Radiography assistant and imaging support worker - Entry Level


Radiography assistants and imaging support workers are crucial cogs in the diagnosis and treatment of NHS patients. As a radiography assistant or imaging support worker, you'll work closely with diagnostic radiographers who use imaging to work out which disease or condition is causing a patient’s illness and/or therapeutic radiographers who use doses of x-rays and other ionising radiation to treat medical conditions, such as cancer and tumours.

Radiography assistants and imaging support workers work closely with diagnostic radiographers and therapeutic radiographers, medical physicists, engineers, doctors, nurses and other health professionals.

Skills and knowledge

To become a Radiography assistant and imaging support worker you will need to be:

  • very safety conscious
  • sensitive and understanding
  • interested in technology
  • calm and reassuring
  • able to understand and follow instructions exactly
  • physically fit as the job involves a lot of standing and lifting
  • thorough and pay attention to detail
  • patient and able to remain calm in stressful situations
  • an excellent verbal communicator
  • able to use a computer and main software packages confidently


There are no set entry requirements for radiography assistants and imaging support workers. Employers expect good numeracy, literacy and IT skills. They may ask for GCSEs or equivalent. Employers may ask for a healthcare qualification, such as BTEC or NVQ.

Employers often ask for relevant work experience. Even where this is not specified, it would be an advantage if you have worked in health or social care, either in paid employment or voluntary work.

Routes into this job

You may find it useful when applying for jobs if you've got a college qualification, for example:

- Level 2 Diploma in Healthcare Support Services
- Level 2 Certificate in Health and Social Care
- Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support
- T Level in Healthcare Science


You'll usually need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level

You could complete an intermediate apprenticeship as a healthcare science assistant.


You'll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

You could start as a healthcare assistant and work your way up through training and promotion. You may be able to study on the job for a qualification in clinical imaging support.

You may have an advantage if you've worked or volunteered in a health or social care role.

You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for further advice.

You may also find relevant volunteering opportunities through The National Council for Voluntary Organisations and Do IT.

You could apply directly to work as a radiography assistant. There are no set requirements, although many employers will ask for GCSE in subjects like maths, English and science.

Some employers may also prefer you to have a qualification in healthcare or health and social care.

Career progression

You could join the Society of Radiographers to help progress your career. With experience and further study, you could also go on to be an assistant practitioner, or your employer may give you the opportunity to work and study part-time to become a radiographer.

Healthcare support worker - Level 2

Healthcare support workers (HCSWs) work as part of a team providing high quality and compassionate care to individuals. You will carry out well-defined routine clinical duties like monitoring an individual’s conditions (by checking things like blood pressure, temperature or weight), checking on their overall progress, comfort and wellbeing. Depending on where you work, you may also help them to eat, drink, wash, dress or go to the toilet. You will prepare individuals for healthcare activities carried out by other members of the healthcare team, looking after them before, during and/or after those activities in line with their care plan. You will also carry out non-clinical duties and, depending on where you work, this could include things like keeping records, making beds, tidying up your work area, returning or cleaning the equipment used during a clinical activity. You will be able to address straightforward problems in your day to day work, reporting concerns and changes to the appropriate person in a timely manner. HCSWs work in a range of healthcare settings and your team may include workers from both health and social care. You will report to a registered healthcare practitioner who will directly or indirectly supervise your work.

Senior Healthcare support worker - Level 3

Senior support workers will use more advanced skills under the supervision of registered staff and may also work alone, with access to a registered member of staff on site or via the telephone. Responsibilities include the direct delivery of clinical, technical, or scientific activities following training. They may demonstrate own duties to other support workers, students, or less experienced staff. They will also carry out administration tasks related to patient care and the wider service. At this stage, senior support workers will contribute to service improvement and be able to make fact-based judgements.

Assistant Practitioner - Level 5

Assistant practitioners work at a level above that of healthcare support workers and have more in-depth education and understanding about factors that influence health and ill-health, for example anatomy and physiology. Support workers at this level will possess enhanced skills in their area of work, which may be a specialist clinical area. They will provide routine and non-routine care and support, including to service users with more complex needs and making assessment of progress. They can demonstrate own activities to new or less experienced employees and provide training to others.

Therapeutic Radiographer BSc - Level 6

As a therapeutic radiographer, you’ll be part of a team helping people who are dealing with cancer. Based in a hospital, you’ll work with patients and colleagues to design treatment programmes and support patients until their treatment ends. From taking an initial X-ray, to using a CT scanner or a linear accelerator, you’ll use some of the most complex and advanced technology to treat tumours. Therapeutic radiographers are also central to a wider multidisciplinary team, working and consulting with colleagues across various departments.

Advanced Clinical Practitioner - Level 7

Advanced Clinical Practitioners are experienced clinicians who demonstrate expertise in their scope of practice. Advanced Clinical Practitioners manage defined episodes of clinical care independently, from beginning to end, providing care and treatment from the time an individual first presents through to the end of the episode, which may include admission, referral or discharge or care at home. They carry out their full range of duties in relation to individuals’ physical and mental healthcare and in acute, primary, urgent and emergency settings (including hospitals, general practice, individuals’ homes, schools and prisons, and in the public, independent, private and charity sectors). They combine expert clinical skills with research, education and clinical leadership within their scope of practice. Advanced Clinical Practitioners work innovatively on a one to one basis with individuals as well as part of a wider team. They work as part of the wider health and social care team and across traditional professional boundaries in health and social care.