Radiology vs Radiography: What’s the Difference?

Radiologists and radiographers both work in the field of diagnostic imaging, also known as imaging diagnostics.

In this field, medical professionals use a combination of cameras and other machines to take pictures of patients’ internal anatomy for diagnostic purposes.

The main difference between radiology and radiography jobs is that radiologists perform analytical work beyond just taking images, while radiographers operate imaging equipment and take pictures.

However, both professions have similar average salaries, so it’s not so much about why you should become a radiologist over a radiographer but rather which role better fits your interests and skill set.

Keep reading from Mermaid Beach Radiology to learn more about these two fields and see if either might be right for you.


What Does a Radiologist Do?

Radiology refers to the practice of reading diagnostic imaging scans and interpreting their findings. Radiologists are doctors who specialize in reading diagnostic imaging scans and interpreting the findings.

Radiologists may specialize in the type of imaging (such as CT scans, MRIs, PET scans, etc.) or the type of patient (such as pediatrics, geriatrics, etc.).

They are responsible for reading and interpreting diagnostic imaging scans, such as MRI, CT, PET, ultrasound, and other scans. They are also responsible for ordering and interpreting other diagnostic tests, including laboratory and blood tests, electrocardiograms (ECGs), imaging studies, and other diagnostic tests.

Most of the time, patients don’t even know they’ve been examined by a radiologist, as these professionals are behind the scenes interpreting scans and are not part of the patient’s direct care.

What Does a Radiographer Do?

A radiographer is also a person who takes pictures of patients’ anatomy for diagnostic purposes, but they are not involved in the interpretation of these images. A radiographer’s job is to operate the machines that create and store images of the body’s internal anatomy, such as an X-ray machine or a CT (computerized tomography) scanner.

These machines emit radiation to create images of the internal anatomy to help diagnose disease. Radiographers operate the machines to take the images, operate the machines to store the images, and manipulate the images using computers to correct them if necessary.

When patients undergo imaging procedures, a radiographer operates a machine to take images of the internal anatomy of the patient’s body, such as an X-ray machine or a CT (computerized tomography) scanner.

The radiographer operates the machine to take the images, operates the machine to store the images, and manipulates the images using computers to correct them if necessary.

Advantages of Becoming a Radiologist Over a Radiographer

– Better Pay: As is often the case, radiology vs. radiography pay is better for radiologists. The average annual salary for a radiographer is $61,000 compared to $189,000 for a radiologist. While this may be enticing, it’s important to remember that radiologists work more hours than radiographers and are expected to work weekends and evenings.

– More Autonomy: While both fields involve working in teams, radiologists work more independently. Radiologists are involved in more decision-making than radiographers, who are primarily responsible for taking the images and storing them.

– Longer Career Path: Since radiologists need more training, they have a longer career path. This means radiologists have a lot of room for growth throughout their careers.

Disadvantages of Becoming a Radiologist Over a Radiographer

Higher Education Requirements: Radiologists need to go to medical school, a doctoral program, and then do a residency, which can be very costly to complete.

– Longer Time to Advancement: Radiologist vs. radiography pay is better but takes a long time to achieve. Becoming a radiologist takes 8-10 years, and you may need to complete a residency beforehand.

– More Work in a Day: While radiologists make more money, it’s more work in a day, and they may work weekends and evenings.

– More Training: Radiologists need more training, not always working directly with patients.

– Fewer Job Openings: Since becoming a radiologist means more education, fewer job openings and competition for each position exist.


As you can see, there are some notable differences between the two roles, but the main takeaway is that they both involve working with imaging equipment, taking pictures of the inside of someone’s body, and interpreting the findings.

If you’re still unsure which path is best for you, we suggest reading up on each role, researching the educational requirements, and finding out which role best fits your interests and skill set. You may discover that both roles are great for you, so you can choose the path that best suits you.


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