• 29 July 2021
  • 5 min read

Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) Salary & Pay Guide

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Richard Gill
    • Mat Martin
  • 0
  • 498
"The maximum amount you can earn as an ODP depends greatly on the direction your career takes."

What sort of pay can you expect as an Operating Department Practitioner? And what are the long-term career progression options?

Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) play a vital role in different phases of a patient’s surgery.

These phases include anaesthetic, surgery and recovery.

As well as preparing the operating theatre, you’ll be an important link between the surgical team and other parts of the operating theatre and hospital.

It’s a hugely rewarding position, offering lots of room for personal and professional development.

This guide answers the most fundamental questions about ODP pay in the UK, from starting salaries through to how to maximise your earnings throughout your career.

The Government have recently announced a 3% pay rise for all NHS staff, have a look at our pay calculator to find out how much your salary will increase by.

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What Is The Starting Salary For An ODP?

The starting salary for an ODP is currently £24,907 a year – an NHS Band 5 salary.

ODPs do work in the private sector, but private hospital roles almost always require some postgraduate experience.

What Is The Average Salary For An ODP?

The average salary for an ODP is around £32,000 a year.

This is based on industry statistics, and probably reflects an Operating Department Practitioner with several years of experience who’s been able to rise to the top of a Band 5 salary.

A Band 6 salary, which many ODPs will reach with enough experience, currently starts at £31,365 a year.

What Is The Most An ODP Can Earn?

The maximum amount you can earn as an ODP depends greatly on the direction your career takes.

But if you remain an ODP throughout your career, you’ll likely become a Senior ODP or a team leader.

At the very least this will see you earn a top-end Band 6 salary, which is just short of £38,000 a year.

It is also possible in some cases for the most experienced ODPs to earn a Band 7 salary, which can rise to just under £45,000 a year.

In the private sector it’s possible for the most experienced ODPs to earn more than this.

What’s The Average Salary For A Private ODP?

The average salary for an ODP in the private sector is somewhere between £32,000 and £35,000 a year.

Private ODP salaries are benchmarked against the NHS, but anecdotally it’s suggested that salaries tend to be a little higher.

How Much Do Locum ODPs Get Paid?

Locum or Agency ODPs normally get paid a higher hourly rate than Staff ODPs.

For the right person with plenty of experience, it can be a really good career choice – especially if you’re looking for flexibility.

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However, the higher hourly rate has to be balanced with the fact that you won’t receive benefits like holiday and sick pay.

Furthermore, your hours are never guaranteed and you will have to regularly look for new positions.

What Is The Career Progression For An ODP?

There are many directions your career can go in as an ODP.

Beyond moving into a senior ODP role, you may be able to undertake further training to become more specialised.

This could lead to becoming a Surgical Care Practitioner or an Anaesthesia Associate.

You may also have the opportunity to move into management roles or education.

If you choose to work privately, it’s possible that your route to a higher paying role may be even faster.

What Does The Future Hold For ODP Salaries?

Operating Department Practitioners, just like Nurses and Doctors, are currently in very high demand.

There is a national shortage of ODPs, with growing calls to address the shortage as a matter of urgency.

Furthermore, some estimates suggest that around 1.5 million surgeries were delayed or cancelled because of COVID-19, which places even more pressure on professionals working within operating theatres – like ODPs.

Essentially, becoming an ODP offers guaranteed work and lots of choice about where you might work.

The demand should have a positive effect on salaries too – although ODPs, like other NHS professionals, are reliant on government decisions about pay rises.

Find your next ODP role here.

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About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk and our other three sites in 2008. I wanted to provide a platform that gives a voice to those working in health and social care. I'm fascinated, generally, by the career choices we all make. But I'm especially interested in the stories told by those who choose to spend their life supporting others. They are mostly positive and life-affirming stories, despite the considerable challenges and burdens faced.

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  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk and our other three sites in 2008. I wanted to provide a platform that gives a voice to those working in health and social care. I'm fascinated, generally, by the career choices we all make. But I'm especially interested in the stories told by those who choose to spend their life supporting others. They are mostly positive and life-affirming stories, despite the considerable challenges and burdens faced.

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