Clinical engineer

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

Clinical engineers design, develop and maintain equipment for diagnosing illness and treating patients.

Average salary (a year)

£24,214 Starter

to

£43,772 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends on a rota

How to become a clinical engineer

You can get into this job through:

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

University

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

  • electrical or electronic engineering
  • mechanical engineering
  • biomedical science/engineering
  • pure or applied physics
  • applied maths

Your degree should be accredited by the Engineering Council.

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.

Competition for places on the STP is high, so it helps if you have relevant experience. Try and do some voluntary work in a hospital and get experience of patient contact.

You could also find employment in the private sector and work your way up to chartered engineer status.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including 2 sciences
  • 2 or 3 A levels, including maths and physics

More information

Apprenticeship

You could 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 college qualifications like A levels 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 a degree in healthcare science at university.

You'll need 5 GCSE grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English language, maths and a science subject and at least 2 A levels, including maths or a science to apply.

More information

Registration

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

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
  • knowledge of biology
  • knowledge of physics
  • the ability to read English
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • testing equipment, like walking aids, wheelchairs and speech synthesizers (known as assistive technologies)
  • developing artificial limbs that attach to the patient's own tissue
  • making artificial joints, heart valves and hearing implants from new materials
  • designing equipment that allows doctors to try new medical techniques, like optical instruments for keyhole surgery
  • management of medical equipment, like scanners, imaging machines and monitoring systems
  • carrying out quality assurance checks to ensure all equipment is working correctly and safely
  • working 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

With experience and further training, you could become a consultant, specialising in particular clinical areas, or move into management, teaching or medical research.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Biomedical Scientist

  • Wage : £146.25 Weekly
  • Location: LE1 5WW

Level 6 Healthcare Science Audiology Degree Apprenticeship

  • Wage : £18,813.00 - £20,795.00 Annually
  • Location: Bournemouth BH1 4JQ

Courses In England

Electrical and Electronic Engineering Diploma Level 3

  • Provider: Bradford College
  • Start date: 04 September 2019
  • Location: Bradford

Electrical Engineering L3 - Ext Diploma

  • Provider: Fareham College
  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: Lee On Solent

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