Podiatrists diagnose and treat foot and ankle problems, improving people's mobility and quality of life.
1. Entry requirements
To work as a podiatrist, you need:
- a degree in podiatry approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
- to register with the HCPC
- membership of a professional body in chiropody or podiatry
You may be able to get NHS funding to pay for your course fees and help with your living expenses.
2. Skills required
- customer care skills
- the ability to deal calmly with all types of people
- practical skills to carry out delicate treatments
- organisational skills
- business skills, if you're self-employed
3. What you'll do
You could work in a private clinic, sports club or high street store. You could treat anyone from athletes with sports injuries to elderly people with arthritis. Your day-to-day tasks will include:
- diagnosing and treating sports injuries
- talking to patients about foot health, and giving talks to groups
- sharing information with other health professionals like GPs
- discussing treatment options with patients
- carrying out treatments and minor surgery using scalpels, chemicals and local anaesthetics
- screening children for foot problems
- keeping patient records
- supervising assistants
Starter: £21,000 to £28,000
Experienced: £26,000 to £35,000
Highly Experienced: £41,000
Podiatrists in private practice may earn more. Salaries depend on the type of podiatry and treatments you provide.
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environment
You'll usually work around 37 hours a week. If you're self-employed or in private practice, you may work different hours.
You'll usually work in a clinic attached to a hospital, health centre or GP surgery. You could also treat patients in their own homes or in residential and nursing homes. Some jobs may include visiting schools or attending sporting events.
6. Career path and progression
You could focus on a specialist area like surgery or orthotics, designing and fitting appliances like braces and in-shoe correction aids.
You could join a professional body to get access to training in areas like nail surgery, diabetes and wound care.
You could set up your own practice. Some people combine this with part-time working in the NHS.
You could study for a Master’s (MSc) or PhD and move into research or teaching.
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Last updated: 11 April 2017