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Biochemists study the way living organisms work. They study the chemistry of living cells at all levels, from viruses and bacteria to plants, animals and human beings. If working in the area of human health, they are also called clinical biochemists or clinical scientists.

The Work

You could be:


The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:

Registered clinical scientists (biochemistry) in the NHS are generally on Agenda for Change Band 7, £40,872 to £47,846 a year. Principal clinical biochemists are on Band 8a, £50,470 to £54,482 a year and Band 8b, £60,730 to £65,377 a year. Pre-registration trainees are on Band 6, £33,072 to £40,736 a year.

You could also work as a specialist biomedical scientist (biochemistry) within the NHS on Band 6, £33,072 to £40,736 a year.

The current pay scales are from April 2021.

Pay rates in the private sector vary.

Salaries for research posts at universities range from around £30,000 up to £45,000 a year.


You would probably work in a laboratory, which could be in:

In all cases:

Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

Adverts for posts for clinical biochemists in Scotland usually appear in professional body journals and in the New Scientist. You will also find posts advertised on the NHS Scotland Recruitment website.

What Does it Take?

You need to be:

You should have:


Getting On



The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine (ACB)
Tel: 020 7403 8001
Twitter: @ABPI_UK

Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)
Tel: 0207 9303477
Twitter: @ABPI_UK

Biochemical Society
Tel: 020 3880 2793
Twitter: @BiochemSoc

You can download a free careers booklet for young people from the website.

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
Tel: 0300 500 6184
Twitter: @The_HCPC

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) is the UK-wide regulatory body responsible for setting and maintaining standards of professional training, performance and conduct in the following health care professions: Arts Therapists; Audiologist; Biomedical Scientist; Chiropodist and Podiatrist; Clinical Scientist; Dietician; Dramatherapist; Occupational Therapist; Operating Department Practitioner; Orthoptist; Paramedic; Physiotherapist; Practitioner Psychologist; Prosthetist and Orthotist; Radiographer; Speech and Language Therapist. (The HCPC may regulate other healthcare professions in the future.) The HCPC website contains a register of all approved courses in the above professions.

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