I’m learning about Waves. What careers are relevant to this area of physics?

  • Helena Kudiabor
  • Jul 13 2023

If you’ve enjoyed learning about waves in your physics lessons, you’ll be pleased to know that there are a range of career opportunities within the sector.


What will I learn about Waves in Physics?

Per the national curriculum, KS4 students studying waves can expect to learn:

  • Amplitude, wavelength, frequency, relating velocity to frequency and wavelength
  • transverse and longitudinal waves
  • Electromagnetic waves, velocity in vacuum; waves transferring energy; wavelengths and frequencies from radio to gamma-rays
  • Velocities differing between media: absorption, reflection, refraction effects
  • Production and detection, by electrical circuits, or by changes in atoms and nuclei
  • Uses in the radio, microwave, infra-red, visible, ultra-violet, X-ray and gamma-ray regions,
  • Hazardous effects on bodily tissues

Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer

RF Engineers work with devices that send or receive radio waves, such as radios, mobile phones and other wireless devices. They design, implement and maintain wireless communication, allowing us to communicate with people all over the world. Typical responsibilities of an RF Engineer include: testing and enhancing the performance of current wireless networks, ensuring RF equipment complies with industry standards, designing new wireless network plans and troubleshooting network issues. To enter the field, you’ll need an undergraduate degree or apprenticeship in electrical engineering, computer science, or a related field, and a general understanding of wireless communications and mapping software.


A radiographer (also known as a medical imaging technologist) works with equipment to diagnose or treat patients. They use cutting-edge technology to produce MRI, CT scans, X-rays and other medical images to identify diseases. There are two types of radiographers: diagnostic and therapeutic. 

Diagnostic radiographers work to diagnose diseases, by producing images of the body and conducting biopsies to discover the cause of disease. Therapeutic radiographers aim to cure the patient, by giving treatment using radioactive sources (x-rays) and working closely with specialists. To enter the field, you’ll need an approved undergraduate, postgraduate degree or apprenticeship within radiography. This will allow you to register with the Health and Care Professions Council, a requirement for all radiographers.


Sonographers use ultrasound equipment to screen patients, and diagnose medical conditions. Given that ultrasounds are a non-invasive way to view internal organs, they are often the first test done when a disease is detected. Sonographers have the important role of conducting and interpreting ultrasounds, to help narrow down a patient’s diagnosis and ensure they can be treated quickly. There are opportunities to specialise in an area of your choice: obstetric sonographers image the female reproductive system, while other specialities may focus on the heart or the lungs. To enter the field, you’ll need a degree in a relevant subject like radiography or midwifery, and will also need to complete a postgraduate diploma in medical ultrasounds.