How to Become a Paediatrician in the United Kingdom

06 Sep 2023

Education and Salary 

Working in this branch of medicine that deals with the wellbeing and care of  infants, children, and adolescents, is a very rewarding and personally fulfilling and equally challenging career. Becoming a specialist paediatrician in the UK involves extensive postgraduate and residency education and significant clinical experience. If you're considering this path here is a guide to help you understand the journey, as well understanding the potential salary you can expect. 

1. Undergraduate Medical Degree

Clearly you first must complete your undergraduate Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS or MBChB) degree. This undergraduate programme typically lasts five years in most medical schools and countries. Some universities also offer a Graduate Entry Programme, which is an accelerated four-year programme for those students who already have a first degree in a related subject. 

2. Foundation Training

Upon completing your medical degree, you'll enter a structured two-year foundation programme completed by all new graduates. 

Foundation Year 1 (F1): This year serves as a bridge between medical school and specialist training. You'll work as a junior doctor and rotate through various specialties to gain a broad range of experience. 

Foundation Year 2 (F2): Here, you'll further develop your skills and can begin to choose rotations in your areas of personal career interest such as paediatrics . 

3. Core Paediatric Training

On completion of your foundation training you'll need to undergo core paediatric training, which normally lasts three years. This phase, also referred to as Specialty Training Years 1 to 3 (ST1-ST3), involves rotations in various paediatric sub-specialities and helps you build essential skills. 

4. Specialist Paediatric Training

Following core training, you will focus your training into specialist paediatric training, which spans five years (ST4-ST8). This period allows you to choose a sub-speciality within paediatrics, such as neonatology, general paediatric or more specialised area like paediatric cardiology, paediatric gastroenterology or many others. 

5. Membership Examinations

To progress through this structured paediatric training, you will need to pass the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) exams. These are essential for both core and specialist training stages and details are available here.

At iheed we have a hugely popular Diploma in Child Health which enrols 300+ physicians per annum. Many of the participants on this programme are trainee junior doctors at the start of paediatric speciality training. They find the programme immensely useful in preparing for their first RCPCH examinations. 

6. Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT)

Upon successfully completing your specialist training and passing all necessary exams, you will be awarded the CCT. This certification recognises that you've completed all requisite training in paediatrics and are eligible to be a consultant paediatrician. 

Salary Overview

Salaries for paediatricians in the UK vary based on experience, location, and sub-speciality. Here's a general breakdown: 

  • Foundation Year Doctors: Earnings typically range from £28,000 to £32,000 during F1 and can increase to between £32,000 and £37,000 in F2. 

  • Specialty Trainee Doctors: As you enter your core and specialist paediatric training (ST1-ST8), you can expect salaries ranging from £38,000 to £50,000 initially, with this figure rising as you gain more experience. 

  • Consultant Paediatricians: Once you achieve consultant status, your starting salary can be around £82,000, potentially rising to over £110,000 with experience and additional responsibilities. 

It's worth noting that salaries can be influenced by factors such as working in high-cost areas, taking on additional responsibilities, or working unsociable hours. 


Embarking on a career as a paediatrician in the UK is both a rewarding and challenging. It requires dedication, years of study, and hands-on experience like all specialist training but the rewards, both in terms of personal fulfilment and financial remuneration are excellent. If you are passionate about making a difference in the lives of children and their families and communities then paediatrics is a great career choice. Remember that we offer a range of high quality medical courses online here at iheed covering a range of fields so we are sure that you will find the best course for your needs with us.

Dr Tom O’Callaghan Profile Image

Dr Tom O’Callaghan, CEO and Founder of iheed

06 Sep 2023