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:
- 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.
Areas of clinical engineering covered by the programme include:
- rehabilitation engineering
- clinical measurement
- medical device development
Competition for places on the STP is high, so it helps to have relevant experience. Try and do some voluntary work in a hospital and 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.
You could take postgraduate qualifications in biomedical engineering to increase your job prospects, particularly for research and development roles.
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
You could get into this job through a healthcare science practitioner degree apprenticeship.
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
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 an accredited degree in healthcare science (clinical engineering) at university.
- 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
You can search for universities offering accredited degrees by using the NHS course finder.
- you'll need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council
When applying for NHS training and apprenticeships, you'll be expected to have an understanding of how NHS values apply in your work.
You can find out more about becoming a clinical engineer from Health Careers and Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine.