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Podiatry assistant Chiropody assistant, footcare assistant

Podiatry assistants provide general foot treatments and nail care under the supervision of a podiatrist.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £15,250 to £22,500 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37.5 per week

1. Entry requirements

Most employers will expect you to have literacy and numeracy skills. It may help to have GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English, maths and a science.

Paid or unpaid work experience in a caring role or as a receptionist in a medical practice could give you an advantage. NHS Jobs has details of vacancies. NCVO has information about volunteering.

To work outside the NHS, you’ll need a Diploma in Foot Health Practice and to register with the regulating body. The Alliance of Private Sector Practitioners has more information.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

Health Careers has information about careers in podiatry.

You’ll need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • spoken and written communication skills
  • IT skills
  • manual skills and good hand-eye coordination
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to manage your own time and work

3. What you'll do

In the NHS you’ll work under the supervision of a qualified podiatrist. Your clients may include older people, those recovering from injury or surgery, and people with circulation problems or diabetes.

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • preparing patients for treatment by a podiatrist
  • supporting a podiatrist during a procedure
  • treating patients who have already been assessed by a podiatrist
  • cutting toe nails and applying dressings
  • carrying out general clerical tasks and making appointments
  • providing advice on foot and nail care, particularly for patients with diabetes

If you're self-employed you'll provide foot care services to the general public in private clinics, footwear chains or pharmacies.

4. Salary

Starter: £15,250 to £16,750

Experienced: £19,250 to £22,500

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 37.5 hours a week as a full-time podiatry assistant.

You'll be based in clinics, health centres or hospitals. You may also visit some patients in their own homes, so you'll need a driving licence.

In the private sector you'll usually work in private clinics or pharmacies.

You'll usually wear a uniform.

6. Career path and progression

With experience you could move up to an assistant practitioner post. You could then apply to train as a podiatrist.

If you're self-employed, you could set up your own business.

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Last updated: 13 September 2017