Medical physicist

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

Average salary (a year)

£31,365 Starter

to

£51,668 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 at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, 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
  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • analytical thinking skills
  • maths knowledge
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • science skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role, you could:

  • develop and test new systems to help investigate patients' conditions
  • monitor equipment to make sure it’s accurate, safe and well-maintained
  • train hospital staff
  • plan treatment programmes and explain procedures to patients
  • carry out procedures and analysing test results
  • use 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.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Associate Practitioner- Apprentice Biomedical Scientist

  • Wage : £18,961.00 Annually
  • Location: BS10 5NB

Apprentice Healthcare Science Practitioner -Cardiac Physiology

  • Wage : £21,142.00 Annually
  • Location: BN11 2DH

Courses In England

L3 Access to Higher Education Diploma - Science

  • Provider: TELFORD COLLEGE
  • Start date: 01 September 2020

Access to HE Science

  • Provider: BOURNEMOUTH AND POOLE COLLEGE, THE
  • Start date: 07 September 2020
  • Location: Poole

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