Alternative Careers for Doctors: Salaries and Descriptions

Updated 19 April 2023

It's a significant decision to renounce a career in medicine in favour of other employment opportunities. The good news is that there are numerous career opportunities available to you as a doctor outside of medicine. You may want to apply some of the technical and transferable skills associated with medicine in your next career. In this article, we provide you with a few alternative careers for doctors you may want to pursue.

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9 alternative careers for doctors

There are many alternative careers you can pursue outside medicine. These career opportunities require some of the same technical skills you may have learned during your career as a doctor. Here are some alternative careers for doctors you may want to consider:

1. Tutor

National average salary: £21.31 per hour

Primary duties: Teaching is a lucrative career path you can pursue with your medical degree. You may choose to further your education and teach rather than practice medicine. If the demand for fieldwork is the reason why you're looking for other career opportunities outside of medicine. With your medical degree, you can consider a career in education because almost all doctors can teach effectively. As a result, this can be a seamless transition for you.

2. Medical administrator

National average salary:£19,882 per year

Primary duties: Outside a career in medicine, there are several administrative opportunities available. All you have to do is choose what administrative area you want to pursue. You could be a researcher or in charge of the administrative unit of a hospital. Other opportunities include clinic manager, consultant, health information manager or home care manager.

Related: Technical Skills: Definitions and Examples

3. Technical writer

National average salary: £36,214 per year

Primary duties: You can choose to work as a freelance writer for a variety of businesses. You may want to work exclusively in the medical field and become a technical writer. This means that you can earn a higher hourly rate as you have the skills and expertise in the topic that few writers have. You may also accept work on other general topics to increase your earning and secure, consistent opportunities and clients. To start a career as a writer, you may use freelance platforms and apply for writing jobs.

4. Health consultant

National average salary: £48,014 per year

Primary duties: Given your interest in a career in medicine, you may consider international organisations that could benefit from your skills and expertise. Apply for positions as an executive, a team leader or a consultant. Additionally, you may also consider collaborating with non-profit and charitable organisations that provide medical services on a global scale. Alternatively, you could volunteer or work as a paid trainer for other physicians.

5. Medical lawyer

National average salary: £49,146 per year

Primary duties: The knowledge gained as a doctor could make you unique amongst other medical lawyers. Medical law entails settling medical-related court cases. These cases range from doctor-patient issues and health institutions cases, amongst others. To pursue a career in medical law, enrol for a law degree.

6. Medical recruitment consultant

National average salary: £93,299 per year

Primary duties: A medical recruitment consultant position helps you deploy your knowledge in medicine effortlessly. It could be demanding to hit or exceed targets your employer sets for you. Nevertheless, from experience gained as a doctor, you have just the right amount of knowledge to recruit the best talents. Even better, you can match individuals to the most appropriate business units.

7. Career counsellor

National average salary: £36,657 per year

Primary duties: Choosing a career change advisor is worth your consideration. You're making a career change yourself, so learning as much as possible about career change offers some advantages. After you become established, you could build a paid career around offering career change advice to people.

You'd certainly require more than your experience to make a thriving career as a coach. Take courses, attend institutions for coaches, read coach resources and stay at the cutting edge of your profession.

8. Marketing

National average salary: £28,137 per year

Primary duties: A career in marketing is lucrative. There's increasing demand for marketers (digital and traditional) across many businesses. Marketers can choose to work directly in company offices, start their marketing firm or consult for other brands.

By taking a few courses or enrolling in prolific marketing institutions, you can begin a career in marketing in a short time. The marketing industry has a lot of opportunities for determined marketers, and your earning potential is limitless. With the proper certificates and experience, you can go ahead to train, author books and speak at entrepreneurial events.

9. Product manager

National average salary: £51,721 per year

Primary duties: Product managers are in increasing demand because several start-ups, even in healthcare, pop up by the day. In less than a year, you can kick off your career in product management. From the product's launch to feedback, improvement, whatever makes the product choice for a target audience and scales the market is the job of a product manager.

Several career paths like product management wouldn't need you to go back to the four walls of an academic institution. You get trained, learn the skill and business and you're set. A product manager has a fluid job description. Nevertheless, the core of their duty is to ensure the success of the products they manage.

Transferable medical skills that apply to other careers

During your medical school and working as a doctor, you acquired transferable skills that are extremely relevant in other fields. These abilities would enable you to transition smoothly into other career opportunities. Even better, they'd give you a competitive edge if you already possess the necessary technical skills. Some of these transferable skills you could pick up as a doctor during your career include:


Empathy is a critical skill you develop as a physician. On the job, you're constantly dealing with people and it's beneficial to empathise with their suffering. This ability qualifies you for jobs that require a high level of empathy. Pursuing a career in people management or human services would be an easy career transition.

Related: Transferable Skills: Definitions and Examples

Capacity to work under pressure

This is another transferable skill that physicians acquire throughout their careers. Without hesitation, you're able to coordinate your actions under duress. Specific career opportunities would necessitate the presence of individuals who are capable of working under duress. When you apply for other jobs, it's a great idea to include the ability to work under pressure as one of your fortes in your cover letter.

Appropriate decision-making abilities

Frequently, physicians are confronted with difficult choices. These are difficult choices, as they involve life and death. By default, you'd have developed the ability to make difficult decisions during your career as a physician. For you, searching for career opportunities that require candidates with a high level of precision and decision-making ability would be a breeze.

Related: Decision-Making Skills: Definition and Examples


This is the capacity to work in a team to accomplish a predetermined goal. As a physician, you've almost certainly had to work in a group on numerous occasions throughout your career. Employers value team spirit in an organisation. The ability to work in a team demonstrates that you possess additional valuable skills. These skills include tolerance, communication skills and patience.

Ethics in the workplace

During your time as a doctor, you may have mastered strong work ethics. The average doctor has excellent communication skills and a professional sense. Employers with an executive opening may consider you for your professional sense and approach to workplace operations.

Related: What Are Communication Skills?

What to do when transitioning to a new career path?

When transitioning to a new career path is important to keep an open mind. Here are some tips to follow in this situation:

Make a choice

Transitioning to a new career path that does not require a medical degree would be difficult. The most critical decision to make is which career opportunities to pursue. It's great to already have a good idea of which path you'd like to follow. If that's not the case, you may want to take some time to decide which path to explore. Your motivation determines the career opportunities you choose to pursue, leaving medicine.

Level up

When you choose a new career path, you may need to obtain further education. You may have to obtain a master's degree or a PhD, for example, if you decide to become a researcher. Other career paths may require online courses, specific training or prove your expertise in using industry-related software.

Consult professionals

Make an appointment with a career change advisor or establish rapport with individuals who are already pursuing your chosen career path. Assemble a list of questions to assist you in gaining clarity on this new career path and determining how to chart your course. After scaling up, you can now look for relevant job openings that align with your career goals.

Tailor your CV

Never overlook the importance of incorporating transferable skills from your previous career into your cover letter. These transferable skills could give you a competitive edge over other candidates. Employers are frequently impressed by individuals who change jobs and continue to perform well.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organisation‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌ ‌and‌ ‌location.‌

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