Healthcare science assistant

Alternative titles for this job include Assistant technical officer

Healthcare science assistants support healthcare professionals.

Average salary (a year)

£17,652 Starter

to

£23,761 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

40 to 42 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends on a rota

How to become a healthcare science assistant

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

College

You could take a college course, like a Level 2 Certificate or Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science to help improve your chances of finding work.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information

Apprenticeship

You can do an intermediate apprenticeship in healthcare science.

The Academy of Healthcare Science has more information about apprenticeships.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More information

Volunteering and experience

You may have an advantage if you've worked or volunteered in a health or social care role.

You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for further advice. Do-it also has information on voluntary opportunities in your area.

Direct application

You can apply directly for jobs. You'll usually need:

  • good literacy, numeracy and IT skills
  • an understanding of medical terminology
  • some experience of working in a healthcare or lab setting

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You could join organisations like the Academy for Healthcare Science for professional development and training opportunities.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a healthcare science assistant from:

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to work well with others
  • analytical thinking skills
  • maths knowledge
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • knowledge of chemistry including the safe use and disposal of chemicals
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • labelling, sorting and storing specimens
  • helping with tissue and fluid sample analysis
  • putting together chemical solutions
  • loading and operating machines
  • using a computer to input and analyse data
  • disposing of hazardous waste
  • sterilising equipment
  • maintaining stock levels

Working environment

You could work in an office, in a laboratory or at a GP practice.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could apply for a senior post as a healthcare science associate.

With a degree you could work towards becoming a healthcare scientist or biomedical scientist, or apply for the NHS Practitioner Training Programme

You could also train to become a cardiological technician, cardiographer, cervical cytology screener or phlebotomist.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Medical Laboratory Assistant Apprentice

  • Wage : £12,000.00 - £16,000.00 Annually
  • Location: Derby DE22 3NE

Healthcare Science Associate Level 4 Apprentice

  • Wage : £12,000.00 Annually
  • Location: Birmingham B15 2TG

Courses In England

BTEC National Certificate in Applied Science

  • Provider: St Edmund Campion Catholic School & Sixth Form Centre
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: Birmingham

BTEC National Extended Certificate in Applied Science

  • Provider: John Taylor High School
  • Start date: 03 September 2019
  • Location: Burton on Trent

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