Medical physicist

Medical physicists are specialists in healthcare science, also known as clinical science.

Average salary (a year)

£25,000 Starter

to

£99,500 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on a rota

How to become a medical physicist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • a trainee scheme

University

To become a medical physicist, you'll need a degree that includes a high level of physics, for example:

  • applied physics
  • physics and mathematics
  • astrophysics

You would then complete the 3-year NHS Scientist Training Programme.

You'll need a first or upper second class honours in your degree to apply, or a postgraduate master's qualification in a relevant subject like theoretical physics.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs (A-C) in English, maths and two science subjects
  • 3 A levels, including maths and physics
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More information

Apprenticeship

You can get into this role through a degree apprenticeship as a healthcare science practitioner.

Entry requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements.

More information

Other routes

You may be able to apply for a place on the NHS Practitioner Training Programme without a degree.

You would study for a degree in healthcare science, which includes work-based training. You could then go on to specialise in medical physics.

To apply, you'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English, maths and a science
  • at least 2 A levels including maths or a science

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, for professional development, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about careers and training in medical physics through Health Careers and the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of biology
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • maths knowledge
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • you will be expected to use a computer confidently as part of this job.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You’ll be:

  • developing and testing new systems to help investigate patients' conditions
  • monitoring equipment to make sure it’s accurate, safe and well-maintained
  • training hospital staff
  • planning treatment programmes and explaining procedures to patients
  • carrying out procedures and analysing test results
  • using computer simulations and mathematical modelling in research and development work

Working environment

You could work in a laboratory or in an NHS or private hospital.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

You could go on to lead a department, work in higher education, research, or in the medical equipment manufacturing industry.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Courses In England

Access to Science Level 3

  • Provider: Kensington and Chelsea College
  • Start date: 11 September 2019
  • Location: London

Pre-Access to Science & Nursing

  • Provider: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIA
  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: King's Lynn

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