There are two main types of radiographer. Diagnostic radiographers take images to aid the diagnosis of an injury or disease while therapeutic radiographers help to treat people who have cancer.
The majority of radiographers train by studying for a bachelors degree in either diagnostic radiography or radiotherapy. Alternatively, they may study for a bachelors degree in a subject related to medicine before going on to study for a postgraduate degree in diagnostic radiography or radiotherapy. All radiography courses combine theoretical study with clinical placements in hospitals and enable graduates to register with the Health Professions Council (HPC). Once in employment, radiographers must undertake continuing professional development (CPD) to refresh their skills.
Radiographers should feel confident working with high-tech equipment. They should be well organised, sympathetic, and able to build trusting relationships with their patients. Since radiography work involves frequent bending and standing, radiographers must be physically fit.
The majority of radiographers work in NHS hospitals, clinics and radiotherapy centres. Others work in hospitals and clinics in the private sector. There is currently a shortage of radiographers, particularly in London. Vacancies for trained radiographers are often advertised in scientific publications and through recruitment agencies.
The majority of radiography jobs are full-time positions. However, part-time work is available. Diagnostic radiographers are often required to work night shifts and weekends. Therapeutic radiographers tend to work standard office hours.
Newly qualified radiographers working in the NHS earn around £18,000 a year. Staff in inner London receive a living supplement on top of their basic wage. Radiographers in private sector hospitals may earn more than those working in public sector hospitals.