Hospital Porter

Job Description:

Hospital porters move patients, equipment and medical supplies around a hospital.

Job Category:
Health Care & Social Assistance

What you will do:

In your day-to-day tasks, you might:

  • move patients on trolleys or in wheelchairs between wards and departments
  • deliver clean linen to wards
  • collect waste, some of which may be hazardous
  • move furniture and medical equipment safely
  • transfer files, specimen samples and pharmacy boxes to different parts of the hospital
  • move deceased patients to the mortuary
  • deal with post and parcels


You’ll need:

  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
  • customer service skills

As well as:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure (ambition/drive)
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a hospital porter, you don’t typically need specific subjects. Hospital porter positions often require a combination of practical skills, physical fitness, and a strong work ethic. However, certain subjects and skills can be beneficial if you’re considering a career in this field. Here are some subjects and skills that can be helpful:

  1. English Language: Effective communication skills, including reading, writing, and speaking, are important for interacting with patients, medical staff, and colleagues.
  2. Mathematics: Basic math skills can be useful for tasks like measuring and recording patient weights or medication dosages.
  3. Physical Education (PE): Hospital porters often engage in physically demanding work, so being physically fit and having stamina is essential.
  4. First Aid: Consider taking a basic first aid course to gain life-saving skills, which can be valuable in case of emergencies in a hospital setting.

While specific subjects are not mandatory, it’s essential to understand that practical, hands-on experience and on-the-job training are typically the primary pathways to becoming a hospital porter.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • applying directly
  • volunteering

You might find it useful to get voluntary work experience in a health or care setting.

Direct Application
You can apply directly to get into this job. Work experience in a healthcare setting will be useful, although not essential.

You’ll normally need a good standard of literacy and numeracy. Customer service experience can also be useful.

It might help if you have a manual handling or health and safety certificate, although your employer will train you on these when you start.

Career tips
When applying for jobs, you’ll be expected to show an understanding of how medical values apply in your work.

Working Hours and Environment:

Typically you could work 40 to 42 hours a week, including evenings, weekends, and holidays.

You could work in an NHS or private hospital.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could progress to team leader or supervisor. You might need to have, or be working towards, qualifications in supervision and management.