Medical physicists are specialists in healthcare science, also known as clinical science.
Salary range: £30,401 to £50,819
How to become a medical physicist
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- a trainee scheme
To become a medical physicist, you’ll need a degree that includes a high level of physics, for example:
- applied physics
- physics and mathematics
You would then complete the 3-year NHS Scientist Training Programme.
You’ll need a first or upper second class honours in your degree to apply, or a postgraduate master’s qualification in a relevant subject like theoretical physics.
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
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You can get into this role through a degree apprenticeship as a healthcare science practitioner.
Employers will set their own entry requirements.
You may be able to apply for a place on the NHS Practitioner Training Programme without a degree.
You would study for a degree in healthcare science, which includes work-based training. You could then go on to specialise in medical physics.
To apply, you’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English, maths and a science
- at least 2 A levels including maths or a science
Professional and industry bodies
You could join the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, for professional development, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of biology
- thinking and reasoning skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- maths knowledge
- excellent verbal communication skills
- the ability to use your initiative
- analytical thinking skills
- the ability to work well with others
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
What you’ll do
- developing and testing new systems to help investigate patients’ conditions
- monitoring equipment to make sure it’s accurate, safe and well-maintained
- training hospital staff
- planning treatment programmes and explaining procedures to patients
- carrying out procedures and analysing test results
- using computer simulations and mathematical modelling in research and development work
You could work in a laboratory or in an NHS or private hospital.
You may need to wear protective clothing.
Career path and progression
You could go on to lead a department, work in higher education, research, or in the medical equipment manufacturing industry.