You’ll treat and care for people whose feet and legs have been affected by injury or illness.

Working life

As a podiatrist, you’ll help people deal with a range of mobility issues, relieve pain and treat infections of the feet and lower legs. You’ll be helping patients with a variety of different issues such as: 

  • children with lower limb pain or problems walking.
  • diabetes sufferers with circulation problems who may be at risk of amputation.
  • people with sports injuries and dancers whose long hours of rehearsing and performing put stress on their feet causing injury.

You’ll work with other healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists, dietitians, GPs and nurses and in a range of settings from hospitals and community clinics to the homes of patients.

Real-life story - Alex Townsend

The profession has moved on a long way and there are so many new and exciting things that you can get involved with. There’s definitely a lot more to it than people think!

Entry requirements 

The most popular way into podiatry is through an approved degree course or a Masters degree in podiatry. It usually takes two to three years full time and over four years part-time.  Once you’ve successfully completed your degree you’ll need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) before you can start practising. The other option is to apply for a degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements for an undergraduate course are typically:

  • five GCSEs (grades A-C), including language, maths and science.
  • three A levels (or equivalent), including a biological science.

Or equivalent qualifications:

  • a BTEC, HND or HNC, including biological science.
  • a relevant NVQ.
  • a science-based access course.
  • equivalent Scottish or Irish qualifications.
  • a previous degree, or full practicing qualification in a related area.

When applying for a podiatry degree, you'll be asked to show how you think the NHS values apply in your everyday work.

Annual payments

If you're eligible, you’ll receive at least £6,000 a year to help fund your studies while at university. Your personal circumstances may mean you could receive more. And the good news? You'll never have to pay it back. Find out more. 

Degree apprenticeship

A degree apprenticeship with a healthcare provider is another way to become a podiatrist. Apprenticeships give you the chance to earn a living while gaining your qualification. Your employer and the government will pay the tuition fees, so apprenticeships aren’t eligible for student grants.

Must-have skills

Don’t forget - academic qualifications aren't everything. Podiatrists should have great communication skills and be able to make others feel relaxed. You should feel comfortable handling people’s legs and feet and be happy working alone or as part of a team.

Training and career development

Once you’ve qualified, you’ll have annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) check-ins, where we’ll discuss your career aspirations and plan how we can help you to achieve them, so you’re always moving forward. You’ll be encouraged to join the College of Podiatry where you can take courses and attend conferences or seminars.

You may also choose to specialise in sports injuries, diabetes or work with children. You could move into teaching or management in podiatry services where you’d be responsible for a team and manage budgets. Or you could also continue your training to become a podiatrist surgeon.

Pay and benefits

Your standard working week in the NHS will be around 37.5 hours and may include working some evenings or weekends.  As a podiatrist, you’ll be paid on the Agenda for Change (AFC) pay system, typically starting on band 5.

You’ll also have access to our generous pension scheme and health service discounts, as well as 27 days of annual leave plus bank holidays.

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