Laboratory & Medical Technical

Immunologists are scientists or clinicians who specialise in the body's defence system. The work may be laboratory-based or patient-facing.

Work Activities

Responsibilities in laboratory-based work include:

  • undertaking original medical research
  • designing, planning and carrying out controlled experiments and trials
  • devising and testing hypotheses using appropriate analytical techniques
  • analysing and interpreting data
  • writing reports, reviews and papers
  • applying for research funding
  • attending conferences throughout the world
  • keeping up to date with current research within the field

Responsibilities in patient-facing work include:

  • diagnosing and treating patients with immune disorders or allergies
  • prescribing drugs and therapies
  • analysing patient samples
  • monitoring transplant patients
  • giving advice to other medical staff about tests and treatments

Personal Qualities and Skills

Key skills for immunologists

  • A logical and independent mind
  • Meticulous attention to detail
  • Excellent written English
  • Communication skills
  • Good teamworking abilities


Pay And Opportunities

Typical employers of immunologists

Immunologists are employed by the NHS, private healthcare groups, universities and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Vacancies are advertised online (including the NHS careers website), by recruitment agencies and careers services, in newspapers and in scientific publications such as New Scientist, Nature and Science Magazine.

  • The recruitment process is likely to involve a technical interview. read the TARGETjobs article on technical interviews to find out what these involve and how you can tackle them.


Qualifications and training required

Vacancies require a good honours degree in an appropriate life, medical or physical science. Possession of a relevant postgraduate qualification is beneficial, and normally essential for research posts. read the TARGETjobs article on scientific postgraduate study to explore your different options and visit the science section of TARGETpostgrad for lots more advice.

Candidates should also possess membership to the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP) or equivalent. All candidates must have a good scientific background and practical laboratory work experience.

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