1. Home: Explore careers
  2. Paediatrician


Alternative titles for this job include

Paediatricians diagnose and treat health conditions that affect babies, children and young people.

Average salary (a year)

£44,000 Starter


£81,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

41 to 48 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 a paediatrician

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


To become a paediatrician you'll need to complete:

  • a degree in medicine recognised by the General Medical Council
  • a 2-year foundation programme of general training
  • specialist training which takes a minimum of 8 years
  • A medical degree normally takes 5 years to complete. Some courses have the option to include an extra year if you want to study a subject further. This is called an intercalated year.

    You might be able to study a foundation year before starting a medical degree. This will depend on your circumstances or if you have not studied enough sciences. Check with the admissions department where you want to study.

    If you already have a degree, you could take a 4-year graduate entry route into medicine. There’s lots of competition and entry requirements vary, so check with the admissions department where you want to study.

    Entry tests

    When you apply for a course in medicine, you could be asked to take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT), BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) or Graduate Medical Schools Admissions Test (GAMSAT).

    They test the skills you'll need on the course, like critical thinking, problem solving, data analysis, communication and scientific knowledge.

    Work experience

    Medical schools will also expect you to have some relevant paid or voluntary work experience. The British Medical Association provides information on how to find a placement.

    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.

    Entry requirements

    Employers will set their own entry requirements.

    More Information


    You can gain valuable caring skills from volunteering in education, health, charity or social care settings. You could:

    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 Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the British Medical Association for professional development and training opportunities.

    Further information

    You can find out more about careers in paediatrics from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and Health Careers.

    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
    • sensitivity and understanding
    • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
    • thinking and reasoning skills
    • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
    • customer service skills
    • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
    • excellent verbal communication skills
    • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

    Restrictions and Requirements

    You'll need to:

    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:

    • assess children who are ill, injured or have disabilities
    • refer patients to specialist consultants for tests
    • prescribe medication, surgery or therapies
    • explain diagnosis and treatments to parents and children
    • write patient notes, monitor progress and produce medical reports
    • supervise and train junior medical staff

    Working environment

    You could work in an NHS or private hospital, at a health centre or in the community.

    Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

    You may need to wear a uniform.

    Career path and progression

    Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

    Career path and progression

    With experience you could:

    • become a senior consultant, once you're on the General Medical Council Specialist Register
    • lead a team or manage a department
    • become medical director for an NHS trust
    • move into teaching students, trainee doctors and other healthcare professionals

    As a specialist or senior consultant you can expect to earn a much higher salary.

    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 paediatrician 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: 11 September 2024
    • Location: Guildford

    Jobs In the United Kingdom

    The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

    Skills assessment

    Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

    Is this page useful?

    Yes No

    Thank you for your feedback.

    Thank you for your feedback. Click here if you'd like to let us know how we can improve the service.