Mammographers are registered radiographers who undertake specialist postgraduate training to work within a breast imaging team.

There's evidence that early cancer detection improves chances of surviving breast cancer. As a mammographer, you’ll be an important part of this detection by producing, high-quality mammograms to identify signs of cancer. This may result in people being referred for further diagnosis and treatment.

Life as a mammographer

You'll be part of a multidisciplinary breast imaging team and be responsible for the monitoring and quality assurance tests for specialist X-ray equipment to ensure that it's used safely within set parameters.

You will ensure accurate positioning of the breast to optimise imaging of breast tissue. You will make sure that the breast is in the correct position for the mammogram and use your excellent communication skills to make sure individual needs are supported.

You’ll also play a pivotal role in helping people understand breast health awareness.

Alice Mazarot

I have a family history of breast cancer so it’s wonderful to be working in a profession that’s been proven to make an impact on breast cancer mortality.

How much can I earn?

If you’re employed by the NHS, you will be on a national pay and conditions system called Agenda for Change (AfC).

There are nine pay bands and as a mammographer, you'll usually be paid at band 6 with opportunities to progress with experience. Terms and conditions can vary if you are employed outside the NHS.

How about the benefits

As a mammographer, you’ll:

  • make a real difference to people's lives, while pursuing a worthwhile, rewarding and varied career
  • real opportunities for career development to advanced practice
  • work with exciting new technology
  • work flexibly with opportunities for part-time hours
  • have access to an excellent pension scheme within the NHS
  • enjoy NHS discounts in shops, restaurants and online

Must-have skills

  • being able to put people at ease during an intimate examination
  • adapt to suit the individual needs of the client
  • good understanding of breast anatomy, physiology, and pathology, including clinical signs and symptoms of breast cancer
  • excellent interpersonal skills
  • adaptable and flexible
  • maintain patient / client confidentiality
  • honest, open and trustworthy
  • problem solving skills
  • comfortable with new technologies
  • working to comply with national guidelines and regulations
  • excellent observational skills, as well as an ability to interpret data

Entry requirements

You’ll need to be a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered diagnostic radiographer or therapeutic radiographer to apply for a postgraduate qualification in mammography. You are able to apply immediately after your radiography qualification should you wish or later in your career. 

How to become a mammographer

The training programme is typically a one-year postgraduate certificate or diploma at level 7 that combines academic learning with clinical training. You'll apply for your postgraduate training in mammography via an employer who will sponsor your course at their preferred training provider eg the local university. Your employer will also ensure you have access to the clinical practice in mammography needed for the course.   

Where a career as a mammographer can take you

There are a range of career options for mammographers. There may be opportunities to specialise and work towards advanced and consultant practice.

You could also use the skills you have learnt in management, education or research. 

Other roles that may interest you

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