Job type

Healthcare scientist

£32k - £95k

Typical salary

38 – 40

Hours per week

Healthcare scientists research and develop techniques and equipment to help prevent, diagnose and treat illness.

More info

  • Research and develop techniques and equipment to help prevent, diagnose and treat illness
  • Option to study for a PhD or apply for the NHS Higher Specialist Scientific Training Programme (HSST)
  • When working with hazardous substances and radiation you'll wear protective clothing

Healthcare scientists focus on physiological sciences, life sciences or medical physics and clinical engineering.

DAY-TO-DAY DUTIES

  • Interpreting test results and suggesting treatments to doctors
  • Researching, developing and testing new methods of diagnosis and treatment
  • Giving doctors advice on buying and using commercial products and equipment.

In physiological sciences, you'll:

  • Work directly with patients in audiology, cardiac physiology
  • investigate how an organ functions to diagnose abnormalities and find ways of improving a patient's wellbeing

In life sciences, you could work in one of the following branches:

  • Embryology (researching infertility, including IVF treatment, egg retrieval and assisted reproduction)
  • Pathology (investigating the cause and progression of illness, or reason for death)
  • Genetics (studying cells to check for inherited diseases)
  • Haematology (analysing, diagnosing and monitoring blood-based disorders)

In medical physics and clinical engineering, you'll:

  • Be involved in designing and developing instruments to monitor and treat patients
  • Create new ways to treat and diagnose illness
  • Make sure complex equipment is set up and used correctly

DAY-TO-DAY ENVIRONMENT

Salaries in the private sector could be higher. You may have to work evenings or weekends as part of an on-call rota. You'll be based in a hospital, clinic or laboratory setting. You may need to travel to other hospitals to meet with other scientists.

You'll need

This role would be ideal for someone with excellent knowledge of biology, thinking and reasoning skills and analytical thinking skills.

You'll need a first or upper second class honours degree in a subject related to the specialist area you want to work in such as life sciences like biology, genetics or biochemistry, biomedical science or medical physics. Once you have your degree, you can apply for the NHS Scientist Training Programme, which will qualify you to work as a clinical scientist.

You'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including 2 sciences and 2 or 3 A levels, including maths and physics to apply for a degree.

You can also get into this job through a healthcare science practitioner degree apprenticeship.

You could apply to join the NHS Practitioner Training Programme without a degree. You would study for a degree in healthcare science, which includes work-based training. You would usually need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English, maths and a science subject and at least 2 A levels including maths or a science.

CAREER PROSPECTS

With experience, you could move into management or teaching. You could also go on to study for a PhD or apply for the NHS Higher Specialist Scientific Training Programme (HSST).