All you need to know about working as a podiatrist in the UK

What is a podiatrist?

A podiatrist, sometimes referred to as a chiropodist, is a healthcare professional specially trained to diagnose and treat conditions of the feet and lower limbs. This includes preventative care, diagnosis and treatment of a range of conditions including infections, injuries and foot and nail conditions related to other conditions including diabetes. A podiatrist can enhance patients’ independence and quality of life by keeping people mobile and active, relieving pain, treating infections, advising on how to keep feet healthy and the correct type of shoes to wear.

It’s common for podiatrists to start their career within the NHS, either in a hospital, clinic or GP Surgery. Many then move into private practice which can be in a high street clinic, sports club, care home or occupational health. After gaining experience some podiatrists decide to set up their own private practice, teach, or go into research. Podiatrists may choose to specialise in areas such as podiatric surgery, nail surgery, biomechanics, rehabilitation or specific conditions such as diabetes.

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What is a podiatrist’s salary?

A podiatrist salary falls in line with the NHS pay structure. Entry-level salaries within the NHS range from £28,407 to £34,581 (band 5 of the NHS Agenda for Change (AfC) Pay Rates). 

Specialist salary levels range from £35,392 to £42,618 (band 6), rising to £43,742 to £50,056 (band 7) for team leader and advanced podiatrist roles. 

Salaries at consultant podiatrist or specialist registrar in podiatric surgery can range from £50,952 to £96,376 (bands 8a—d). At the very highest level, consultant podiatric surgeons can earn up to £114,949 (band 9). 

Your income can also be affected by your experience, geographical location, the type of podiatry you practice, the type of treatment provided, reputation and hours worked.

Key podiatrist qualifications and skills

To practice as a podiatrist, you must have completed an approved podiatry degree lasting three or four years and be registered with the HCPC. You’ll also be required to have an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check or Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) membership scheme in Scotland – and occupational health clearance. It’s common to pursue podiatry following a career in biology, nursing, physiotherapy and sports science.

Working as a locum podiatrist in the UK

To work as a locum podiatrist in the UK, you’ll be asked to complete a range of documentation including health screening forms and criminal record checks. Pulse has a dedicated compliance team to help with this process. We’ll assist you with any aspect of the registration process, including providing free training courses.

Key benefits of locum work:

  • Flexibility: Take assignments around travel and holiday plans.
  • Variety: Gain experience in a range of different UK cities and cover a range of different caseloads.
  • Money: Locums typically earn 30-40% more than podiatrists in permanent positions.
  • Security of work: Although the typical locum contract is around 3 months, many are offered extensions.
  • Opportunity: With the high number of vacancies, there will always be opportunities.

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Top 3 cities to work in the UK and why

It’s important to put down roots somewhere that you’re going to enjoy spending time. These are the best cities to live and work in based on the number of podiatry jobs regularly available.


Nothing prepares you for your first taste of London. This great world city is far more than just the capital of the United Kingdom. London is bustling, vibrant, multicultural and cosmopolitan. London is both old and new, a place where traditional pubs rub shoulders with the newest cocktail bars. Its most ancient castle is right next door to its newest skyscrapers. London’s energy, as 8.6 million people go about their everyday lives, is tangible in every journey on the Underground and every walk along the banks of the River Thames. From the palaces of shopping to the real Buckingham Palace, London does have it all.

London’s many neighbourhoods radiate out of the centre. Those who live there tend to define themselves as living north or south of the River Thames. In many ways, these neighbourhoods are a series of villages, each with their own identity.

Camden, Hampstead and Islington in north London are traditionally home to the literary and liberal political elite as well as to some of London’s best restaurants. Lambeth to the south has Lambeth Palace, the London home of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Nearby, buzzing Brixton is multicultural London at its finest. Chelsea, Mayfair and Kensington are West London’s richest residential neighbourhoods, all north of the river. East London’s districts of Hoxton, Shoreditch and Clerkenwell are now the capital’s trendiest areas for art galleries, night clubs and the newest cocktail bars.

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If ever there was a city with a story to tell, it’s Bristol. Located in the hills of South West England, it has its own unmistakable identity, carved out by passionate locals and spirited fans. Bristol is a midsized city located in southwest England (about 2 hours from London by train).

Discover things to do in a city with centuries-old heritage and irrepressible creative spirit. You can float over historic landmarks in a beautiful balloon, seek out world-class street art and follow the sound of live music flowing into cobbled streets.

It’s a very liveable city and, in addition to having a fascinating history, it’s close to some top attractions in, such as Bath, Stonehenge, Salisbury and more.

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Leeds is a vibrant, modern city with a rich industrial past and on the doorstep of the natural beauty of the Yorkshire Dales. The unofficial capital of Yorkshire, Leeds is located in the heart of the UK and can be easily reached by road, rail or air. Whether you’re looking for culture, history, shopping or just to wander and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, there’s so much to experience in Leeds. It’s the proud home to world-class theatre performance, music and dance, award-winning restaurants, a wealth of attractions and breath-taking architecture.

If you love a thriving city centre as much as a peaceful countryside vista, then Leeds could be the perfect place for you. Much like London and Birmingham, Leeds feels like a cohesive collection of commuter villages around a city centre, each area with its distinctive features, while still feeling very much like part of the city as a whole.

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