Radiographer

Healthcare
Care

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Six year jobs forecast

The information is supplied by LMI For All

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

Hours

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

Environment

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

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Working as part of a team
  • Taking the lead
  • Being physically fit
  • Coping with pressure
  • Planning and organising
  • Making decisions

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

Keep track of your skills in your account and find the jobs, opportunities and courses that suit you.

Click here to view / add your skills

Getting in

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

Qualifications

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 Sector (SCQF 6)/ Health and Social Care (SCQF 4/5) would also be of use for some basic knowledge.