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Medical

Radiographer

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

Annual Salary

£25,654 to £45,838

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

35 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; on a rota

6%
Future employment

There will be 6% more Radiographer jobs in 2026.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

As a diagnostic radiographer, your could:

  • produce and interpret high quality images of the body to identify and diagnose injury and disease
  • screen for abnormalities
  • take part in surgical procedures like biopsies (examining tissues to find the cause of disease)

As a therapeutic radiographer, you could:

  • plan and give treatment using x-rays and other radioactive sources
  • work closely with medical specialists to plan treatment of malignant tumours or tissue defects
  • assess and monitor patients through treatment and follow-up

Working environment

You may need to wear protective clothing and a uniform.

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

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

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.

You may be able to get additional student financial support through the NHS Learning Support Fund.

You can also train as a radiographer in the armed forces. You can find out more at:Army; Royal Air Force; Royal Navy

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
For more information
Apprenticeship

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

This typically takes 36 months to complete as a mix of learning in the workplace and academic study at an approved university.

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
For 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.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Career tips

When applying for degree courses and apprenticeships, you'll be expected to show an understanding of how NHS values apply in your work.

Further information

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

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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

You'll need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council

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

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of medicine and medical procedures
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of biology
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • active listening skills
  • concentration skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • the ability to read English
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
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