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Medical

Paediatrician

Paediatricians diagnose and treat health conditions that affect babies, children and young people.

Annual Salary

£27,689 to £74,661

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

Working hours

41 to 48 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; on a rota

5.7%
Future employment

There will be 5.7% more Paediatrician jobs in 2026.

Day to day tasks

In your day-to-day duties you may:

  • assess children who are ill, injured or have disabilities
  • refer patients to specialist consultants for tests
  • prescribe medication, surgery or therapies
  • explain diagnosis and treatment plans to parents and children
  • write patient notes and produce medical reports for professionals
  • monitor patient progress and responses to treatments
  • supervise and train junior medical staff

Working environment

You may need to wear a uniform.

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 can get into this job through:

  • a university course
University

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.

Entry requirements

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
For more information

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Career tips

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

You could join the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the British Medical Association for professional development and training opportunities.

Further information

You can find out more about careers in paediatrics from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and Health Careers.

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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.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

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