How To Become A Radiographer In Australia?

Students want to know how they can become radiographers in Australia.

 

Do you like science, technology, diagnostics, and dealing with people? Then, becoming a radiographer might be the career for you.


A radiographer executes diagnostic imaging procedures to recognize different types of medical conditions. They employ a variety of technology, such as X-rays, Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Positron Emission Tomography, and Ultrasound Scans to produce medical images for diagnosing a problem.

 

You need to complete an undergraduate bachelor’s degree in radiography, medical imaging, or medical radiation science followed by one year of supervised practice with the Australian Institute of Radiography.
 


If you visualize yourself working in diagnostics with innovative and the newest medical technologies, then you must learn about the radiographer’s profession.

 


1. Who Is A Radiographer?


Radiographers, also called Medical Imaging Technologists, are allied health professionals who work with cutting-edge technologies and advanced digital technical equipment to take superior-quality X-rays and other detailed medical images for the diagnosis, supervision, and treatment of diseases and injuries in a person.


These medical images form the basis for doctors to make informed treatment strategies and supervise the progress of a patient.

 


2. How Is A Radiographer Different From A Radiologist?


Both radiographers and radiologists play a vital role in the scanning, analysis, and interpretation of an imaging scan. They both work closely to complete the entire process of imaging in private medical centres, private, and public hospitals, specialist clinics, etc.


If you are looking to make a career in radiography, then you must know the difference in the job profile of both these occupations. So, here we are discussing radiographer vs radiologist to help you make an informed decision.

 

 

Type of Work


Radiographers, also called medical imaging technologists are allied health professionals who do the X-Rays scan and take other medical images to help doctors interpret injuries and ailments.


Radiologists, on the other hand, are specialized medical doctors who are trained to understand X-Rays scans and outcomes of diverse medical imaging tests and prepare a final radiology report.


Thus, the main job of a Radiographer is to create diagnostic imaging and provide the results to medical professionals for interpretation. However, a Radiologist is a highly trained and specialized professional who performs both imaging as well as image interpretation.

 

 

Methodology Used


Radiographers are skilled to apply therapeutic radiation or diagnostic radiography to identify and treat an injury or illness.

 

Where the former uses high-energy and intense energy beams such as X-rays and other forms of radiations to identify and treat a disease, the latter implements non-invasive imaging scans to carry out a precise diagnosis of a patient.

 
Talking about Radiologists, these physicians are trained to use a variety of imaging technologies and can undertake further training to specialize in areas such as Diagnostic, Radiation, and Interventional Oncology.

 


Career Pathway


Radiographers need to complete an undergraduate bachelor’s degree or advanced diploma in medical radiation or medical imaging, followed by a supervised practice program.


The road to becoming a Radiologist requires you to become a doctor by completing a Bachelor of Medicine degree and undergoing at least 2 years of medical experience in a public hospital.

 

Finally complete 5-year training program with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists.

 


3. Duties of a Radiographer


Before you proceed to get qualified, you must first learn about the tasks and duties that you need to perform as a radiographer daily.

 

  • Take instructions from doctors and medical practitioners on what information is required from an X-ray or other imaging procedures.

  • Decide on the most appropriate equipment (X-Ray, Computed Tomography, etc.), and the right equipment settings to obtain superior quality diagnostic images for the best interpretation 

  • Explain to patients about the medical imaging process and solves their queries related to processes.

  • Prepare, position, and operate medical imaging equipment and screens to create perfect images 

  • Position the patient properly for the tests to obtain the best image possible

  • Keep the patient at ease during the process 

  • Monitor radiation processes and ensure safe radiation levels throughout the process.

  • Develop the film, process the digital images, and store the films properly.

  • Record the test findings and choose the best images for further interpretation by radiologists and medical professionals.

  • Perform follow-up imaging tasks to evaluate the progress of the treatment

  • Assess the screen to decide whether the images are proper for diagnosis. 

  • Offer personalized support, emotional support, and medical attention to patients.

  • Fill out inspection reports, and documentation as needed.

  • Adhere to health guidelines and radiation safety regulations while performing the tasks.

 


4. Skills To Become A Radiographer In Australia


To become and succeed as a Radiographer, you must have the following skills:

 

  • A Deep Interest in Science and Technology

  • Compassionate and Understanding

  • Strong interpersonal skills

  • Precision

  • Intuitive 

  • Attention to detail

  • Competency in developing and evaluating X-ray films 

  • Skilled at the proper and safe placement of patients and equipment 

  • Proficient in discussing medical procedures with patients and putting them at ease 

  • Interested in working for the welfare and care of patients

  • An in-depth understanding of the body's structure

  • A commitment to ‘problem-based learning’ 

  • Like staying up to date with industry knowledge and developments 

  • Computer literacy

  • Able to work in compliance with set regulations, and standards for radiographers in Australia

  • Creative thinker

  • Like to research and investigate

  • Good decision making and problem-solving abilities

  • Team working skills

  • Able to develop good relationships

  • People skills/interpersonal skills

  • Administrative and managerial skills

  • Good at speaking the English language

  • Active listening skills

 


5. Qualifications for Radiographer in Australia


You must fulfil the following educational qualifications to become a fully qualified Radiographer in Australia.

 

  • Complete your Year 12 education

  • Complete an accredited undergraduate bachelor’s degree program in medical radiation science or medical imaging such as a Bachelor of Applied Science - Medical Radiation Technology (Medical Imaging Technology). 

  • Obtain 1-year supervised clinical experience by working in an accredited clinical radiology department

  • Register with the Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia and Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency

  • Gain a Radiation Use License in the area where you wish to practice as a radiographer.

 


6. Steps To Become A Radiographer In Australia


A career in Radiography is challenging, varied, and full of growth opportunities. If you like the work profile and want to pursue this profession, then the following steps will help you seek an entry-level role.

 


Step 1: Get Qualified


If you are seeking entry as a freshly passed high school student, then you must find an accredited university to complete an undergraduate radiography course in Australia.

 

Some of the good options are:

 

  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Radiation Sciences)

  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Imaging Technology)

  • Bachelor of Radiography and Medical Imaging

 

On the other hand, if you are a graduate who aspires to become a radiographer, you should check with the university about the entry requirements and pre-requisite subjects to be eligible to apply for a post-graduate radiography qualification. Some of the good options are:

 

  • Master of Medical Imaging Science 

  • Master of Radiation Therapy

  • Master of Medical Ultrasound

  • Master of Diagnostic Radiography

 


Step 2: Get Supervised Work Experience


Medical imaging graduates will have to undertake 1 year of supervised training in an Australian Institute of Radiography (AIR) administered clinical radiology department.

 


Step 3: Complete Other Checks


In addition to the above educational requirements, there are a few more requisites that you must fulfil to work as a radiographer in Australia. These are:

 

  • Working With Children Checks

  • Clean Criminal Record

  • Two-Dose Covid-19 Vaccination Certificate

 


Step 4: Get Registered


To legally practice in Australia, qualified and trained graduates will have to register with the Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia (MRPBA) and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and obtain a Radiation Use License to work in your preferred area of employment in Australia.


Following are the National Professional bodies dedicated to Radiography:

 

 

 

7. Relevant Certifications For Radiographers in Australia


Based on the career pathway you choose; you must complete any of the tertiary qualifications to land a role in this profession.


A Bachelor’s degree in Radiography is a 3 to 4 years course that equips students with the latest knowledge in medical radiation science, radiography, digital vascular imaging, MRI, and CT.


The University of Sydney is among the best places to take radiography courses in NSW. The classes are conducted in various clinical and industrial environments to provide a real-world learning experience to students.


Along with the technical knowledge, students will become proficient in other key areas of practice such as communication, professionalism, legal and ethical aspects of healthcare.

 

This degree course paves the path for further learning and gaining specialized knowledge by completing post-graduate degrees.

 


Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Radiation Technology)


At present, this degree course is being offered in the following accredited Australian universities:

 

  • University of Sydney

  • RMIT University

  • University of South Australia

  • Curtin University

  • QUT

  • Charles Sturt University

  • University of Tasmania

  • Newcastle

 

 

Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Imaging Technology)

 

  • CQU University

  • Charles Sturt University

  • QUT

  • Monash University

  • Deakin University

 

 

Bachelor of Radiography and Medical Imaging

 

  • Monash University

 


Master of Medical Imaging Science

 

  • University of Canberra

  • The University of Sydney

 


Master of Radiation Therapy

 

  • RMIT University

  • Monash University

  • Charles Stuart University

 


Master of Medical Ultrasound

 

  • Monash University

  • CQU University

  • The University of Melbourne

 


Master of Diagnostic Radiography 

 

  • The University of Sydney

 


8. How To Apply As An Overseas Qualified Applicants In Australia?


Medical radiation practitioners who aren’t registered in Australia must fill out the AGOS-91 application form to apply for registration as medical radiation practitioners in Australia.


Overseas qualified applicants with existing registration in New Zealand can apply for registration under Commonwealth Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997.

 

Those who aren’t registered in New Zealand must fulfil the qualification requirements for other overseas applicants.


To work as a medical radiation practitioner in Australia, you would have to register with the Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia and apply for a visa issued by the Australian Immigration Department.

 

By meeting these qualification requirements, you can work as a diagnostic radiographer, nuclear medicine technologist, or radiation therapist in Australia.


Check the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website to know more about visa applications.

 


9. How Much Does A Radiographer Earn In Australia?


Based on the past 3 month’s data, the average radiographer salary in Australia has been in the range of $70k and $100k.

 

According to PayScale, the average hourly and weekly radiographer pay is AU$36.00, and $2,354 respectively.

 


Based on Experience

 

  • An entry-level Radiographer salary (< 1-year experience): AU$30.64 

  • An early career Radiographer salary (between 1 to 4 years of experience): AU$34.53 

  • A mid-career Radiographer salary (5 to 9 years of experience): AU$40.60 

  • An experienced Radiographer salary (10 to 19 years of experience): AU$45.75

 


Based on Location

 

  • Radiographer salary Perth, Western Australia: AU$40.89 per hour

  • Radiographer salary QLD: AU$39.32 per hour

  • Radiographer salary in Melbourne, Victoria: AU$35.47 per hour

  • Radiographer salary in Adelaide, South Australia: AU$34.86 per hour 

  • Radiographer salary in Canberra, ACT: AU$34.50 per hour

  • Radiographer salary NSW: AU$34.01 per hour

 


10. Work Conditions for Radiographers in Australia

 


Nature of Employment


Around 71% of employed radiography professionals work full-time compared to an average of 66% in all other occupations.

 

This data indicates favourable work opportunities for full-time job aspirants.

 


Work hours


Full-time radiographers work for a standard work duration of 41 hours per week. Radiographers generally work in shifts in a multitude of work environments.

 


Workplace


Radiographers are extremely skilled individuals who are an integral part of a diagnostic health team.

 

They work in association with Interventional Radiologists, Diagnostic Radiologists, and other Medical Practitioners in a variety of clinical settings such as:

 

  • Radiology departments in medical treatment centres and hospitals

  • Diagnostic laboratories

  • Dedicated research institutes

  • In sales roles in equipment manufacturing firms


A few qualified diagnostic radiographers work as self-employed professionals by running their private practices in regional, rural, and metropolitan centres.

 


Tools and Technologies


Radiographers operate a variety of cutting-edge technology-based equipment to produce X-rays and other medical images for diagnostic purposes.

 

These include Ultrasound Scanners, MRI scanners, CT, Mobile X-ray machinery, Nuclear Medicine Imaging, and Positron Emission Tomography.

 


Gender


Around 67% of the total workforce comprises females compared to the industry’s average of 48%.

 

This shows that the profession offers good opportunities for aspiring female radiographers.

 


Age


The average age of the employed workforce in the radiography sector is 36 years which is low compared to the industry’s average of 40 years.

 

 

11. Career Opportunities For Radiographers In Australia


A career in Radiography offers variety in work and plenty of scope for progression. Qualified professionals usually work in Social Assistance and Health Care industries in several regions of Australia in the fields of:

 

  • Computed tomography (CT)

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

  • General radiography

  • Digital vascular imaging

  • General ultrasound (U/S)


Qualified Radiographers can explore the following work opportunities to advance in their professional journey:

 

 

 

Areas of Specialization


Radiographers can take on additional training and gain expertise in a niche segment that includes:

 

  • Mobile radiography

  • Magnetic resonance imaging or Three-Dimensional imagery

  • Angiography

  • Trauma radiography

  • Computed Tomography or Three-Dimensional X-ray imaging test

  • Fluoroscopy

  • Operating theatre

 


12. Job Prospects For Radiographers In Australia


The regular use of Medical Imaging Diagnosis tools in healthcare centres, and increasing technological developments in the medical field, show a promising future for radiographers throughout Australia and worldwide.

 

The national employment website “Job Outlook” projects a “Very Strong” future growth for Radiographers in Australia.


Furthermore, a career in medical imaging is also a good option for aspirants who seek a permanent residency, or long-term work visas in Australia.

 

Undertaking post-graduation qualifications and joining professional bodies are good ways for qualified professionals to keep learning and advancing on this career path.

 


13. Conclusion


Becoming a radiographer is perfect for those who want to bring a real difference in a healthcare setting.

 

With plenty of work opportunities to explore, the exciting profession gives you the freedom to work from any place in the world.

 

So, what are you waiting for? Get qualified and follow the above steps to launch your dream career today.

 

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