1. Home: Explore careers
  2. Clinical engineer

Clinical engineer

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

Clinical engineers design, develop and maintain medical equipment used to diagnose illness and treat patients.

Average salary (a year)

£25,000 Starter


£68,000 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 Clinical engineer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • an NHS training programme for non-graduates


You can do a degree to start training as a clinical engineer. 

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 combine employment in the NHS with study for a postgraduate master's degree.

The programme covers several areas, including:

  • clinical measurement
  • rehabilitation engineering
  • medical device risk management and governance

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.

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 a science, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More Information


You could apply to do a Healthcare Science Practitioner Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship.

This takes a minimum of 3 years and is a mix of on-the-job training and study for a degree.

You could then apply to take further training with the NHS to become a clinical engineer.

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 (PTP).

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

To apply, you'll usually need:

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

Equivalent qualifications to A levels in science or engineering may be acceptable, for instance an extended diploma in applied science.

You could also work as a clinical engineering technologist in the NHS and apply to join the PTP.

More Information


Career tips

When looking to join an NHS training programme or an apprenticeship, 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 use new 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 or at a research facility.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a senior engineer, specialising in particular clinical areas, or move into:

  • project management
  • medical research and development
  • university teaching

You could register for chartered engineer status (CEng), which recognises your experience and expertise. This could help when applying for jobs as a consultant clinical engineer.

You can also work in the private sector as a clinical engineer for commercial companies, that develop new medical devices and instruments.

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 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


  • Start date: 01 September 2024
  • Location: Manchester


  • Start date: 04 September 2024
  • Location: Peterborough

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.