Biomedical scientists screen patient samples and help doctors and healthcare professionals to diagnose and treat disease. They have a sound knowledge of biology, biochemistry and chemistry.

You may specialise in one of three areas: Infection Science - medical microbiology (the study of micro-organisms), virology (the study of viruses), immunology (the study of the immune system); Blood Sciences - blood transfusion science, clinical chemistry (the study of body fluids and the adverse effects of chemicals on the body), haematology (the study of blood); or Cellular Sciences - cytology (the study of cells), histopathology (the study of human tissue) and reproductive science.

Day-to-Day Activities

This will depend on your chosen area, and may include:

  • testing for diseases like Legionnaires' disease and food poisoning
  • screening and testing for infectious diseases like rubella or hepatitis
  • analysing blood for disease and monitor organ function
  • supporting the blood transfusion and transplant service through blood grouping and matching
  • screening for blood abnormalities and diseases, like anaemia and leukaemia
  • processing and analysing tissue samples from operations and autopsies
  • using specialist procedures like cell culture to detect cancer
  • routinely test fluid and tissue samples like cervical smear tests
  • updating paperwork or computerised systems with data and test results.

Technology Skills

  • Electronic mail software: e.g. Google Gmail, Linux-based email software, Microsoft Outlook, Yahoo! Email
  • Medical software: e.g. MEDITECH software, Test result delivery software, Test routing software
  • Office suite software: e.g. Apple iWork, Corel Office Suite, Google Drive, LibreOffice, Microsoft Office, OpenOffice.org

Employment Prospects

  • 105,758 biomedical scientists are employed in the UK.
  • New job opportunities are very likely in the future.

Working Environment

  • Evenings
  • On Call
  • Shift Work
  • Weekends & Public Holidays
  • Hands-On
  • In the Lab

Time - Average of 39 hours per week.

Compare with the paid time worked by full-time employees in the UK.

34
45
Pay - Average of £820 per week.

Compare with the pay, excluding overtime, for full-time employees across the UK.

£312
£1067

Route to Employment

graph TD; id0(<label>Employment<br>as a<br> Biomedical Scientist</label>); id1(<label>GCSEs</label><section><p>Mathematics<br>English Language</p></section><span><p>Physics<br>Biology<br>Chemistry<br>Combined Science</p></span>); id2(<label>A-Levels</label><section><p>Biology<br>Chemistry</p></section><span><p>Mathematics<br>Physics</p></span>); id3(<label>UG Degree</label><section><p>Biomedical Science<br>Healthcare Science<br>Applied<br>Biomedical Science</p></section>); id1-->id2; id2-->id3; id3-->id0; class id0 employ;

GCSEs

A-Levels

Other Information

You could do a degree accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science, or train through the NHS Practitioner Training Programme and complete a degree in healthcare science. Your course will include work placements so you can get industry experience and evidence to complete a training portfolio. You'll need this to register with the Health and Care Professions Council in order to work in the NHS.

Popular Degree Subjects

The most common degree subjects to be a Biomedical Scientist

Universities

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Skills Needed

Skills Key:

  • Written Communication
  • Oral Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Judgment & Decision Making
  • Problem Solving
  • Teamwork
  • Customer Service
  • Research

Interests Needed

Interests Key:

  • Investigative
  • Realistic
  • Conventional

Knowledge Needed

Knowledge Key:

  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Biology
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Chemistry
  • English Language
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Clerical

Abilities Needed

Abilities Key:

  • Oral Comprehension
  • Oral Expression
  • Written Expression
  • Category Flexibility
  • Written Comprehension
  • Selective Attention
  • Inductive Reasoning
  • Near Vision

Work Styles Needed

Work Styles Key:

  • Attention to Detail
  • Dependability
  • Integrity
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Cooperation
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Adaptability & Flexibility
  • Self Control

Develop your Skills

Further Information

Where to look for work

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