Healthcare science assistant

Alternative titles for this job include Assistant technical officer

Healthcare science assistants support healthcare professionals.

Average salary (a year)

£18,005 Starter

to

£24,157 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), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, 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, or equivalent, 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:

  • knowledge of chemistry including the safe use and disposal of chemicals
  • knowledge of biology
  • analytical thinking skills
  • maths knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to work well with others
  • 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

Day-to-day tasks

As part of your day-to-day duties, you might:

  • label, sort and store specimens
  • help with tissue and fluid sample analysis
  • put together chemical solutions
  • load and operate machines
  • use a computer to input and analyse data
  • dispose of hazardous waste
  • sterilise equipment
  • maintain 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.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Medical Laboratory Assistant - Sample Reception at QA Hospitals

  • Wage : £146.25 Weekly
  • Location: Portsmouth PO6 3LY

Apprentice Health Care Technician

  • Wage : £139.20 - £262.72 Weekly
  • Location: Birmingham B15 2NE

Courses In England

Certificate in Applied Science

  • Provider: ASHFIELD COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL
  • Start date: 03 September 2020
  • Location: Nottingham

Certificate in Applied Science

  • Provider: LAWNSWOOD SCHOOL
  • Start date: 01 September 2020
  • Location: LEEDS

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