1. Home: Explore careers
  2. Clinical engineer

Clinical engineer

Alternative titles for this job include Biomedical engineer, bio-engineer

Clinical engineers apply engineering principles to the research, design and development of healthcare products and equipment.

Average salary (a year)

£35,000 Starter


£50,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends on a rota

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a clinical engineer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • a specialist training programme run by the NHS


You can do a degree to start training as a clinical engineer. Relevant subjects include:

  • biomedical engineering
  • engineering
  • pure or applied physics
  • applied maths
  • computer science

After your degree, you can apply for the postgraduate NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP). During the 3-year programme, you'll be employed and study a postgraduate master's degree at university.

Areas of clinical engineering covered by the programme include:

  • rehabilitation engineering
  • clinical measurement
  • medical device development

There is a lot of competition for places on the STP, so it helps to have relevant experience. You could do some voluntary work in a hospital to get experience of patient contact.

There are also jobs in the private sector for clinical engineers, where you could work your way up to chartered engineer status.

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

More Information


You could get into this job by completing a Healthcare Science Practitioner Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship.

This takes a minimum of 3 years.

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

More Information

Other Routes

If you do not have a degree, you could apply for the NHS Practitioner Training Programme.

During the 3-year programme, you'll be employed and study for an accredited degree in healthcare science (clinical engineering) at university.

To apply, you'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSE grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English language, maths and a science subject
  • at least 2 A levels, including maths or a science like physics

Equivalent qualifications to A levels in science or engineering may be acceptable, for instance T levels or extended diplomas.

More Information


Career tips

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

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a clinical engineer from Health Careers and Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine.

What it takes

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

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • design skills and knowledge
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • knowledge of biology
  • knowledge of physics
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

What you’ll do

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

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a clinical engineer, you could:

  • develop artificial limbs, using advanced materials
  • build and test medical aids, like heart valves, hearing implants and speech synthesizers
  • design equipment to help doctors try new medical techniques, for example optical instruments for keyhole surgery
  • manage medical equipment, such as scanners, imaging machines and monitoring systems
  • carry out quality assurance checks to make sure equipment is working correctly and safely
  • work closely with other medical professionals and technical staff

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital, in a laboratory, at a research facility or in a workshop.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience and further training, you could become a consultant, specialising in particular clinical areas, or move into:

  • project management
  • medical research
  • teaching

There are opportunities in both the public and private sectors.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Clinical Engineer

  • Wage: Competitive salary Annually
  • Location: Herries Road, Sheffield

Courses In England


  • Start date: 01 September 2024
  • Location: Worcester


  • Start date: 01 September 2024
  • Location: THAME

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Is this page useful?

Yes No

Thank you for your feedback.

Thank you for your feedback. Click here if you'd like to let us know how we can improve the service.