X-Ray Tech Top Schools, Salary and Career

X-ray Technicians (or radiologic technologists) and MRI technologists usually require to hold at least an associate’s degree. The majority of MRI technologists begin as radiologic technologists to specialize in MRI scans later on. To find out if this career option is right for you, take a free career aptitude quiz right here.

Most states require radiologic technologists to be licensed or certified, but only a few states are issuing licenses for MRI technologists, though most employers prefer or require all prospective technologists (also MRI) to hold certification even when the state does not.

Quite a few universities and colleges offer also bachelor’s degree granting programs that generally include not only classroom instruction, but also clinical work. These degree programs include courses in radiation physics & protection, anatomy, pathology, image evaluation, and patient care, and in a lot of states, completion of an accredited academic program is a requirement to become licensed. High school students wishing to get a position in this field, should take courses in anatomy, chemistry, biology, physics, and physiology.

X-Ray Tech Salary

  • Average Annual Salary: $58,500
  • Expected Lifetime Earnings: $2,510,500

In 2014, the median annual salary of radiologic technologists was around $58,500, and the average earnings per hour were around $28.90. The short and long term demand for highly trained radiologic technologists will continue to grow, and their positions in clinics, hospitals, and doctor’s offices will definitely be secure. The demand for radiography specialists will be higher than the average job growth in the foreseeable future.

X-Ray Technician – The Job

X-ray technicians (radiologic technologists) are employed in different medical and allied healthcare service facilities that require operation of X-ray, radiology and medical imaging equipment. X-ray technicians, radiology technologists and other radiology professionals work in hospitals, dental offices, medical diagnostic laboratories and other healthcare centers and facilities.

X-ray technicians, or radiology technologists, are assigned to operate x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, computed tomography, digital mammography, fluoroscopy, and other radiological and digital imaging equipment. Some of these procedures are highly specialized and require additional professional training. X-ray technicians assist the patient by explaining the preparatory steps before undergoing the imaging procedure, regulating equipment settings, and helping to properly position the patient to capture the desired result.

As part of a team, X-ray technicians conduct the radiology and imaging procedure according to the physician’s recommendations, but are not authorized to do diagnoses. They also help with scheduling the patient appointments based on laboratory facility and equipment availability. X-ray technicians work at least 40 hours a week. They may be assigned to do weekend and evening sessions depending on the hours set by the employer or healthcare facility.

Radiologic Technology – what is it

Radiography is a scientific medical specialism that is using radiation to produce images of a person’s or an animal’s body, including bones, organs, tissues, and vessels. Radiological techniques are also used in various other disciplines, for example to discover the age of objects or natural materials. Radiology technicians are trained and educated to make these images on film, digitally, or to be displayed on monitors. They can come up with images like MRI scans, CT scans, X-rays, or Ultrasounds.

To be able to produce high-quality images, Radiology technicians must take care of accurate patient positioning, and their patient-care skills must be well developed. Physicians who have specialized in understanding and reading X-ray images as well as many more diagnostic imagery, are specialists with the title radiologists.

X-Ray Technician Certification Requirements

Due to the profession’s medical-related nature and associated hazards, most states require trained graduates to acquire licensure before employment to ensure that only qualified technicians operate potentially hazardous equipment. Education and training for X-ray technician and radiology technologists range from certificate training programs, associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees.
The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, a national credentialing organization, has a list of accredited programs and information regarding the certification and state licensing process for X-ray technicians and other radiologic professionals.

X-Ray Technician Job Outlook

X-ray technicians may become radiology specialists by undergoing advanced training on specialized procedures. After years of service, education and experience, an X-ray technician may be promoted to a supervisory or directorial position in the radiology department. Applicants for supervisory and directorial positions may be required to have an advanced degree in health management or health administration.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects a positive future for X-ray technicians and others in the field of medical and allied healthcare services, with an overall estimated improvement rate of around 17 percent from 2012–2020. However, with the introduction of new imaging technologies, X-ray technicians are also expected to catch up with these emerging technological innovations. Knowledge of more than one of these new imaging procedures will be advantageous to the professional X-ray technician.

The number of radiology technologists in the U.S. is projected to go up by almost 30 percent by 2020, so it is clear that radiologic technology is among America’s fastest growing professional sectors. In that period, over 60,000 new jobs are predicted to come to the general medical and surgical hospital market. While radiology professionals are working as ultrasound technicians, MRI or CT technicians, radiology technologists, or X-ray technicians, there are more medical professionals working in the field of radiology, for example physical therapists, nurses, and respiratory therapists.

To discover if this career track is your ticket, take a free profession career quiz that will help you make the right choices.

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