A career in podiatry

Podiatrists use their skills to assess, diagnose and treat foot and lower limb conditions, helping to keep us mobile and pain-free. They are in high demand in the UK. People from all walks of life, with differing skills and qualifications, find podiatry a fulfilling and fascinating career

Find out where you can train as a podiatrist

What is a podiatrist?

Podiatrists are highly skilled healthcare professionals trained to assess, diagnose, prevent, treat, and rehabilitate complications of the foot and lower limb.

They manage foot, ankle, and lower limb musculoskeletal pain, skin conditions of the legs and feet, treat infection and assess and manage lower limb neurological and circulatory disorders.

Podiatrists are unique in working across conditions and the life course rather than a disease-specific area.

How do I train for a career in podiatry?

There are a number of ways in which you can train for a career in podiatry depending on your background, experience, skills and qualifications.
Whilst some train for a career in podiatry via the traditional undergraduate route, many take up podiatry after careers in the armed forces or in professional sports. Others move across to podiatry from other allied health professions. We also have the increasingly popular apprenticeship route into the profession.

Find out more below.
school leaver

School leavers entering podiatry

If you are just leaving school and thinking about a career, podiatry offers almost certain employment and endless opportunities. 

As a school leaver, there are a few different ways in which you can study and qualify as a podiatrist.

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The undergraduate route

To become a qualified podiatrist in the UK, you need to complete an undergraduate degree that has been approved by the Health and Care Professions Council.

Degree courses typically span three to four years and equip students with the necessary knowledge and practical skills to practise as a podiatrist.

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podiatry second career

Podiatry as a second career

Many people entering podiatry do so following successful careers elsewhere, such as in the armed forces or as other allied health professionals. Many bring highly transferable skills and experience to their new profession.

There are many benefits to choosing podiatry as a second career. 

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The apprenticeship route

Apprenticeships are paid jobs that allow you to learn and work at the same time.

In recent years the apprenticeship route has been a popular way to enter the profession, learning alongside more experienced members of our profession.

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international student

International entry into UK podiatry

In recent years, international recruitment has proved to be a successful means of filling the gaps in the UK podiatry workforce. Recruits from outside the UK often bring their own knowlege, skills and expertise to benefit the existing workforce and to enhance the level of care we offer to our patients.

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support worker

Support worker pathways

If you are already working in a podiatric setting as a support worker - maybe as a foot care assistant, foot health practitioner, or assistant practitioner - there are pathways available to you to become an HCPC registered podiatrist.

Find out more here


Podiatry after professional sport

A career in professional sports brings with it skills in teamwork, communication, discipline, and leadership, as well as an understanding of anatomy and body movement. Find out how you can transfer your skills to a new career in podiatry.

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Where to study and funding

There are 15 podiatry programmes across the UK and Ireland offering a range of training options to become a podiatrist.

Financial support will vary depending on which part of the UK you study in and where you lived prior to starting your degree.

Career opportunities for podiatrists

There are a suprising number of ways you can use your podiatry training, depending on which sector you choose to work in, and whether you wish to specialise in a particular clinical area.

Podiatry within the NHS

Working as a podiatrist within the NHS means you'll be helping people with a range of conditions and helping to keep patients active and pain-free.

You will also have the opportunity to work with other healthcare professionals such as nurses, physiotherapists, dieticians and GPs.

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Independent practice

Independent practice

Prefer to be your own boss and find the work/life balance that works for you? Then think about setting up in private practice, whether clinic-based or as a domiciliary practitioner.

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podiatric surgery

Podiatric surgery

Podiatric surgeons are highly skilled clinicians who work with the surgical management of the bones, joints and soft tissues of the foot and associated structures. 

Podiatric surgeons undertake rigorous academic and practical study to qualify to perform foot and ankle surgery.

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Education and research

Podiatry is a evolving profession, constantly researching and developing new ways and better solutions for our patients. If you loved the academic side of your career path, then there are career opportunities in research, academia and education available to you.

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How much can I earn once I am qualified?

Putting a number to it is not that easy but here are a few examples.

Working in the NHS

  • Podiatrist (band 5) £28,407 to £34,581
  • Specialist podiatrist (band 6) £35,392 to £42,618
  • Team leader, Advanced podiatrist (band 7) £43,742 to £50,056
  • Specialist Registrar in Podiatric Surgery or Consultant Podiatrist in Podiatric Medicine (band 8 a – d) £50,952 to £96,376
  • Consultant Podiatric Surgeon (band 9) £99,891 to £114,949

Source: Pay scales for 2023/24: https://www.nhsemployers.org/articles/pay-scales-202324

Working in Private Practice

  • Working in a private practice you can earn around £20,000 – £50,000 per annum
  • Owning a successful single chair private practice you can earn around £50,0000 – £250,000
  • Owning a successful multi-chair private practice you can earn around £100,000 – £500,000
  • Owning a successful multi-site private practice you can earn around £150,000 – £1,000,000+

Source: Prospects: podiatrist job profile: https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/podiatrist

Specialist areas of practice

There's a lot more to podiatry than many people realise. Most podiatrists start their professional life working in general clinics. As their career progresses and their clinical skills develop, many identify areas of practice that really interest them and so they steer their career in that direction

  • Diabetes
  • Vascular
  • Dermatology
  • Paediatric biomechanics
  • MSK
  • Rheumatology
  • Orthotic manufacture
  • Nail surgery
  • Wound care
  • Rehabilitation
  • Biomechanics
  • Gait and pressure analysis

Case Studies

Click a box to view the case study

Contact us

Want to talk to us about a career in podiatry? Go to our Contact us page, select the 'Feedback' option, and fill in details of your enquiry.

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*Standard contact hours. These hours are subject to change due to bank holidays and festive periods