Radiography support worker

There are two types of radiographers within the NHS. Diagnostic radiographers use imaging technologies to help diagnose the disease or condition causing a patient’s illness. Therapeutic radiographers use doses of radiation to treat cancers and tumours.

Radiography support workers assist diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers. They help to administer treatment to patients, and process digital images used to diagnose those who are ill.

Starting your career

Choosing subjects at school

To become a radiography support worker, you need a good standard of education. There are no entry requirements, but useful subjects include:

  • Science
  • English
  • Maths

Work placements and volunteering

You may find it helpful to get some experience of working in healthcare by doing a work placement. There may also be opportunities to volunteer. This could help you when applying to university, college or a new job with NHSScotland.


Foundation Apprenticeships

A Foundation Apprenticeship could give you the skills, knowledge and work experience you need to start your career journey as a radiography support worker.

Learn more about the Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services and Healthcare.

Modern Apprenticeships 

Begin or continue learning the skills, knowledge and work experience you need to become a radiography support worker with a Modern Apprenticeship.

Find out about the Modern Apprenticeship in Healthcare Support.

All Healthcare Support modern apprentices study the three mandatory units of communication, health and safety, and learning development. For radiography support worker, you will then choose your remaining units from the clinical pathway options.

The role

You will assist diagnostic or therapeutic radiographers to diagnose and treat patients. You may be known as an imaging support worker.

What you’ll do

Your main tasks include:

  • assisting and reassuring patients
  • processing digital images
  • helping radiographer with procedures, such as biopsies
  • preparing patients for treatment
  • helping maintain equipment and reporting faults
  • updating patient records and booking appointments

Top skills

You’ll need these skills:

  • caring
  • communication
  • listening
  • motivating people
  • problem-solving
  • relationship-building

You’ll also need to have good IT skills.

Who you’ll work with

You could work with:

  • diagnostic radiographers
  • therapeutic radiographers
  • medical physicists
  • engineers
  • doctors
  • nurses

Working environment

You could work in:

  • accident and emergency departments
  • hospital outpatient wards
  • operating theatres

Useful information

To work as a radiography support worker in NHSScotland, you’ll need to:

Did you know?

Radiology support workers can join the Society and College of Radiographers. You would join over 20,000 members and gain access to valuable learning materials.

Learning and development

When joining the NHS, you will work through the Mandatory Induction Standards. These standards are designed to help you work safely and must be completed within the first 3 to 6 months of employment. They will also support you in your first steps as a new healthcare support worker.

You may also be encouraged when in the post to work towards further education qualifications. These may include:

Getting experience as a healthcare support worker can be very helpful if you decide you want to go to university to study to become a registered:

Learn more about becoming a healthcare support worker from NHS Education for Scotland's Healthcare Support Worker Careers Guidance leaflet