Gorilla Jobs Logo

Radiographers vs Radiologists: How do they differ? (Responsibilities, Training & Salary)

August 26, 2019 0 Comments

With all the different job titles in the medical field, it can sometimes be confusing to understand the differences between certain careers with similar titles. 

For example, both Radiologists and Radiographers use imaging technology in their medical practice. So how can you differentiate between the two job titles and decide which profession is more suitable for you?

Difference in responsibilities
Difference in training
Difference in salary

Difference in responsibilities

A Radiographer, or sometimes known as radiologic technologist, is a person who has been trained to operate various types of equipment, scan devices and conduct tests using x-ray, CT, MRI or mammography technologies. Their job involves guiding patients through the scanning process to ensure that digital images of internal organs, bones or tissues are well produced and clear. 

According to InsideRadiology, Radiographers can specifically work in trauma radiography, mobile radiography, CT, MRI scan, angiography (imaging of blood vessels and the heart) and fluoroscopy.

Some Radiographers can perform all types of imaging scans, while the medical staff who specialises in certain procedures, such as ultrasounds or high-frequency sound waves, will be called a Sonographer. As we highlighted in our previous post, there are some differences between Sonographers and Radiographers as well.

In complex cases, a Radiographer would not interpret the result or give their patients a diagnosis. Their work is more like a healthcare profession, or a medical imaging technologist, who perform imaging scans. In some specific cases involving cancer treatment, some Radiographers might also be aiding with radiotherapy treatment to the patients. 

A radiographer performing a scan

A Radiologist, on the other hand, is a fully licensed medical doctor, who specialises in interpreting medical imaging, making diagnoses and treating people with various conditions. The radiologic images are their main source of information to diagnose abnormalities or illness in the human body. 

Within the radiology field, there are 2 different kinds of clinical Radiologists:

  • Diagnostic Radiologists who perform and read medical images such as X-ray, CT scans, MRI scans and ultrasounds to interpret illness and injuries on the patient.
  • The interventional Radiologist, who would require further training than the former, to be able to perform biopsies (the removal of tissue in order to examine it for disease) and image-guided procedures inside a human body, such as treating cancer tumours, kidney stones or blocked arteries. These methods makes up the interventional radiology field, which is a minimally invasive alternative for surgery with considerably less risk.

A radiologist reading test results

Difference in training

HealthDirect suggested that a Radiographer is usually required to hold a 3-year or 4-year bachelor’s degree specialised in either medical imaging, medical radiation science or technology or a 2-year master degree. Students doing 3-year bachelor’s degree would be asked to go through a supervised practice program, whereas those who hold four-year bachelor’s degrees are eligible for supervisory positions.

Different types of medical equipments

A Radiologist, on the other hand, goes through a longer process to become a fully licensed physician. He/she must first complete a four-year bachelor’s degree in a medical school, a medical licensing exam, then at least 2 years of internship with a hospital or medical facility, and finally at least four more years of residency in the field of radiology in order to be board certified.Radiolographer vs Radiologist-1

Difference in salary

According to the Health Times, salaries for Radiographers may vary according to where they work and in which territory in Australia, but they can expect to start off at around $50,000 per annum rising up to $120,000 at a senior level. The average Radiographer’s salary is around $73,500 per annum across the whole country. 

The salary range for Radiologists is higher than the Radiographer as their job requires more years of education and higher level of attentiveness. It can also vary greatly depending on their level of experience, practice setting and location of work. Payscale suggested that a senior Radiologist could earn in excess of $450,000 per year, even up to $4000/day. 

Our friendly and experienced consultant Judith Butcher at Gorilla Jobs can help you to decide what position is a better suit for you and what you can expect from your new position. 

Find out what Sonographer, Radiographer and Radiologist job prospects we have for you!

Schedule a talk with us today!

This week’s update also includes information for our Doctors and Imaging divisions. For more useful information and tips please visit our Blog page.