Podiatrist

chiropodist
Healthcare
Care

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would diagnose and treat foot and ankle disorders to help people stay active and mobile.

As a podiatrist - sometimes called a chiropodist - you'd give people advice about keeping their feet healthy, choosing footwear and how to prevent problems.

You would see a wide range of patients including:

  • Athletes with sports injuries
  • Elderly people with arthritis
  • Children with lower leg pain or walking problems

You would:

  • Assess and diagnose people’s injuries and issues
  • Discuss options for treatment with patients
  • Carry out treatments and minor surgery using scalpels, chemicals and local anaesthetics
  • Screen children for foot problems
  • Diagnose and treat sports injuries
  • Advise people about how to take care of their feet so problems don’t re-occur

For people who are at high risk of foot injury or disability, such as people with diabetes, you’d provide long-term care.

You’d need to plan workloads to spend time with patients and keep accurate records of their treatment.

You’d supervise chiropody/podiatry assistants. You would also work with other health professionals, such as orthopaedic specialists, GPs and health visitors.

You could be self-employed, work in the private sector or work for the National Health Service (NHS). 

You can see more about this role in the National Health Service on the Podiatrist page on the NHSScotland Careers website

Working conditions

Hours

You will usually work 37.5 hours a week over five days. If you are self-employed or in private practice, you may work outside of these hours to fit in with patients. Once qualified as a podiatrist, you can choose to be self-employed.

Environment

You will usually work in a clinic, which could be attached to a hospital, health centre or GP surgery. You could also treat patients in their own homes or in residential and nursing homes. Some jobs may include visiting schools or attending sporting events. If you are self-employed you can set up your own private practice or be a self-employed locum working in private practices and private hospitals.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Listening to people
  • Explaining things
  • Caring for people
  • Working with your hands
  • Planning and organising
  • Time management

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

Keep track of your skills in your account and find the jobs, opportunities and courses that suit you.

Click here to view / add your skills

Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.

Qualifications

You would need a degree (BSc Hons) in Podiatry (SCQF level 10).

To enter a podiatry degree (SCQF level 9/10) usually requires National 5 qualifications and four Highers at BBBC or above, including English and a science subject.

Useful subjects

Many courses require:

  • English
  • Maths
  • At least one science subject

You will also need

When you complete your course you gain UK state registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). You must have this to work in the NHS.

You will need to be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland.

Helpful to have

Qualifications that demonstrate understanding of health and wellbeing such as:

  • Skills for Work Health Sector (SCQF level 4/5)
  • Health and Social Care (SCQF level 6)
  • SQA Wellbeing Award (SCQF level 3-5)