Industrial Radiographers

Airmen Measure Distance Between X-Ray Machine and Aircraft

Industrial radiographers, using radiography, are employed in industrial settings as part of the larger field of nondestructive testing (NDT). The three most common types of careers are radiographers, or X-ray technicians; isotope production technicians; and hot cell technicians. These three fields are all concerned with the practical applications of radiation in its various forms.

Radiographers conduct X-ray examinations of materials, such as metals, plastics, and concrete, and of specific products, such as metal castings, pipes, and tubing. They look for flaws, cracks, or the presence of foreign materials.

Isotope production technicians help produce and prepare radioisotopes and other radioactive materials for use in biological, biomedical, and industrial applications.

Hot cell technicians operate remote-controlled equipment that functions inside a hot cell (an area enclosed with radiation-shielding materials). Working from outside of the cell, they move metal or chemical materials in and out of shielded containers inside the hot cell and perform standard chemical or metallurgical tests on radioactive materials.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Hot Cell Technicians, Industrial Radiological Technicians, Isotope Production Technicians, Radiographers
Duties Take X-rays of metal objects and similar materials; perform tests on radioactive materials; collect data on radiation exposure levels; design, produce, or sell nuclear instruments and equipment
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities exist in all regions
Minimum Education Level
  • Associate's Degree
School Subjects
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
Experience On-the-job training
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Organized
  • Technical
  • Math
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Recommended
Special Requirements Certain employers may require a background check and security clearance
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • Supervisor
  • Chief Technician
  • Research Technician
  • Senior Technician
  • Junior Radiography Technician