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)

£22,000 Starter

to

£41,000 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

University

You'll need a degree classification of 2:1 or higher to be 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 will be employed and study a master's degree at university.

Check the latest NHS entry requirements for the STP scheme.

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 degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and college qualifications like A levels for a higher or a degree apprenticeship

More information

Other routes

If you don't have a degree, you could apply for the NHS Practitioner Training Programme.

During the 3 year programme, you will 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.

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
  • You will be expected to use a computer confidently as part of this job.

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

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Clinical engineer 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

Electrical / Electronic Engineering BTEC Diploma Level 3

  • Provider: DUDLEY COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY
  • Start date: 04 September 2019
  • Location: Dudley

BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering

  • Provider: LIVERPOOL JOHN MOORES UNIVERSITY
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: Liverpool

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