Job descriptions and industry overviews

Biomedical scientist: job description

19 Jul 2023, 08:45

Biomedical scientists carry out experiments to help develop medical treatments.

A biomedical scientist holding a sample in a test tube.

Biomedical scientist : Salaries | Employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Biomedical scientists test samples of tissue, blood and other specimens to help doctors diagnose and treat disease. They also monitor the effectiveness of different treatments and use this data to advise doctors and medical professionals.

Typical duties include:

  • analysing specimens of blood, tissues, urine and faeces for chemical constituents using sophisticated computer-aided and automated testing procedures.
  • analysing cultures grown from samples.
  • identifying blood groups.
  • interpreting results for and liaising with medical staff.
  • monitoring the effects of treatment and medication.
  • maintaining accurate records.
  • writing medical reports.

Graduate salaries

Salary survey websites suggest that salaries for biomedical scientists start at around £25,000. If you work in the NHS, your salary will be set according to the agenda for change pay scale so it won’t be open to negotiation. However, it will increase as you build experience.

You’ll also be entitled to London weighting if you work for the NHS in London. This is a supplement to your salary to cover the higher costs of living in the capital.

Salaries are usually higher in the private sector.

Typical employers of biomedical scientists

  • Universities.
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers.
  • Clinical pathology laboratories within NHS hospitals.
  • NHS Blood and Transplant.
  • The armed forces.
  • Private hospitals and laboratories.

Vacancies are advertised on specialist jobs boards. You’ll also find them advertised by specialist recruitment agencies.

The recruitment process may involve a technical interview. Read our article on technical interviews to find out what these involve and how you can tackle them.

Qualifications and training required

You can only become a biomedical scientist if you’re registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). To do this, you’ll need a degree approved by this organisation or to have completed an NHS practitioner training programme.

The RAF offers a biomedical science course, from which you will gain a BSc in biomedical science.

If you want to work for the NHS, you’ll need to complete the three -year NHS scientist training programme (STP) before you can progress to more senior roles.

Scotland has separate training schemes, which also involve a three-year STP or an equivalent programme.

Work experience will help your job applications stand out and also give you insights into this field of work. There are a few internships available; alongside these, look for research work, hospital laboratory placements and/or relevant experience gained using similar scientific and analytical techniques.

Key skills for biomedical scientists

  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills.
  • An analytical approach.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Sound research skills.
  • Problem-solving skills.
  • The ability to work under pressure.
  • A strong sense of responsibility for your work.
  • The ability to work as part of a team.

Next, check out our article on how to get a graduate job in science, research and development .

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This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the targetjobs content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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