Job Duties

Radiographers work in the field of diagnostic imaging, administering nonradioactive material into the bloodstreams of patients and take x rays of different parts of the human body. They explain the procedures to patients, remove patients' clothing and jewelry, and place patients in the appropriate positions. They then make sure the area surrounding the area to be x rayed is covered with protective lead shields. They position the x ray equipment, set controls on the equipment, and take the x ray. After this process is complete, they remove the film and develop it.

Radiographers who have gained considerable work experience may move on to perform more complex procedures. Some perform fluoroscopies by creating a solution for the patient to drink while a radiologist interprets the resulting images of soft body tissues. Some operate CT scanners that have the ability to produce cross-sectional images of patients. MRI technologists operate diagnostic imaging machines that harness the power of magnets and radio waves.

Job Skills

Radiographers should have the ability to pay close attention to small details. They must be able to follow instructions and work well within a team setting. They need to be sensitive to the physical and psychological needs of the patients they work with. They should also have good mechanical ability and manual dexterity.


In 2002, radiographers earned a median annual salary of $38,970. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10%, who earned less than $27,190, to the highest 10%, who earned more than $55,430. The following shows the median annual salaries in the industries employing the highest numbers of radiographers:

  • Medical and diagnostic laboratories -- $42,470
  • General medical and surgical hospitals -- $39,580
  • Offices of physicians -- $36,490

Training and Education

There are many different routes by which potential radiographers are trained to enter their occupation, including colleges, universities, hospitals, vocational-technical institutes, and the U.S. Armed Forces. Most radiographers are employed by hospitals, which prefer to hire applicants who have completed some type of formal training program. Training programs can last from 1 to 4 years and result in either a certificate, associate degree, or bachelor's degree. The most common are 2-year associate degree programs. 1-year certificates are usually designed for those already working in the healthcare field. Bachelor's degrees are usually required for supervisory, administrative, or teaching positions.

The public is protected from overexposure to medical radiation by legislation that sets voluntary standards used by States to accredit training programs. About 38 States require radiographers to have licenses, and voluntary registration is offered by the Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Many employers seek out registered radiographers when making hiring decisions.


In 2002, radiographers held about 174,000 jobs. About 50% worked in hospitals, while most of the rest worked in offices of physicians, diagnostic laboratories, and outpatient care centers. About 1 in 5 worked part time.

Job Outlook

Between 2002 and 2012, employment of radiographers is expected to increase faster than the average. This will be due to the medical needs of an aging population. Job prospects will be very good because the number of job openings exceeds the number of qualified workers. While hospitals will continue to be the main type of employer, most new jobs will arise in offices of physicians and diagnostic imaging centers.

For more information on becoming a radiographer, please see our directory of Radiography Schools

Radiographer Training

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            X-Ray Technician/Back Office Medical Assistant

            About Brightwood College

            Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

            About Education Corporation of America

            Education Corporation of America's institutions broaden access to postsecondary educational opportunities.

            Diagnostic Medical Sonography
            Platt College , Riverside
            • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
            • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
            • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
            • 3 campuses in Southern California.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Surgical Technology
            • Features the Success Education Program, with numerous scholarship opportunities to students who qualify.
            • Offers a paralegal program and several healthcare programs including pharmacy technology, medical assisting, massage therapy, and diagnostic medical sonography.
            • Provides an active Placement Assistance Program for all qualified gradutes.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • 7 southern California campuses available in West Covina, Pomona, Pasadena, Glendale, Riverside, Santa Ana, and Long Beach.
            • Part of the Success Education Colleges (SEC) group.
            Show more [+]
            B/S Health Information Management
            • Provides an exclusive Ashford Mobile app to keep students connected to the online classroom on the go.
            • Offers a business program in partnership and collaboration with Forbes magazine.
            • Offers several credit transfer and previous experience options for students who qualify.
            • Dedicated to fostering intellectual and personal growth since 1918.
            • Offers associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs in business, health, education, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            AA - Healthcare Information Technology
            Fremont College traces its roots to Platt College’s founding in St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1879, and the Southern California branch campus was established in 1986. The most significant evolution of the College started when its third CEO, Dr. Sabrina Kay, assumed leadership in 2007. Fremont College became an innovative center adopting the framework of Work-Based Learning Leadership at the Wharton School and Dr. Kay’s thesis on improved learning through practice and collaboration.
            • Online Courses