Podiatrists (previously known as chiropodists) treat and prevent foot and leg problems.
This page has information on the role of podiatrists with links to further information.
You will work with people’s feet and legs. You'll diagnose and treat abnormalities and offer professional advice on care of feet and legs to prevent foot problems. In the NHS, you'll see many patients at high risk of amputation, such as those suffering from arthritis or diabetes.
You'll work in:
- hospital departments or clinics
- health centres
- GPs surgeries
- their own private practice
You may visit clients who cannot leave home or are in a nursing home.
You'll also assess and treat people of all ages and situations. For example:
- children with lower limb pain or problems walking
- diabetes sufferers with circulation problems who may be at risk of amputation
- people with sports injuries
- dancers whose long hours of rehearsing and performing put stress on their feet causing injury
- people needing minor procedures such as nail surgery or laser treatment, using local anaesthetic
- people wanting advice about footwear or foot health
Want to learn more?
- Pay and conditions Expand / Collapse
Most podiatrists in the NHS work standard hours, which are likely to be around 37.5 a week. You may work some evenings. Your starting salary will be band 5 of the Agenda for Change pay rates.
Self-employed podiatrists’ hours of work depend on client needs. You may work evenings and weekends to suit private clients.
Some podiatrists have to travel between client appointments.
- Where the role can lead Expand / Collapse
In January 2018, there were 13,164 podiatrists registered with the Health and Care Professions Council.
Once qualified and registered with the HCPC, podiatrists often join the College of Podiatry. Registered podiatrists have to keep their skills and knowledge up to date with annual continuing professional development (CPD). The College of Podiatry runs courses, conferences and seminars where podiatrists can exchange ideas and update their skills.
You may choose to specialise in a particular area of practice such as sports injuries, diabetes, forensic podiatry or working with children. Other options include teaching or research.
You could also move into management, either within podiatry services or general management. As head of a local podiatry service you would be responsible both for a team of staff and for managing a budget.
Some podiatrists do further training to become podiatric surgeons. Others may decide to set up their own clinics, on their own or with other professionals.
There may be opportunities to work overseas.
- Job market and vacancies Expand / Collapse
The College of Podiatry says that 100% of all podiatry students who want a job are in employment within a year of graduation.
If you're applying for a role either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services, you'll be asked to show how you think the NHS values apply in your everyday work. The same will be true if you are applying for a university course funded by the NHS.
- Further information Expand / Collapse