Working as a Medical Professional in the UK

Working as a Medical Professional in the UK

Sarah Peddie

Here at Odyssey Recruitment, we help medical professionals around the world secure their dream job in their choice of location. We offer many different professions in a range of different countries overseas. 

In this series, we will take a look at what it is like to work as a medical professional in the countries our clients are based in to help you decide whether it suits you.

Article 6 - A guide to working as a Medical Professional in the United Kingdom

The UK is known to have one of the most progressive healthcare systems in the world. If you are working for the National Health Service or a private healthcare provider then you will be part of a national workforce that will deliver first-class care. 

The NHS covers the whole of the UK and is still mostly free at the point of delivery. There are some exemptions across the four different countries but there are no charges seeing a doctor or treatment in hospital. The private sector in the UK is quite small with around 11 percent of the population opting for private healthcare insurance. 

The majority of the staff in the NHS are from the UK but around 15 percent are non-British nationals which accounts to almost one in seven. 


The UK is one of the most popular places to work for doctors and other medical professionals. 

The NHS currently employs around 1.7 million people - just under half of these people are clinically qualified which includes just under 40,000 GPs, 370,000 nurses, 18,000 ambulance staff and 105,000 hospital and community health service medical and dental staff.

NHS England is by far the biggest system which caters for around 55 million people and the system employs around 1.3 million people.

There are still many job opportunities within the NHS - mostly at consultant level and speciality roles. GP roles are also widely available. 

Salaries and benefits

Junior Doctors can earn over £27,000 in their first year and this rises to £32,000 in the second year. You can get extra pay if you work over 40 hours a week. There is also a 37 percent enhancement for working nights and allowances for weekend and on-call work. 

Speciality doctors can earn £41,000 up to £76,000 per year on basic pay. Consultant can earn £82,000 to £110,000 on basic pay each year. 

Salaried GPs and doctors receive additional benefits such as sick pay, holiday and maternity pay.

Medical registration

All doctors must have registration with a license to legally practise within the UK. The license to practise is issued by the General Medical Council and it applies to all doctors whether they work for the NHS or private healthcare sector. It applies to full and part-time staff as well as permanent and locum positions. 

Doctors who have never been registered with the GMC before will have to apply for registration with a license to practise - you will not be able to apply for registration without a license.

Are you looking for a job in the medical sector? Then register with Odyssey Recruitment today and we could help you find the perfect job!