Career outlook for radiographer

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would use different kinds of radiation to help diagnose or treat people who are ill or injured.

You would use highly technical, computerised equipment. There are two types of radiography – diagnostic and therapeutic.

As a diagnostic radiographer, you would:

  • Produce and interpret high quality images of the body to identify and diagnose injury and disease.
  • Screen people for abnormalities
  • Take part in surgical procedures, such as biopsies (examining tissues to find the cause of disease)

As a therapeutic radiographer, you would:

  • Plan and deliver treatment using x-rays and other radioactive sources
  • Work closely with medical specialists to plan and treat malignant tumours or tissue defects
  • Assess and monitor patients throughout treatment and follow up

Your patients might be very anxious and upset so you’d need to be sensitive and gentle with them.

In both areas you would work as part of a team with radiologists, clinical oncologists, physicists, radiology nurses and other healthcare professionals.

Your patients could be very ill; you’d need to have emotional strength. It would also be important to keep up to date with new techniques and treatments.

You can see more about the role of the Diagnostic radiographer and the Therapeutic radiographer on the NHSScotland Careers website. See the Learning and development sections for information about career structure, progression and rates of pay.

Working conditions


You will usually work around 37 hours a week, which may include shifts and unsocial hours (such as evenings, weekend and public holidays).


Diagnostic radiographers usually work in a hospital radiography department. You could also work in places like outpatient clinics, accident and emergency wards or operating theatres. Therapeutic radiographers work in a specialised radiotherapy or oncology centre. You would wear a uniform, and sometimes protective clothing too. This work can be physically and emotionally demanding.

UK employment status





Self employed


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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


You need an honours degree in radiography (SCQF level 10).

To entry a radiography honours degree (SCQF level 10) requires National 5 qualifications and at least four Highers at BBBC or above.

To enter a two-year postgraduate diploma (SCQF level 11) which can lead to an MSc course in Radiotherapy, you will need a relevant science or health related honours degree

Useful subjects

Many courses require: 

  • English
  • Maths
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics

You will also need

  • To pass a medical examination
  • To be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland
  • To register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

Helpful to have

Qualifications that show understanding of health and wellbeing such as Skills for Work Health and Social Care (SCQF 6) would also be of use for some basic knowledge.