nursing 

Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia

Speech Pathology Australia 

The College of Nursing

Skills and personality

  • Administration skills providing patient intake and maintaining files and databases
  • Analytical abilities to evaluate and research causes of illnesses and diseases and create preventive care or screening practices
  • Effective coordination and organisation capabilities of patients and services
  • Enjoy working with people and interest in promoting the health and wellbeing of others
  • Excellent problem solving abilities working to identify and diagnose problems and illnesses and find treatments
  • Patience and commitment to offering patients the best service and care possible
  • Provide information to healthcare facilities about new healthcare equipment and prescription drugs on the market
  • Scientific knowledge of illnesses and diseases and ways to diagnose them
  • Strong, effective communication skills working with people and other professionals
  • Work well in a team oriented environment, collaborating with other healthcare professionals to deliver services to patients