Clinical Physiologist Kaimātai Hinengaro Tiaki Tūroro

Clinical physiologists use technical equipment to monitor, record, measure and analyse the way patients' organs or internal systems are working, to help doctors diagnose and treat patients.

Clinical physiologists need to be registered with the Clinical Physiologists Registration Board.

Clinical Physiologists Registration Board website – information on clinical physiologist registration

Clinical physiologists may do some or all of the following:

  • operate specialised equipment to monitor and record activity and functioning of the heart or other organs
  • monitor patients during exercise or sleep tests to check for disease or disorders
  • test and monitor patients' lung function
  • perform dialysis to treat patients with kidney failure
  • interpret patients' test results, and write reports to help general practitioners or physicians decide on treatment
  • take part in research projects.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for cardiac physiologists includes:

  • other medical technician or hospital-based work
  • experience dealing with the public
  • working with technology.

Personal Qualities

Clinical physiologists need to be:

  • responsible and reliable
  • focused and accurate
  • able to remain calm in emergencies and to work well under pressure
  • able to work well as part of a team
  • good communicators
  • good at keeping records.

Skills

Clinical physiologists need to have:

  • knowledge of the structure and function of the human body or specific organs
  • knowledge of diseases that affect specific organs
  • understanding of how organ monitoring equipment works
  • technical skills to operate complex medical equipment.

Conditions

Clinical physiologists:

  • usually work regular business hours, but may also work overnight or weekends, or be on call
  • work in hospitals and clinics.

Clinical Physiologists can earn around $43K-$62K per year.

Pay for clinical physiologists varies depending on skills, experience and the type of work they do.

  • Clinical physiology technicians usually earn between $43,000 and $62,000 a year.
  • Clinical physiologists usually earn $53,000 to $72,000.
  • Experienced clinical physiologists can earn $75,000 to $108,000.

Source: APEX and District Health Boards, 'Clinical Physiology National Collective Agreement, March 2020–July 2022', 2020.

Clinical physiologists may progress to more senior roles or managerial positions.

Clinical physiologists can specialise in a number of roles, including:

Cardiac Physiologist
Cardiac physiologists use technical equipment to monitor, record, measure and analyse the way patients' hearts are working to help doctors diagnose and treat patients with heart disease.
Respiratory Physiologist
Respiratory physiologists test the way patients are breathing to help treat lung disease or disorders such as asthma. They may be involved in exercise tests or sleep studies.
Renal Physiologist (Dialysis)
Renal physiologists help to treat patients with renal or kidney failure.
Sleep Physiologist
Sleep physiologists work with patients who have health issues relating to poor sleep quality. They treat conditions such as sleep apnoea.
Neurophysiology Technologist
Neurophysiology technologists record brain and nerve activity using specialised equipment. They may also be involved in sleep studies.
Exercise Physiologist
Exercise physiologists analyse patients' fitness to help them improve or maintain good health. They also help to treat other chronic health diseases, such as heart disease.

Years Of Training

3-5 years of training usually required

To become a clinical physiologist you usually need to:

  • complete a Bachelor of Science degree with a relevant major, or equivalent such as a sport and exercise science degree
  • complete a Medical Technology Certificate or a Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Technology
  • complete a relevant postgraduate qualification, such as a Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Technology.

The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children. 

You also need to be registered with the Clinical Physiologists Registration Board.

Clinical Physiologist