In her early career, she appeared in Palace Hill and Chalkface before landing the role of Tina Dingle in Emmerdale, a role she played for two years between 1994 and 1996. She left the show when she was pregnant with her first child, and next appeared on-screen in an episode of Casualty before landing her Street role.
In March 2001 it was announced that she was expecting her second child and left the show that autumn due to complications in her pregnancy, spending six weeks on sick leave. After months of speculation came the announcement that she would not be returning to the programme.
With a vow never to return to acting, in 2004 she founded "The Jacqueline Chadwick Academy of Performing Arts" workshop, teaching drama. By 2007 she had set up a drama school in her home town of Stirling, and opened another school in British Columbia, Canada - where she now resides. In 2017 she had her first crime novel, In the Still, published.