An ultrasound technologist or radiographer can make a varied salary depending on who they work for, where they work and their experience. Salary will increase with experience and depending on exactly where you work. You will need to have very specific qualifications and skills to work in a role like this.
Job role
The role can be quite varied. If you are a diagnostic radiographer you will produce high quality images of the body in order to diagnose disease and identify injury. You will screen for abnormalities. You may take part in surgical procedures such as biopsies. If you choose to be a therapeutic radiographer you will plan and give treatments using x-rays and other radioactive sources. You will work together with other health professionals to plan treatment of tumours and tissue defects. You will assess and monitor patients through their treatment and follow-up afterwards. You will work together with other medical staff in both roles.
Qualifications and skills
In order to in this sort of job you will need a degree in diagnostic or therapeutic radiography approved by the Health and Car Professions Council. However, if you are already a health professional and have a relevant degree then you can take a postgraduate diploma or masters in radiography in order to do the job. Another route is to start as a radiography assistant and work your way up to be an assistant practitioner and then study for a degree and professional qualification to be a radiographer which can be studied part time while you work.
As well as qualifications you will need to have a selection of skills. You will need to have observational and analytical skills. You will need to be very able in science especially biology, physics, physiology and anatomy. You will need to be able to easily communicate with patients, including those that could be very ill. You will need IT skills to be able to work the machines and record the data.
The salary can range from £21,000 to £68,000 per year and work tends to be 35-40 hours. The salary will depend on experience with a starting salary of between £21,00 and £28,00 and then a more experienced employee will get between £35,000 and £41,000 with the most experienced earning up to £68,000. Salary will be higher for anyone working in London or the outskirts. Pay will also vary depending on whether work is done in the NHS or in a private hospital. Diagnostic radiographers will work in a hospital outpatient clinic, accident and emergency and operating theatre and will wear protective clothing. Therapeutic radiographers will work in an oncology or radiotherapy centre. Experience can lead to promotions to a sonography specialist role or a radiography team leader. It may even lead to a role as a consultant practitioner. Further qualifications could also lead to different roles such as counselling and palliative care, research, teaching and working with specific equipment and with specific types of patients. Extra training may be needed anyway as technology improves and equipment gets updated.