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What is a Radiographer?

Have you ever broken or cracked a bone and been to hospital? Have you or a member of your family had radiotherapy treatment for cancer? Yes? Then you’ve probably met a radiographer!

Radiographers care for people who are unwell, in pain and may be anxious or uncertain about what is going to happen. They are an important part of a large medical team and use their wide range of skills and training to deliver a sensitive, patient-focused healthcare service in imaging and radiotherapy departments.

Is Radiography the right career for me?

Caring for patients is at the heart of what radiographers do; they must be compassionate and have empathy. Radiographers must be able to work and communicate with people of all ages and backgrounds. When you study to become a radiographer, you will develop your people skills in order to provide excellent patient care.

An interest in the sciences is essential as you'll learn a lot about anatomy, technology, disease and injuries.

A great radiographer is:

  • Calm under pressure
  • Enjoys working as part of a team
  • Confident working with leading-edge technology
  • Adaptable and has the ability to learn new skills

What do Radiographers do?

There are two types of radiographer:

  1. Diagnostic radiographers: diagnose illnesses and injuries
  2. Therapeutic (or therapy) radiographers: treat and care for people with cancer

Radiographers use high-tech, expensive equipment to diagnose injury or disease and also care for and treat people with cancer. Radiographers work very closely with patients so it’s important to enjoy meeting new people.

Where do radiographers work?

Radiographers work within the Imaging Departments of the Acute and District General Hospitals.

How much do Radiographers earn?

In the NHS, an entry level qualified radiography position would start at Band 5; please see our Pay and Benefits section for more information.

What career progression opportunities are available for Radiographers?

Radiography offers many different and flexible employment options. Once you’ve qualified and gained some clinical experience you could:

  • Become an ultrasonographer or lead within a specialist area e.g. MRI
  • Extend your skills to undertake reporting of the images produced
  • Run your own follow up clinic
  • Lecturer in radiography in a university
  • Manage an imaging or radiotherapy service
  • Become a Director or and Assistant Director of Therapies and Health Science

How do I become Radiographer?

Do I need a degree? Yes, if you want to work in the NHS you will need to complete a Health and Care Professions Council approved course.
Where can I train in Wales? Bangor University - Diagnostic Radiography
Cardiff University - Radiotherapy and Oncology
Cardiff University - Diagnostic Radiography
Is there funding available? Yes, for further information about available funding and eligibility please visit Student Awards Services.
Are there postgraduate opportunities? The HCPC website provides details of approved postgraduate programmes in the UK.
How do I get experience? To find out about work experience and volunteering opportunities in NHS Wales visit our Work section.
How do I apply for a job? All vacancies for NHS Wales are advertised on NHS Jobs. Visit our Work section for more information.

The Society of Radiographers (SoR) also has a job section.

Useful links: