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Plastic surgeon

Alternative titles for this job include Reconstructive surgeon, cosmetic surgeon

Plastic surgeons perform operations to restore someone's movement or appearance either for personal reasons or following an illness or injury.

Average salary (a year)

£44,000 Starter

to

£94,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

40 to 45 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on a rota

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Plastic surgeon

You can get into this job through a university course or an apprenticeship.

University

To become a plastic or cosmetic surgeon you'll need to complete:

  • a degree in medicine recognised by the General Medical Council
  • a 2-year foundation programme of general training
  • core surgical training in a hospital which takes 2 years
  • specialist training which can take up to 6 years

A medical degree normally takes 5 years to complete. Some courses have the option to include an extra year if you want to study a subject further. This is called an intercalated year.

You might be able to study a foundation year before starting a medical degree. This will depend on your circumstances or if you have not studied enough sciences. Check with the admissions department where you want to study.

If you already have a degree, you could take a 4-year graduate entry route into medicine. There’s lots of competition and entry requirements vary, so check with the admissions department where you want to study.

Entry tests

When you apply for a course in medicine, you could be asked to take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT), BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) or Graduate Medical Schools Admissions Test (GAMSAT).

They test the skills you'll need on the course, like critical thinking, problem solving, data analysis, communication and scientific knowledge.

Work experience

Medical schools will also expect you to have some relevant paid or voluntary work experience. The British Medical Association provides information on how to find a placement.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • at least 5 GCSEs grades 9 to 7 (A* or A), including English maths and sciences
  • 3 A levels, or equivalent, including biology and chemistry

More Information

Apprenticeship

From September 2024, you might be able to do a doctor degree apprenticeship which will take around 5 years to complete.

The apprenticeship is recognised by the General Medical Council.

You could then progress to the foundation course of general training before completing the specialist training.

Entry requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements.

More Information

Volunteering

You can gain valuable caring skills from volunteering in education, health, charity or social care settings. You could:

More Information

Registration

Career tips

The General Medical Council has a guide on what it means to be a good doctor. You might find this useful when preparing for medical school interviews.

You can use online resources to find out more about the types of interviews you can expect to get into for medical school.

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the British Medical Association for professional development and training opportunities.

Further information

You can find out more about how to become a cosmetic or plastic surgeon from the British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons.

What it takes

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

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of biology
  • the ability to work well with others
  • knowledge of English language
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

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 plastic or cosmetic surgeon, you could:

  • discuss options with your patients
  • restore tissue, skin and limb function
  • complete reconstructive surgery after burns or illness
  • carry out facelifts, implants and liposuction
  • check on progress after surgery
  • update records and teach trainee surgeons

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

You may need to wear a uniform and protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

You could:

  • specialise in a certain type of surgery, for example burns or scars
  • become a senior surgeon, leading a team or department
  • move into teaching student surgeons
  • set up your own private practice

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 Plastic surgeon 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

GCE A Level Biology

  • Provider: THE REACH FREE SCHOOL
  • Start date: 04 September 2024
  • Location: Rickmansworth

GCE A Level in Chemistry

  • Provider: BRENTWOOD COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL
  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Brentwood

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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