Radiography Career Pros and Cons: A Comprehensive Guide

radiography career pros and cons

Radiography Career Pros and Cons – Pro #1: It’s Highly Mobile

Radiography degrees are recognised virtually worldwide. Just get in touch with the regulatory body in the country you are looking to work and see what they say.

The only major stumbling block might be language but apart from that it’s a job that travels very well.

What is the difference between a Radiographer and Radiologist?

Radiography Career Pro #2: There are Lots of Jobs

In many countries there is high demand for Radiographers.

As per Holly Hadwen, a Lecturer in Radiography in the University of Suffolk, many radiography graduates had jobs lined up even before they left university.

(AI an advances in technology may effect this in the future; see cons)

New technology will also affect Radiologists, to find out how check out my post on Why You Should Consider a Career in Radiology

Radiography career: how radiography works
image credit: wikipedia

Radiography Career Pros and Cons – Pro #3: It Pays Well

The pay is decent. Your earning potential will depend how fast you progress through the grades in a hospital and how much private work you do.

If you do lots of ‘on call’ work or specialise in an area like ultrasound or sonography it can be very lucrative.

In some countries now Senior Radiographers can progress to Consultant Radiographers giving them more clinical responsibility which means more money.

Radiography Career Pro #4: There are Many Options to Specialise

You can choose to specialise in many different areas;

Ultrasound, Fluoroscopy, Computerised Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Nuclear Medicine, Angiography and Mammography. MRi and Ultrasound Scan are two of the safest specialisations.

It’s not uncommon to specialise in more than one modality. There is a great table which summarises the different specialities here.

Radiography Career Pros and Cons – Pro #5: You Will Have a High Level of Expertise

A degree in Radiography can be quite intensive.

The material is not extremely difficult to learn, however there is there is a huge amount of it to get through.

You will have the same level of knowledge of the anatomy as a Doctor.

You’ll also learn a lot about technology, physiology disease and injuries.

Radiography Career Pros and Cons – Con #1: It’s Demanding

The job is physically tough with lots of standing, stretching, and lifting throughout the day. It requires your complete attention.

You could be on your feet for long periods, working in often stressful situations such as busy A&E departments or difficult diagnoses.

Due to the amount of patients you see on a daily basis and the long hours involved it can be hard to keep a smiling face at all times.

You also need to be able to show incredible compassion and courage in difficult situations. i.e. cancer diagnoses

Not sure which career is right for you? If so, check out my post on ‘How to Find the Right Career’

Radiography Career Pros and Cons – Con #2: Advances in Technology may effect the Role of a Radiographer

Robotics and AI are knocking on the door. Machines may be able to do a lot of the work of Radiographers in the years to come.

This may mean less jobs for Radiographers in the future. However machines will not be able to deal with the patients like radiographers do all day every day now.

Radiography career; a man reading scans

Radiography Career Con #3: Status of Radiographers within Healthcare Industry

Radiographers do not have the status or political voice that the nursing profession has.

Despite the fact that they are a vital cog in the running of a hospital, some people consider them to be ‘button pushers‘ and not as important compared to other roles in healthcare.

Due to this, Radiographers can have trouble when it comes to demanding fair wages and benefits.

Radiography Career Pros and Con – Con #4: It’s Long Hours

Radiography is not just a 9 to 5. You will work around the clock, evenings, nights and weekends. 🙁

Diagnostic radiographers often see tens, if not hundreds, of new patients each day. You will get very little time with your patients.

Sometimes you have as little as two minutes to complete a chest x-ray.

In this short time, you are expected to build a relationship of trust with the patient so you can get the best possible image.

Which Careers are also long hours? My Insights into 16 Popular Jobs’ will give you an idea

Radiography Career Pros and Cons

Radiography Career Con #5: It’s Can Be Stressful

The small amount of time you have to do an x-ray could be a life changing event.

It can be easy to make a small mistake when you are x-raying the chests of over 100 people each day.

Radiographers come into direct contact with patients, so there is little room for error.

Even the smallest mistake may mean delivering an avoidable radiation dose to the patient or a misdiagnosis.

If you found the above advice helpful and want more, check out the advice of 100 graduates 10 years out of university in my book ‘1000 Years of Career Advice’.

You can get the free ebook version here.

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Hi, I’m Paul. I’m a Finance Director with 14 years experience working for big multinational companies.

I interviewed 100 graduates about their career paths and advice for a young generation.

This blog aims to help young people figure out their career paths.

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