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Medical illustrator

Medical illustrators produce illustrations, photographs and videos for use in healthcare.
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What does a medical illustrator do?

Medical illustrators produce illustrations, photographs and videos for use in healthcare. The images produced may be used for diagnostic purposes, recording patient care, or for training. You’ll need artistic ability and a good eye for detail to do this job. You’ll usually be working for a health board in the NHS, though you may also work for a smaller private hospital.

What do I need to do to become a medical illustrator?

To become a medical illustrator, you’ll usually need a degree in clinical photography, clinical illustration, or a related subject. Alternatively if you have a degree in graphic design or photography, you could apply for a trainee position and take a postgraduate qualification in clinical illustration or clinical photography. Once you're qualified, you can apply to be a professional member of the Institute of Medical Illustrators (IMI).

To get on to a clinical photography degree, you will usually need three A levels (including biology and photography) and five GCSEs (including English, and maths or science). For photography or related degrees you are likely to need at least one art and design subject at A level, preferably photography.

Level 3 vocational courses in art and design provide an alternative route for photography degrees. Check requirements with universities. 


Related skills

  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Organisation
  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Attention to detail
  • IT
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Ability to understand technical plans

Academic route

  • A levels including biology and photography

Vocational route

Level 3 courses in art and design

Related subjects

  • Art
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer science
  • Design technology
  • Media studies

Essential qualifications

  • Undergraduate degree in clinical illustration or clinical photography
  • OR an undergraduate degree in photography or a related discipline, and a postgraduate qualification in clinical photography or clinical illustration

Where to find out more


Where could I be working?

You will be working indoors, for a medium or large company.

Job families