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Biomedical scientist

Biomedical scientists test patient samples and help doctors and healthcare professionals diagnose, prevent and treat disease.

Annual Salary

£25,655 to £45,839

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; on shifts

3%
Future employment

There will be 3% more Biomedical scientist jobs in 2026.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

Depending on your chosen area, you may:

  • test for diseases like Legionnaires' disease and food poisoning
  • test for infectious diseases like rubella or hepatitis
  • analyse blood samples and monitor organ function
  • support the blood transfusion and transplant service through blood grouping and matching
  • test for blood abnormalities and diseases, like anaemia and leukaemia
  • process and analyse tissue samples from operations and autopsies
  • use specialist procedures like cell culture to detect cancer
  • routinely test fluid and tissue samples like cervical smear tests
  • update paperwork or computer records with data and test results

Working environment

You may need to wear protective clothing.

You could work in a laboratory, at a research facility or at a university.

You can get into this job through:

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

You could do a biomedical science degree. It needs to be accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBS) and approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Laboratory work experience

To work as a biomedical scientist, you must register with the HCPC. To register you'll need to have completed work experience in an accredited laboratory.

Some degree courses include work placements. If your chosen course does not include accredited work experience, you'll need to find a laboratory placement. You could do this during a sandwich year or after you have finished your degree.

Armed forces degree sponsorships

If you're interested in becoming a biomedical scientist in the armed forces, you can find out about degree sponsorships from the:Royal Navy; Royal Air Force

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 3 A levels, or equivalent, including biology and chemistry
For more information
Apprenticeship

You could get into this role by doing a healthcare science practitioner degree apprenticeship.

This apprenticeship typically takes 36 months to complete.

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 higher or degree apprenticeship
Work

You may be able to get into biomedical science as an NHS trainee.

You'll need at least 2 A levels in science subjects or an equivalent qualification, like a Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science.

Places are sponsored by NHS employers and you'll study for an accredited degree while you work.

Other routes

Another way to get into this career is to complete the NHS Practitioner Training Programme.

On this programme you'll gain an IBS accredited degree in healthcare science, known as life science.

More information

Career tips

When you apply for NHS jobs and apprenticeships, you'll be expected to have an understanding of how NHS values apply in your work.

Further information

You can find more advice on becoming a biomedical scientist from:the Institute of Biomedical Science; Health Careers

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With experience, you could move into areas like:specialist research; training and education; product development and sales; people or project management

There are also opportunities to work as a biomedical scientist in the armed forces.

Find out more from the:Army; Royal Air Force; Royal Navy

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of biology
  • analytical thinking skills
  • concentration skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • maths knowledge
  • excellent written communication skills
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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