Engineers in the NHS maintain and repair a range of equipment and facilities from ambulances to dialysis machines to air conditioning units. All are vital to a high-quality NHS. 

Working life

As an engineer, you could work in different departments using your engineering skills in different ways. You could for example be a:

Engineers usually specialise in a branch of engineering such as electrical, mechanical, building services or biomedical, for example.

In some cases engineers work in hospital departments, repairing and maintaining equipment where it has been installed. In other cases, such as in clinical engineering and rehabilitation engineering they work in a workshop where smaller equipment (such as wheelchairs or prosthetics) can be brought for repair.

Other, more senior engineers are responsible for planning and designing rather than hands-on repair work.

Entry requirements 

To train as an engineer in the NHS, you need at least 3 GCSEs including English maths and science. Employers may ask for an engineering qualification and some engineering experience. This could be from an engineering apprenticeship, for example.

Engineers can also join the NHS with an accredited engineering qualification, usually a degree or HND in a particular branch of engineering (electrical, mechanical or building services, for example). Employers usually ask for a qualification accredited by the Engineering Council. You can search for courses on their website.

To get onto an engineering degree or HND course you usually need 

or alternative qualifications, including

However, each institution sets its own entry requirements, so it’s important to check carefully.

Personal characteristics and skills 

Engineers need to be

You'll also need 

Training and development 

Engineers joining the NHS will be given the training they need to start the job. This will cover procedures and systems, including IT systems, as well as health and safety.

Qualified engineers can become members of the professional institution for their branch of engineering (see ‘Contact information’, below) 

With experience and further qualifications, engineers can apply for incorporated or chartered status. Incorporated and chartered engineers have to keep their skills and knowledge up to date with annual CPD (continuing professional development). Each professional institution runs courses, conferences and seminars where engineers can update their skills and network with others.

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