Radiography Career Explorer

Job Description

Radiographers produce radiographs or images of all parts of the human body for use in diagnosing and treating illnesses. Radiographers work with patients with various levels of illness and injury. 

A person in this career does the following:

  • Operates radiologic equipment
  • Positions equipment and adjusts controls to set exposure time and distance
  • Keys commands and data into a computer to document and specify scan sequences
  • Monitors video display of the area being scanned and adjusts the contrast to improve picture quality
  • Monitors the use of radiation safety measures to comply with government regulations and to ensure safety
  • Positions patients on the examining table
  • Reviews and evaluates X-rays and computer-generated information for technical quality
  • Explains procedures to patients to reduce anxieties and get their cooperation
  • Sets up examination rooms and makes sure that all necessary equipment is ready
  • Monitors patients’ conditions and reactions and reports abnormal signs to a physician 

Working conditions and physical demands:

  • Handle loads of up to 10 pounds, sometimes up to 30 pounds. You might do a lot of lifting, walking and standing or use your arms to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items, such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, full-suit protection or radiation protection.
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once per month through work such as patient care, laboratory work and sanitation control
  • Exposure to radiation more than once a month

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness

Work hours and travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Weekend work

Career at a Glance

Salary Range
$48,809 to $60,944

Skills Needed
Enjoys hands-on or manual activities
Good math and science skills
Enjoys helping people
Strong problem-solving and communication skills
Good computer skills

Job Duties
Use radiation to produce images of the human body
Use computerized equipment to process images of the human body
Direct patient care

Work Locations
Medical centers
Public health departments
Imaging centers