Sketch out a career as a medical illustrator

MEDICALl illustrators, also known as clinical photographers, produce photographs, videos and other graphical images for use in the healthcare sector.

They also use their graphic design, editing and artistic skills to produce materials for medical lectures and conferences.

As a medical illustrator, your key duties would usually include: clinical photography, taking photographs for use in monitoring the effectiveness of operations and treatments over a period of time and using specialist equipment and techniques to capture 3-D images of structures like the eye, and to record specific procedures.

You might also produce artwork for educational posters, leaflets, publicity and corporate materials, annual reports, staff newspapers and organisations’ websites.

You would work closely with both healthcare professionals and patients in a range of settings around hospitals and university medical departments.

You would typically work 37.5 hours a week, Monday to Friday, with the possibility of on-call duties and occasional overtime. Job-sharing and part-time hours may also be possible.

You could be based in a clinic, hospital ward, studio or operating theatre. You may occasionally be faced with unpleasant or upsetting situations.

Medical illustrators can earn between £20,700 and £26,800 a year. With experience this can rise to around £33,000 to £39,000.

To apply for a trainee post, you will usually need at least a relevant foundation degree or BTEC HND, plus a portfolio of images.

Increasingly, you will need a degree in a subject such as clinical photography, medical illustration or photography. Check with course providers for details of entry requirements.