Surgeon

Surgeons carry out operations and medical procedures on patients.

Average salary (a year)

£26,350 Starter

to

£102,500 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

41 to 43 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on a rota

How to become a Surgeon

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course

University

To become a surgeon you'll need to complete:

  • a 5-year degree in medicine, recognised by the General Medical Council
  • a 2-year foundation programme of general training
  • 2 years of core surgical training in a hospital
  • up to 6 years of specialist training

You may be able to join a 6-year degree course in medicine without A levels or equivalent qualifications in science. The course includes a one-year pre-medical foundation year.

If you already have a first class or upper second class science degree, you could take a 4-year graduate entry route into medicine. Some universities will also accept non-science graduates.

When you apply for a course in medicine, you may be asked to take the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) or the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) to check your suitability for a career in medicine.

There's a lot of competition for places on medical degrees. Most university admissions departments will expect you to have done some relevant paid or voluntary experience.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 7 GCSEs, including sciences, with 5 subjects at grades 9 to 7 (A* or A) and English and maths at least grade 6 to 5 (B)
  • 3 A levels, including chemistry, biology and either physics or maths

More information

More information

Registration

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a surgeon from the Royal College of Surgeons and Health Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • customer service skills
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to read English
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could be:

  • meeting the patient before the operation to decide on the best course of action
  • explaining the procedures and risk
  • taking tests and arrange X-rays
  • carrying out operations with a team of people
  • carrying out ward rounds
  • writing to GPs about your patients’ conditions and treatments

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

You may need to wear protective clothing and a uniform.

Career path and progression

With experience and entry on the General Medical Council (GMC) Specialist Register, you could apply for senior (or consultant) roles, go on to lead a team, or manage a department. 

You could also progress to teaching and training students, trainee doctors and other healthcare professionals.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Surgeon 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 Science Level 3

  • Provider: Kensington and Chelsea College
  • Start date: 10 September 2019
  • Location: London

Access to Science L3

  • Provider: MidKent College
  • Start date: 09 September 2019
  • Location: Gillingham

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