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Alternative titles for this job include

Anaesthetists are doctors who give anaesthetics to patients before, during and after surgery.

Average salary (a year)

£29,384 Starter


£47,672 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

41 to 43 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on a rota

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become an anaesthetist

You can get into this job through a university course.


To become an anaesthetist, you'll need to complete:

  • a 5-year degree in medicine that is recognised by the General Medical Council
  • a 2-year foundation programme of general training
  • up to 8 years of specialist training

You might be able to join a 6-year degree course in medicine if you have no A levels or equivalent qualifications in science. This includes a one-year pre-medical foundation year.

If you already have an upper second class (2:1) or first class science degree, you could take a 4-year graduate entry route into medicine. Some universities will also accept non-science graduates.

When you apply for a course in medicine, you could be asked to take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) or BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT). They test the skills you'll need on the course, like critical thinking, problem solving, data analysis, communication and scientific knowledge.

There's a lot of competition to get a place on a degree in medicine. Most universities will expect you to have done some relevant paid or voluntary work experience.

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

More Information

More Information


Further information

You can find more details on how to become an anaesthetist from the Royal College of Anaesthetists and Health Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to use your judgement and make decisions
  • knowledge of medicine
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could:

  • explain the risks and side effects of anaesthesia
  • give anaesthetics and monitor patients during surgery
  • resuscitate and make sure patients are stable
  • relieve pain after an operation or during childbirth
  • manage chronic pain services
  • help patients receiving treatments like electro-convulsive therapy

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience you could:

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for an anaesthetist right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Access To HE Dip (Medicine)

  • Start date: 18 September 2023
  • Location: Lewes

Access to Higher Education Diploma: Medicine

  • Provider: YORK COLLEGE
  • Start date: 18 September 2023
  • Location: York

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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