Biomedical scientist

Biomedical scientists test samples from patients, to support doctors and healthcare professionals in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Annual Salary

£22,000 to £41,250

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours


Future employment

There will be 3% more Biomedical scientist jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

You’ll usually work in a laboratory, testing and analysing biological samples. 

You’ll specialise in one of these areas:

  • infection sciences
  • blood sciences
  • cellular sciences

Depending on your chosen area, your duties could 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 monitoring 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
  • routine testing of fluid and tissue samples like cervical smear tests
  • updating paperwork or computerised systems with data and test results

You’ll also be involved in carrying out new research, and will support junior staff and technicians.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • working towards this role


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 to work.

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English, maths and a science
  • 3 A levels with good grades, including chemistry and biology


You may be able to get into biomedical science as a trainee.

You'll need at least 2 A level sciences or equivalent, like a Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science. Places are sponsored by employers, like the NHS, and are advertised as trainee biomedical scientist jobs. You'll study for an accredited degree while you work.

Further Information

You can find more advice about becoming a biomedical scientist from the Institute of Biomedical Science and Health Careers.

£22,000 to £41,250

Starter salary: £22,000 to £28,500 (Band 5)

Experienced salary: £26,250 to £35,250 (Band 6, specialist)

Consultants can earn more.

These figures are a guide.


In the NHS you’ll usually work 37.5 hours a week. You may also be expected to work evening and weekend shifts or be on-call. 

You’ll mainly work in very clean and sometimes sterile environments. 

You’ll be required to wear protective clothing.

With experience, you could move into research, training and education, product development and commerce. 

In the NHS, you could work as a team leader, specialist, manager or professional manager with further training and qualifications.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of biology
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • concentration skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent written communication skills
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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