Clinical scientist

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Healthcare scientist

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

Salary range: £30,401 to £50,819

The CV Writer Career Advice Guides. Helping you write a CV, guiding you to a career. Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

How to become a clinical scientist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

University

You’ll need a first or upper second class honours degree in a subject related to the specialist area you want to work in. For example:

  • life sciences like biology, genetics or biochemistry
  • biomedical science
  • 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.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including maths and physics

More information

The CV Writer Career Advice Guides. Helping you write a CV, guiding you to a career. Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

Apprenticeship

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

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship

More information

The CV Writer Career Advice Guides. Helping you write a CV, guiding you to a career. Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

Work

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
  • at least 2 A levels including maths or a science

More information

Further information

You can find out more about how to become a clinical scientist from Health Careers.

The CV Writer Career Advice Guides. Helping you write a CV, guiding you to a career. Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • knowledge of biology
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to read English
  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your duties will depend on your specific role, but may involve:

  • 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
  • working directly with patients in audiology or cardiac physiology
  • investigating organ abnormalities and finding ways of improving a patient’s wellbeing
  • in embryology – researching infertility, including IVF treatment, egg retrieval and assisted reproduction
  • in pathology – investigating the cause and progression of illness, or reason for death
  • in genetics – studying cells to check for inherited diseases
  • in haematology – analysing, diagnosing and monitoring blood-based disorders

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital or in a laboratory.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

The CV Writer Career Advice Guides. Helping you write a CV, guiding you to a career. Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

Career path and progression

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).