Radiographers use equipment to diagnose or treat patients who are ill or injured.
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What does a radiographer do?

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

What do I need to do to become a radiographer?

You can become a radiographer 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 two years.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English, maths, and a science
  • three A levels, including at least one science subject
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

Apprenticeship

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

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

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.

Registration

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

Requirements

You'll need to pass enhanced background checks, as you may be working with children and vulnerable adults.


Related skills

  • Analytics
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Customer service
  • Interpersonal skills
  • IT
  • Numeracy
  • Physical fitness
  • Problem solving
  • Technical ability

Related subjects

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Maths
  • Physics

Where to find out more


Where could I be working?

You could work in an NHS or private hospital or at a hospice. Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.


Career opportunities

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

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0


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