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julia999's avatar

What's the difference between radiology and radiography?

Asked by julia999 (343points) August 1st, 2010

Hello there,

I’m considering radiology or radiography as a career, but I don’t understand the difference.

I was wondering if you guys could help me out. The sort of things I’m interested in are:
-what each of those professions involve
-the sort of salary I would receive
-employment opportunities
-the main differences between the two professions
-do they both require university training?

Please note that I live in Australia (near Melbourne). I prefer to live in rural areas, so I’m not sure if I would be able to find a good job with one of these professions.

Thanks in advance!

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21 Answers

Afos22's avatar

‘Ology’ means the study of, and ‘graphy’ refers to images. So, my guess would be that radiography would have to do with taking photographs with radio waves, and radiologists would analyze those images. But, I could be wrong.

gasman's avatar

Radiology is a medical specialty. You have to go to college, then medical school to become a doctor. Then you do a residency to become a specialist in radiology. Like most medical specialties, you don’t finish training until your early 30s. There are related medical specialties, such as nuclear medicine and interventional radiology.

Radiography is not a profession. An X-ray is also called a radiograph, so radiography is the process of taking X-rays.

There are allied professions that don’t require so much training as radiology, such as radiographic technology (“X-ray tech”). In the US this requires a high school diploma plus a year or 2 of vocational training. Of course they don’t make anywhere near the income as radiologists do.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Radiography is the production of medical images, and radiology is the study of what the images show in terms of anatomy and pathology. A radiographer has studied techniques of showing each type of anatomy and pathology on their images, while a radiologist is a doctor who has studied how to interpret the information given them by the radiographers.

@gasman “Radiography is not a profession.”
I’m not sure whether I should be insulted by that or not. It is a profession, requiring a university degree and a high level of skill and training.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

since when does a skilled profession protect one from insult? i get em’ all the time.

gasman's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh My mistake—I understood radiography to be analogous to photography, i.e., a process or technology for producing images, in contrast to the people who apply the technology to produce the images. I meant no disrespect to those who possess the knowledge & skills. It was a semantic misunderstanding—not a value judgment.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@gasman I’m sorry, every now and then I forget tone does not translate into text. No offence taken. I understand it is not a valued career in the US, but here in Australia it takes three years of study at university, plus one year of probationary employment before a full radiation licence is granted. It then takes another year of on the job training before you can operate a CT scanner, and 1–2 years on the job training and two major external exams after that you can operate an MRI scanner. Canada has requirements that are more strict than ours, whole England and Ireland have systems fairly similar to ours.

Edit: @julia999 Since you live in Victoria, the Monash University course is four years but has no probationary employment year. RMIT is the only other university down there that offers Radiography. There should be plenty of jobs in rural areas, but that largely depends on state government funding – yours is supposed to be in a far better position than ours. Radiology should be offered through a few different universities as a post-graduate extension of their medicine courses.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Radiography deals with using nuclear radiation or x-rays to study materials. Radiology deals with medical uses of these radiations.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Again I’m not sure about the US, but nuclear medicine imaging is a totally different profession over here, and only half of the first year is shared content at university. Thanks for pointing out that radiography is not solely medical in application.

julia999's avatar

These are quite varied responses. Does anyone know the sort of salary a radiographer might receive in Australia?
As for courses, I was considering Monash university for their radiography and medical imaging course.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

You will have to look up the state award (there is no award for the private system, so expect a bit less). Here in NSW, a first year graduate is paid $990pw, which then increases to around $1050pw (I think) once the probationary year is over. Victoria is not as good in the first year, about $550–600pw I think, but comes close to even after that.

SmoothEmeraldOasis's avatar

I took the training and studied all about what and how X-rays are made and used. Since these procedures are used in a medical context one must know much about human Anatomy and physiology and also about biology and I would like to say that studying the material was so tedious but I found it most rewarding when I was able to actually take X-rays of patients and their injuries and assisting the doctors in minor surgery when needed. Well assisting in surgery in not connected with your question but the medical facinates me and I love helping people at the clinical level.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh This may be one of the areas where the terminology is different depending on where you are.

julia999's avatar

@SmoothEmeraldOasis Just to confirm, are you talking about radiology or radiography?

SmoothEmeraldOasis's avatar

Both, Radiology the study of all the details before I could actully apply that knowledge to taking pic of patients. Sorry for not being more clear.

julia999's avatar

Np. From what you guys have said I don’t think I’m interested in radiography.
I feel that just taking images wouldn’t be challenging enough for me as a career. It sounds like there’s a lto of study involved but little chance to use it.

SmoothEmeraldOasis's avatar

Not, true if you are interested in the Medical field you can apply that skill in any Hospital and or Clinic that has the equipment.

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FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@julia999 I’ve just given you a basic overview of the profession. If you would like more detailed information I’d be happy to send you some good resources. It is about as challenging a career as you would like to make it. There are some radiographers whose knowledge hasn’t changed in 30 years and take pictures like robots, and there are some who specialise and continually expand their knowledge and abilities. For an example of a more challenging type of role, have a read about cerebral angiography.

julia999's avatar

I certainly would be interested in some more resources if you wouldn’t mind!

LostInParadise's avatar

If you are considering radiology, be aware that it can be outsourced.

SmoothEmeraldOasis's avatar

I attended Western States ChiropracticUniversity. You might want to see what have to offer you

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