Radiographer

Medical radiographer

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Radiographers use equipment to diagnose or treat patients who are ill or injured.

Salary range: £24,214 to £43,772

How to become a radiographer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

University

You’ll need to do an approved degree or postgraduate qualification, which allows you to register with the Health and Care Professions Council. You’ll need registration to work.

Before you apply for a course, you’ll need to think about whether you want to work in diagnostic radiography or therapeutic radiography. Visiting a radiography department at your local hospital may help you decide.

If you’re a health professional or a graduate with a relevant first degree, you may be able to take a fast-track postgraduate qualification over 2 years.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 3 A levels, or equivalent, including at least 1 science
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More information

Apprenticeship

You may be able to do a diagnostic or therapeutic radiographer degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More information

Work

You can start as a radiography assistant and work your way up to assistant practitioner. At this level, your employer may give you the opportunity to work and study part time for a degree and a professional qualification to become a radiographer.

More information

Registration

Further information

You can find out more about a career in radiography from Health Careers and the The Society of Radiographers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • knowledge of English language
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • knowledge of biology
  • the ability to read English
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a diagnostic radiographer, your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • producing and interpreting high quality images of the body to identify and diagnose injury and disease
  • screening for abnormalities
  • taking part in surgical procedures like biopsies (examining tissues to find the cause of disease)

As a therapeutic radiographer, your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • planning and giving treatment using x-rays and other radioactive sources
  • working closely with medical specialists to plan treatment of malignant tumours or tissue defects
  • assessing and monitoring patients through treatment and follow-up

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital or at a hospice.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

You may need to wear protective clothing and a uniform.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a sonography specialist, radiography team leader or consultant practitioner.

You could also take further qualifications to specialise in:

  • counselling and palliative care
  • the use of certain techniques or equipment
  • working with specific groups of patients
  • research and teaching

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