Podiatrist jobs… did you know?
Podiatry is a career choice for graduates that offers patients so much more than getting your feet holiday-ready at a beauty salon!
Working with people’s feet and legs, you’ll give them professional advice on how to prevent foot problems. You’ll use your degree-level knowhow to diagnose and treat whatever they have wrong with them. You’ll also be helping those who desperately need it – if you work in the NHS, you could be working with patients who live with diabetes and arthritis and are at risk of amputation. They need their lower limbs to be life-ready, not just ready for the beach.
Podiatrist job trends
How much money can you make as a podiatrist?
£21,000 – £41,000 (UK average)
Recent labour market information says you can earn on average between £21,000 and £41,000 a year as a podiatrist in the UK.
Your starting salary can vary because of factors like level of experience, training, or location. Your salary will increase over time as you build skills, knowledge and experience.
What entry qualifications and training do you need?
School, college and training
Podiatry is a career choice for graduates because you first need to complete a BSc degree in podiatry. This is a degree course that usually takes three to four years of full-time study, although you can also study part-time.
- Common entry requirements for a podiatry degree:
- Five GCSEs (passing grades 9-4/A*-C) including English, maths and science
- Three A-levels, including a biological science
Some universities may also accept the following alternative qualifications, so check with them before you apply:
- BTEC, HND or HNC which includes biological science
- relevant NVQ
- Science-based access course
- Equivalent Scottish or Irish qualifications
- A previous degree or a full practising qualification in a related area.
After your podiatry degree
Once you’ve completed a podiatry degree, you need to be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Then you can practice as a podiatrist.
If you want to study for a range of healthcare roles, you can complete either an apprenticeship or advanced apprenticeship in healthcare. This gives you the opportunity to earn a salary working in healthcare while getting structured learning that leads to an industry-recognised qualification.
The NHS runs traineeships, apprenticeships and cadet schemes.
NHS apprenticeships are on offer at four levels:
- Intermediate (Level 2 – equivalent to five GCSES (9-4/A*-C)
- Advanced (Level 3 – equivalent to two A-levels)
- Higher (Levels 4-7 – equivalent to foundation degree or above)
- Degree apprenticeship (Levels 6-7 – equivalent to a degree)
There are some entry requirements for NHS apprenticeships. For example, to successfully apply for an Advanced Level Apprenticeship you may need four or five GCSEs or their equivalents, sometimes in particular subjects.
To start a higher apprenticeship with the NHS you may need a Level 3 qualification or enough healthcare-related experience to show you have the skills and knowledge to apply.
Visit NHS Healthcare Careers to see the range of healthcare apprenticeships on offer.
With time and experience you could become an expert in a specialised area, like sports injuries, forensic podiatry, diabetes or working with children. You could also move into the world of teaching or research.
You could progress to a management position. As head of a podiatry service you’d manage both the staff and budget. You could also move into a general management role.
Some podiatrists set up their own clinics. Some take on further training to become podiatric surgeons.
What experience do you need for podiatrist jobs?
It can help you decide if this is the right career for you if you have previously done work experience in a healthcare environment.
Any work experience where you have demonstrated your healthcare skills can help your application. Visit the NHS Work Experience website to find healthcare work experience opportunities in your area.
Examples of relevant work experience include:
- Work shadowing (even if it’s just for a day)
- Work placements in a company
- Year-long industry placements on a sandwich degree course
Volunteering and extra-curricular activities
Volunteering is a very caring thing to do because you are choosing to give up your time to help other people. Employers may be impressed to see volunteering on your CV, and any volunteering experience related to healthcare is especially useful. Maybe you have volunteered to help vulnerable people like the homeless or elderly people?
You may have been a carer yourself for someone in the family, or you have helped family relatives struggling with their health. This life experience means you know what can be involved in caring for someone’s health.
What skills do you need for podiatrist jobs?
What life and work skills do you need to make a great podiatrist?
Useful skills to highlight when applying for a position include:
- Good customer care skills – you can reassure patients and deal with calmly
- Good organisation skills because you’ll be responsible for people with a range of different needs
- Good problem solving skills – you’ll need to diagnose any issues the patients may have
- Writing and spoken communication skills – you need to have great listening skills as well as being able to communicate advice and next steps clearly
- Teamworking skills – you could be working as part of a team of podiatrists.
Vocational qualifications and work experience will help you build these skills over time.
You can start to build these skills right now when you sign up with Youth Employment UK to get free Young Professional training.
What does a podiatrist do?
You could work in a high street store, private clinic, sports club, health centre, GP surgery or hospital. You might also visit patients in their own homes or in a nursing home if they’re unable to travel.
Your top responsibilities include:
- Diagnosing and treating sports injuries
- Giving advice to patients about foot health
- Discussing treatment options with patients
- Screening children for foot problems
- Keeping patient records
- Carrying out treatments including minor procedures using chemicals, local anaesthetics and scalpels
Some of the people you could treat include:
- Sports people with sports injuries, or dancers who put a lot of stress on their feet
- Children who have problems walking
- People who need minor procedures like laser treatment or nail surgery
- People who want advice about foot health and footwear.
Your first steps into podiatrist jobs
Podiatrist jobs are advertised under different job titles. When you’re looking on job boards, look for the following types of job:
- Rehabilitation assistant
- Junior podiatrist
- Locum podiatrist