Job type

Medical illustrator

£25k - £38k

Typical salary

39 – 41

Hours per week

Medical illustrators produce photographs, videos and graphical images for use in healthcare.

More info

  • Use creative and technical skills to create illustrations, photography, graphics or video used in medical settings
  • There are a range of areas to specialise in, like graphic design, video, medical photography or illustration
  • You could work in hospitals, university medical departments or with medical publishers

As a medical illustrator, you'll work in a specialist area, like graphic design, medical art, photography, or videography.


  • Record a patient's condition using a digital camera or video
  • Take photographs to monitor the effectiveness of operations and treatments
  • Use specialist equipment and techniques to capture 3D images of structures like the eye
  • Record specific procedures

You might also:

  • Provide bereavement photography for grieving parents
  • Copy evidence from slides and x-rays
  • Use software to produce presentations
  • Create visual materials for teaching and research purposes, publicity materials, annual reports, staff newspapers, and websites


You'll work closely with doctors, nurses and patients in hospitals and university medical departments. You could work in a photographic studio or in an NHS or private hospital.

You'll need

For this role, you'll need thoroughness and attention to detail; design skills and knowledge; knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software; thinking and reasoning skills; good initiative; the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure; and flexibility and openness to change.

You'll normally need a degree in a relevant subject like photography, graphic design, illustration, or art and design. You can apply for a trainee position as a medical illustrator in a healthcare setting once you complete your degree.

You can apply to do a postgraduate qualification if you're already working in healthcare and you have a relevant degree.

Medical illustration is a small and specialised field, and there's a lot of competition for vacancies, so your job prospects will be improved with relevant work experience.


With experience, you could progress to a management role, and with further study, you could move into research or teaching.