Paediatricians diagnose and treat health conditions that affect babies, children and young people.
Salary range: £27,689 to £74,671
How to become a paediatrician
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
You’ll need to complete:
- a 5-year degree in medicine, recognised by the General Medical Council
- a 2-year foundation course of general training
- 4 to 7 years of specialist training, depending on your chosen area of medicine
If you already have a degree in a science subject (minimum upper second), you could take a 4-year graduate entry programme into medicine.
You may be able to join a 6-year degree course in medicine if you have no science qualifications. This includes a one-year pre-medical or foundation year.
You could be asked to take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) or BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT), when you apply for a course. They test the skills you’ll need on the course like critical thinking, problem solving, data analysis, communication and scientific knowledge.
Medical schools will also expect you to have some relevant paid or voluntary work experience. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has information on finding a placement.
You’ll usually need:
- at least 5 GCSEs grades 9 to 7 (A* or A), including English maths and sciences
- 3 A levels, or equivalent, including biology and chemistry
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
- University Clinical Aptitude Test
- BioMedical Admissions Test
- you’ll need to register with the General Medical Council
Check if your university has a paediatric society and get involved. The societies are a good way to hear about paediatric events, talks and training in your medical school.
Professional and industry bodies
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of medicine and dentistry
- sensitivity and understanding
- counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
- thinking and reasoning skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- customer service skills
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- assessing children who are ill, injured or have disabilities
- referring patients to specialist consultants for tests
- prescribing medication, surgery or therapies
- explaining diagnosis and treatment plans to parents and children
- writing patient notes and producing medical reports for professionals
- monitoring patient progress and responses to treatments
- supervising and training junior medical staff
You could work in an NHS or private hospital, at a health centre or in the community.
Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.
You may need to wear a uniform.
Career path and progression
You can apply for senior consultant roles, once you’re on the General Medical Council Specialist Register.
You may go on to lead a team, manage a department or become medical director for an NHS Trust.
You could also move into teaching and training students, trainee doctors and other healthcare professionals.