Locuming as an SpR: Which Specialty Has the Most Work?
If you're looking for work as a locum SpR, you'll need to find as wide a selection of job opportunities as possible. To help make his happen, you'll need to be aware of which specialties tend to offer the most locum work.
Here at Messly, we help doctors find locum work from the very best locum agencies. In 2021, we saw over 40,000 individual locum jobs offered on our platform, 7,868 of which were for SpRs.
To give you an insight into which specialties offer the most job opportunities for locum SpR, we’ve broken down the stats and explained the numbers for you here.
🧮 The Data
The 7,868 locum SpR jobs added to Messly in 2021 were spread across 61 different specialties and sub-specialties in total. Below, you'll find a chart that breaks this down in full detail.
You can see the exact number of jobs that were available within each specialty by tapping or hovering your mouse over the graph.
It's worth noting these stats are based on data collected from the Messly service, and so the total number within each speciality, although proportionately reflective, will be higher.
Locum SpR Jobs by Specialty
This chart only includes specialties which had a minimum of 100 UK based jobs in 2021
The specialties with the most available work
The data reveals that the three specialties with the most available work are Emergency Medicine (1,193, General Medicine (874), and General Surgery (753). Combined, these three specialties accounted for just over 35% of all available jobs for SpR locums.
Of course, as a locum SpR, you’re less likely to jump between different specialties, and more likely to find work in a sub-specialty within your chosen field, so it's useful to know where the most opportunities are.
You may also be more inclined to work in A&E where your skills and experience will still come in handy, so it's good to know this is the specialty with the most job availability for locums.
The specialties with the least work available
At Messly, we often get enquiries about specialties where there aren't many job opportunities available. For SpRs, some of these with the least available work are Allergy Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Radiology, Max Fax, Rheumatology, and Paediatric Surgery. Together, these account for less than 1% of all available jobs.
If you’re interested in gaining additional experience in a highly competitive sub-specialty, then it might be a good idea to look for senior fellowship roles in these areas instead. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have worked in a Trust that offered these sub-specialties before, you could try to arrange a locum, bank, or Trust grade role with them directly.
We've also done a similar analysis of locum SpR jobs across all the regions in the UK, which you can see here.
✨ Our Tips For Securing More Locum Work
Working as a locum doctor can be tough if you find yourself in a position where you need to work more regularly than you're currently able to. Whether you're looking to earn more money, or just want to be working on a more regular basis, here are some helpful tips to increase your locum opportunities.
Make sure your CV stands out
If you want to succeed as a locum, one of the most important things to do is ensure your CV stands out from the competition. Make sure your CV is fully up-to-date, and always tailor it to be specific to each role and specialty you're applying for at the time.
As doctors, most of us tend to be quite poor at writing CVs, so to make this easier for you we've produced a detailed guide to writing an outstanding CV for locum doctors.
Be as flexible as possible
When it comes to locuming, the more flexible you can be the better. If you’re willing to work anti-social hours, such as weekends, night shifts, and on-call shifts, you’ll be able to find more work. You’ll also be in higher demand as a locum, which will allow you to command higher rates for your services.
Being flexible with the locations you work in will also give you a wider range of job opportunities, as you'll have more areas to choose from.
Expand the scope of your search
An easy way to tap into a wider range of locum shifts is to work with a number of different locum recruitment agencies and staff banks.
Each agency will have slightly different access to shifts and hospitals, so we’d recommend signing up to at least two or three to have plenty of choice. It’s also a good idea to join one or two staff banks. Locum shifts with staff banks tend to be more ad-hoc, but they'll still give you a chance to pick up some extra local shifts any time the number of opportunities your agencies provide temporarily falls.
For a full deep dive into how to maximise your locum rates, read our related article here.
Start working in a new specialty
If you're considering locuming in a new specialty to be able to increase the amount of opportunities available, we’ve written some useful guides to help doctors prepare for their first shifts in each one.
📖 Tips for Locuming in a New Specialty – Obstetrics and Gynaecology
📖 Tips for Locuming in a New Specialty – General Medicine
📖 Tips for Locuming in a New Specialty – Paediatrics
📖 Tips for Locuming in a New Specialty – General Surgery
📖 Tips for Locuming in a New Specialty – Trauma and Orthopaedics
📖 Tips for Locuming in a New Specialty – Emergency Medicine
🎯 How Messly Can Help
Messly is a faster, simpler, and more transparent way to find locum work. We make the very best locum agencies compete to find you the work you want.
How does it work? Firstly, you create your profile in the app, and specify exactly what kind of locum work you want, what rates you expect, how far you’ll travel, whether you’ll work anti-social hours, and more. It works for doctors of all grades, across the whole of the UK, for work in the NHS and private sectors.
You’ll then receive offers of locum work from locum agencies. You see real shifts with hospital details, rates, and rotas, all matched specifically to your preferences, plus ratings of those agencies from other doctors.
You can then choose which shifts you want to accept, using the app to compare rates and travel distances, and reading the recruiters’ pitches to you.
When you see an opportunity you like, you can then schedule a convenient time to speak to the agency. Only then do you share your contact information, and only ever with the agencies you’ve selected, so you won’t get any unwanted emails or phone calls.
We’ll then help you through the registration process, so you can start working quickly and without any hassle.
By giving you access to locum work from all the best agencies, you stand a much better chance of earning the highest rates, with less travel, and your pick of departments.
To learn more, or to get started, check out our locum service here.
🔎 Notes on Methodology
The data above is based on an analysis of locum jobs added to Messly since January 1, 2021. Jobs are only added by pre-vetted locum agencies who have been approved to join Messly. Each job is added with a lower rate and upper rate to show the range within which the job pays.
Before jobs are added to Messly, they're checked by our team, and erroneous rates are investigated so jobs can be removed if their rates can't be verified.
The data in this chart shows the average of the lower and upper rates, to give the most common pay range available for each specialty.
Only specialties with more than 100 shifts have been added to the chart. GP data is not included due to our low sample size.
This article is part of our Locum Data Hub, a collection of data-driven guides and resources that explore the numbers behind locuming, helping you solve challenges with things such as pay, budgeting, job searches, and much more.
For a comprehensive list of articles designed to support you as a locum doctor, visit our Locum Doctor Hub for everything you need to know about locuming today. Covering areas such as getting started as a locum, finances, understanding your rights, and many more.
Additionally, if you're considering an F3 year, you might also find it useful to look through the selection of resources we've put together in our F3 Resource Hub.
Find locum work on your terms
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