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Clinical scientist

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

Annual Salary

£31,365 to £91,004

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; on a rota

Future employment

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

Day to day tasks

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

  • interpret test results and suggest treatments to doctors
  • research, develop and test new methods of diagnosis and treatment
  • give doctors advice on buying and using commercial products and equipment
  • work directly with patients in audiology or cardiac physiology
  • investigate organ abnormalities and find ways of improving a patient's wellbeing
  • in embryology - research infertility, including IVF treatment, egg retrieval and assisted reproduction
  • in pathology - investigate the cause and progression of illness, or reason for death
  • in genetics - study cells to check for inherited diseases
  • in haematology - analyse diagnose and monitor blood-based disorders

Working environment

You may need to wear protective clothing.

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

You can get into this job through:

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

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
For more information

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
For more information

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.

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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).

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

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
  • maths knowledge
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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