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Medical

Anaesthetist

Anaesthetists are doctors who give anaesthetics to patients before, during and after surgery.

Annual Salary

£24,907 to £73,664

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

41 to 43 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; on a rota

6%
Future employment

There will be 6% more Anaesthetist jobs in 2025.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Day to day tasks

You may:

  • prepare patients for anaesthesia by explaining any risks or side effects
  • give anaesthetics to patients
  • observe and monitor patients during surgery
  • resuscitate and stabilise patients in the emergency department
  • relieve pain during childbirth
  • ease pain after an operation
  • manage acute and chronic pain
  • help patients receiving treatments like electric shock therapy
  • complete administration tasks and deal with patients on wards or in clinics

Working environment

You may need to wear a uniform.

You could work in an NHS or private hospital.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
University

To become an anaesthetist 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
  • up to 8 years of specialist training

You may be able to join a 6-year degree course in medicine if you have no A levels or equivalent qualifications in science. This includes a one-year pre-medical foundation year.

If you already have an upper second class of first 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 could be asked to take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) or BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT). They test the skills you'll need on the course, like critical thinking, problem solving, data analysis, communication and scientific knowledge.

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:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 3 A levels, or equivalent, including biology and chemistry
For more information

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Further information

You can find more details about this career from the Royal College of Anaesthetists and Health Careers.

As a consultant anaesthetist in the NHS, you may also find opportunities to work in the private sector. With experience you might lead or manage departments.

With experience and entry on the General Medical Council (GMC) Specialist Register, you could apply for senior (or consultant) roles.

You could also teach medical students, postgraduate doctors in training, nurses, midwives and paramedics.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of medicine
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of biology
  • the ability to use your judgement and make decisions
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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