what is a radiographer?

As a radiographer, you'll use advanced imaging devices and x-ray machines to see inside the human body and identify injuries or abnormalities. Your role is to monitor the radiation used to ensure it is safe and move the equipment for accurate imaging. It is also crucial to capture and save all the images using the attached x-ray camera throughout the procedure.

Some specialised machines like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines, computed tomography (CT) scanners, fluoroscopy and ultrasound machines need additional training to use.

what does a radiographer do?

As a radiographer, you may not always work with a diagnostic team; you perform treatment procedures that require radiation. In therapeutic radiography, your role is to evaluate the patients' condition and identify the best treatment options. You'll also explain the processes and side effects of the treatment before preparing patients for the procedure.

Would working in healthcare as a radiographer suit your passion for helping people? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a radiographer role.

radiographer jobs

average salary of a radiographer

The average salary of a radiographer according to National Careers is £25,654 per year for entry-level positions. When you have a few years of experience, your earnings increase to £45,838 per year.

what factors affect the salary of a radiographer?

Your qualifications determine your pay bracket as a radiographer. For instance, if you have a postgraduate qualification, you are likely to earn more than radiographers with an undergraduate degree or apprenticeship. Specialised training also boosts your compensation package and benefits. Radiographers with training on using specialised imaging machines like fluoroscopy or MRIs may be offered higher salaries.

In the UK, radiographers can work within the NHS or the private sector. The NHS pay structure depends on your skills and the health facility you work in. Private health facilities salaries will differ.


Health and social care
Health and social care

types of radiographers

Some of the types of radiographers include:

  • diagnostic radiographer: your job involves taking images of a patient's internal organs to assist the doctor in identifying the extent of an injury or disease. You'll work with the doctor to establish the possible illnesses before conducting additional tests to confirm your hypothesis.
  • therapeutic radiographer: a therapeutic radiographer works directly with patients and other specialists to develop a treatment plan for cancer or other conditions. Your job is to direct high-energy radiation to treat the condition. In addition to ensuring the correct dose of radiation is applied, you may be responsible for monitoring any side effects.


working as a radiographer

If you love working in a hospital environment and operating powerful medical machines, becoming a radiographer is the right career for you. Let's explore some of the tasks and responsibilities involved in the job.



education and skills

You can get into the radiography profession through:

  • a university course: you should study an undergraduate degree in radiology or a relevant subject to join the profession. The bachelor's degree requires 3 A-Levels with one science or 4 to 5 GCSEs, including math and science. The course should be approved to register with the Care Professions Council. You can also complete a postgraduate course in the field if you are a health professional moving to radiography.
  • apprenticeship: a therapeutic and diagnostic degree apprenticeship takes 36 months to complete. It is a combination of learning at the workplace and college. You need at least 4 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 and A-Levels. 

skills and competencies

For job success, you need the following skills and competencies:

  • communication skills: as a radiographer, you interact with patients before and after the procedure. You need exceptional communication skills to relay information and reassurance during distressing situations. When explaining the procedures, your tone should inspire confidence and provide hope to patients.
  • problem-solving skills: sometimes, problems occur during imaging due to machine error or faulty equipment. Problem-solving skills help you develop creative ideas for solving issues without jeopardising anyone's safety. When diagnosing patients, problem-solving skills help you evaluate the possible diagnosis until you find the illness and analyse the treatment plans.
  • aptitude for technology: as a radiographer, you should understand the functions of parts of imaging machines and how they work. It is your job to watch the gauges, output and dials to ensure the machines work properly and produce high-quality images.



FAQs about working as a radiographer

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