Alternative titles for this job include General practitioner, doctor

General practitioners (GPs) are doctors who provide medical services to people in their local community.

Average salary (a year)

£70,000 Starter


£114,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

45 to 50 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 GP

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


To become a GP you'll need to complete:

  • a degree recognised by the General Medical Council which takes 5 years
  • a foundation course of general training which takes 2 years
  • general practice specialist training which takes 3 years

If you already have a degree in a science subject, you could do a postgraduate degree in medicine which takes 4 years. 

If you do not have any science qualifications, you might be able to do a degree in medicine which takes 6 years and includes a pre-medical year.

Entry tests

When you apply for a course in medicine, you might have to take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) or BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT). 

You'll be tested on skills like critical thinking, problem solving, data analysis, communication and scientific knowledge. 

Work experience

Medical schools will also expect you to have some paid or voluntary work experience in healthcare

You can get information on how to get medical work experience from the British Medical Association.

You could also use Observe GP which is a free online alternative to work experience created by the Royal College of General Practitioners.

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


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 in general practice.

Entry requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements.

More Information

More Information


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 becoming a GP from Health Careers and the Royal College of General Practitioners.

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
  • science skills
  • knowledge of psychology
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could:

  • give general health advice to patients in person or on the phone
  • diagnose patients' symptoms and refer to specialist consultants if needed
  • prescribe medicines, recommend treatments and carry out minor surgery
  • do research and help to train other healthcare professionals
  • organise and lead clinics for specific groups of patients or medical conditions

Working environment

You could work at a GP practice, at a health centre or at a client's home.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience you could:

  • run a shared practice or specialise in an area like sports medicine, diabetes or children's health
  • move into medical work in hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, the police or the prison service
  • work overseas or in medicine for the Army, Royal Air Force or Royal Navy
  • teach students training to be GPs or go into clinical research
  • become a member of a local medical committee or clinical commissioning group to get involved in local health issues

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 GP 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

Access to HE: Science

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Ipswich

Access to HE (Science)

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Cambridge

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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Skills assessment

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