Radiography is one of the most innovative aspects of healthcare – you’ll use advanced technology to look inside patients’ bodies and understand the root causes of their illness, and consult with colleagues on diagnosis and treatment plans.
Training and qualifications required
You need to study for an approved programme in diagnostic radiography. Degree courses take three or four years, full time or up to six years part time. A degree standard apprenticeship in diagnostic radiography has been approved for delivery. To get onto a diagnostic radiography degree course or degree apprenticeship, you usually need two or three A levels, including physics, chemistry or biology/human biology, along with five GCSEs (grades A-C), including English language, maths and science. Alternative qualifications are likely to be accepted. If you already have a degree in a relevant subject, there is a 2-year graduate-entry route at some universities.
Expected working hours and salary range
Radiographers in the NHS work standard hours, which are likely to be around 37.5 a week. They may have to work shifts, including evenings, nights and weekends. They start at band 5 of the Agenda for Change pay scale. Terms and conditions will vary outside of the NHS.
Desirable skills and values
Diagnostic radiographers need to be safety conscious, interested in technology, be patient and understanding and able to understand and follow instructions exactly. They also need good communication, organisation and observation skills and the ability to reassure patients.
You could specialise in a particular type of imaging such as computerised tomography scanning or sonography. Or you could specialise in working with children, stroke patients or cancer patients, for example. Research or teaching are other options. You could also move into management, within radiography services or general management. As head of a local radiography service you would be responsible for a team of staff and for managing a budget.