Contracting as a locum doctor

Locum doctors are in extremely high demand, so if you have the necessary skills and experience, contracting as a locum doctor could be a fantastic career move.

We understand that the thought of making the move from permanent to contracting can be an extremely daunting task. But it’s with an expert accountant to guide you, its not complex at all. As a result, we have put together this jargon-free guide to help you understand what you need to do to become a locum doctor and start working through your own limited company.

In the following paragraphs we will cover

  • How to become a locum doctor
  • The benefits of contracting
  • Finding work
  • Your tax and accountancy affairs

How to become a locum doctor

Working as a locum doctor gives you the freedom to choose where and when you work, so if you are a healthcare professional, it is well worth considering.

Locum doctors fulfill the duties of other doctors in their absence. For example, if I doctor is unavailable for whatever reason, be it holiday or illness, a locum will be drafted in to fill the void.

Due to their highly specialists skills, locum doctors can be paid in excess of £1,000 per shift, if not more, making it an extremely appealing career choice.

To become a locum doctor, you are going to need a medical degree and have a wealth of experience under your belt. However, demand is extremely high for locums, so once you have the necessary experience to be able to win contracts, it is well worth considering.

The benefits of contracting

We have briefly touched on the financial benefits of contracting as a locum doctor, but here is a comprehensive list of advantages:

  • There is extremely high demand for locums
  • The opportunities available are lucrative
  • You can benefit from the tax saving advantages of using a limited company
  • You can choose where and when you work
  • You have the opportunity to work overseas

Finding work

You’ll find below a few useful hints and tips to putting yourself in the best position to finding work, don’t worry, you don’t need to be a sales and marketing expert to do these.

Develop a contractor CV

The most useful tool you can have in your search for work is a well-written contractor CV. As a locum you’ll be looking for work more frequently that if when you were a permanent employee so it is essential that you make yours as strong as possible.

Contractor CVs differ slightly in that they are far more factual and the majority of focus is on your skillset, rather than you wanting to be part of a company for a number of years and looking to grow within a team. Contractors are employed for their specialist skills and technical knowledge, so it is natural that these should formulate the spine of your CV.

Contact recruitment agencies

Just as when you were a permanent employee, recruitment agencies will be advertising most of the locum doctor vacancies. You might need to search for specialist medical recruiters, as the more general recruiters won’t have as wide a selection of roles.

Once you have found a few roles that you would like to apply to, its just a matter of sending your CV to the recruiter. If you can find the details of the specific person who is recruiting for the role, it is well worth giving them a call to introduce yourself as soon as you email them your CV. You’ll stand out far more from the other CVs on their desk if you have shown the initiative to call them.


Another way of finding work as a locum doctor is to make use of your networking skills! Head down to the local postgraduate medical centre or attend a few local GP subgroups to make yourself aware to people in the area. You might just come across someone who is looking for a locum or knows someone else who would benefit from your services.

In addition to networking, you send letters to local practices with your CV to make them aware of your availability. Many practices will already have a go to list of locums, so you need to make sure that you are in their thoughts the next time they are short staffed.

Your tax and accountancy affairs

You’ll here it from any accountant you speak to, working through your own limited company is the most tax efficient way. At Contractor Accountants Online, we help people just like you by setting them up with a limited company and handling all of there accountancy needs for one low-cost, fixed monthly fee.

For just £55 per month, you will receive the following:

  • Annual accounts submission
  • Management information
  • Corporation tax calculations and submissions
  • Monthly payroll and RTI returns
  • Quarterly VAT returns
  • Annual returns for Companies House
  • Personal tax return for the director
  • Manage your finances online with Free Agent

All of our accountants are fully qualified, so rest assured that you are in safe hands, to find out more, call our experts on 020 7481 4743.