Forgot Password

Sign In


  • Company Information

  • Billing Address

  • Are you primarily interested in advertising *

  • Do you want to recieve the HealthTimes Newsletter?

Are you looking for an exciting role in healthcare that puts you at the centre of the diagnostic process? Then radiography may be the career for you.

When you are a radiographer, you gain cutting-edge knowledge that has revolutionised medicine over the past 100 years. You will have many opportunities to grow and progress – and you can work anywhere in the world. Each day will be different, and it’s a role that’s based on a dynamic combination of science and working with people.

Learning about the steps involved in becoming a radiographer can help you plan your career. In this article, we explore how to become a radiographer, what they do and the relevant skills they need to succeed.

What is a radiographer?

Subscribe for FREE to the HealthTimes magazine

Radiographers, otherwise known as medical imaging technologists, are allied health professionals who take x-rays and other medical images.

A radiographer supports doctors and other specialists by producing high quality medical images that help to describe, diagnose, monitor and treat a patient’s injury or illness.

At the heart of modern medicine, radiographers are integral to accurate medical diagnosis, and in turn, the long-term health outcomes for patients.

As part of a diagnostic health team, radiographers are highly skilled individuals who operate extremely advanced technical equipment such as MRI scanners (magnetic resonance imaging), CT (computed tomography) and mobile X-ray machinery.


A career that is challenging and diverse by nature, many radiographers undertake additional training in specialist fields such as:

• Mobile radiography – for people who are too ill to attend an X-ray department
• Magnetic resonance imaging – 3D imagery which is powered by a huge magnet
• Angiography – taking images of the heart and blood vessels
• Trauma radiography – somewhat tricky examinations on injured patients
• Computed tomography – 3D X-ray imaging test
• Fluoroscopy – An X-ray which looks internally into the body and projects moving images on to a screen
• Operating theatre – helping surgeons during an operation with specialist X-ray equipment

Why radiographers love what they do

Recent radiography graduate, Ivan Trioli, says that his career feeds his ambition, curiosity and thirst for knowledge.

“I love the challenge. It’s like being a detective assistant of sorts – you’re collecting key evidence that doctors use to understand what is going on in a patient’s body.”

“The fact that it’s so important to doctors in diagnosing and treating disease and injury makes you feel like you’re making a difference everyday.”

“No two days are the same, which for me is important and it keeps me motivated. I like walking everyday not knowing what will happen.”

“I’m a bit of a nomad spirit too. My plan is to move around Australia through my career and work in towns and cities.”

“Luckily, radiographers are needed everywhere, so it’s a nice feeling knowing that your skills are essential, and the flexibility that comes with that”, he said.

How to become a radiographer

Becoming a Radiographer requires tertiary qualification in medical radiation science, either at undergraduate or graduate level.

If you're applying for a 3 or 4-year undergraduate medical radiation sciences degree then you will need:

• Year 12 certificate or equivalent
• To meet additional criteria such as criminal, immunisation status and working with children checks

If you're applying for graduate level then you'll need:

• A Bachelor degree in medical imaging science or a health science discipline. For some courses you may need to hold a first or second class honours.

After graduating, medical imaging technologists will undertake one year of paid supervised practice, working within an accredited clinical radiology department, which is managed by the (AIR) Australian Institute of Radiography, and may apply to the relevant board of registration (depending on the State ) to be authorised to practice.

What personal characteristics does a radiographer need?

A person who is considering becoming a radiographer should be:

• Compassionate, with strong interpersonal skills
• Equipped with a technological and scientific background
• Accurate and pay close attention to detail
• Able to calculate timings of procedures including exposure to radiation
• Skilled at placing patients and equipment in the correct position to ensure their safety
• Well versed at explaining procedures to patients to put them at ease
• Competent at developing and checking X-ray films

Despite being a highly technical position, radiographers should enjoy working with people and be able to focus their attentions on the care and welfare of patients to create a positive experience.

A radiographer also needs to have a thorough understanding of the body's structure and the effects of injury and disease on the body when taking X-ray images.

They won’t need to interpret imaging though – that’s the role of the radiologist, who will have an advanced medical degree.

Radiologists rely heavily on radiographers, and together they will have a close working relationship.

Career diversity

Radiography offers immense variety and scope.

Besides performing X-rays or specialist imagery, there are also opportunities to progress to other areas such as:

• Clinical leadership – supervisory roles
• Education – lecturing
• Research
• Corporate sales
• Sonography (diagnostic ultrasound procedures)
• Setting up your own business in conjunction with a radiologist

Radiographer salary

Salaries vary according to where you work, but the average salary for a radiographer in Australia is around $100,000 per year or $55 per hour. Gradute or entry level positions generally start at around $75,000 per year, while more senior and experienced workers can make up to $125,000 per year. 


Thanks, you've subscribed!

Share this free subscription offer with your friends

Email to a Friend

  • Remaining Characters: 500

Nicole Madigan

Nicole Madigan is a widely published journalist with more than 15 years experience in the media and communications industries.

Specialising in health, business, property and finance, Nicole writes regularly for numerous high-profile newspapers, magazines and online publications.

Before moving into freelance writing almost a decade ago, Nicole was an on-air reporter with Channel Nine and a newspaper journalist with News Limited.

Nicole is also the Director of content and communications agency Stella Communications ( and a children's author.