What is a radiology technician?

A radiology technician– alternatively called a radiographer, X-ray technician, and medical radiation technologist– primarily works with diagnostic equipment like X-ray machines to take internal pictures of bones and soft tissues. Radiology technicians then develop the images and prepare them to be reviewed by a physician. Physicians need such images to accurately diagnose and treat patients.

The occupation is inherently social, since X-ray techs must constantly interact with patients, physicians, and other professionals every day on the job.

radiology technician

While the radiographer’s chief responsibility is mastering the art of imaging, including operating, adjusting, and maintaining the diagnostic machines, he or she must also perform other important auxiliary duties.

Following, X-ray technologists must learn proper patient care and possess excellent interpersonal skills. Technicians are required to clearly explain all procedures to patients, answer any outstanding questions they might have, position them correctly, and protect them from harmful radiation beams by protecting non-target areas with lead sheaths and manipulating the X-ray beam. Doctors personally dictate how many X-rays are needed and what bodily areas will be X-rayed.

The position of X-ray technician is rather all-encompassing, and includes some administrative aspects. Technologists often need to track and maintain patients’ medical records and histories.

What are the benefits of becoming a radiology technician?

Salary

One of the most compelling reasons to enter the fascinating world of diagnostic imaging is the financial compensation. According to the US Labor Bureau of Statistics, the median salary for X-ray technologists was $54,350– and the top 10% earned almost $77,000! Yes, X-ray technicians can make a difference in the healthcare industry and make a good living. The type of salary you are eligible for is correlated with the state in which you are employed and your educational background. Check out your state’s median income level to get a general idea about your earning potential. Higher education and multiple certifications can lead to better salaries.

In addition to handsome remuneration, technologists usually enjoy excellent health care benefits, vacation time, and ample sick time. Most X-ray technician positions are full-time, but flexible hours are obtainable. Technicians who work in physician offices usually operate within normal business hours; however, there are many opportunities for weekend, evening, and on-call work in hospitals.

Stability

The explanation for X-ray technicians’ sky-high wages is that their skills are in high demand, and that demand is expected to increase dramatically over the next 10 years. The US Labor Bureau of Statistics predicts that the job growth for radiology technologists will increase by approximately 28% between 2010 and 2020– that expansion far outpaces any other occupation!

High demand, in addition to high wages, translates to a high chance of employment for eligible candidates– and job security. The logic is simple: hospitals and other medical facilities are doing much more hiring than laying off or firing due their need for qualified technicians. That means investing in an X-ray tech education will almost inevitably yield lucrative career options.

The need for more X-ray technologists is the by-product of an aging population, who require most healthcare treatment than their younger cohorts. Conditions particular to the aged, like Osteoporosis, utilize X-ray technology and other types of diagnostic imaging.

How do I become a radiology technologist?

Education

The position of an X-ray tech is exceedingly technical and mandates a meticulous, detail-oriented eye. Therefore, it is no surprise that prospective employees must have sufficient training before entering the field. The minimum education requirement to work as an X-ray tech (in most states) is a certification program that usually lasts from a few months to a year. The standards for technicians is on the rise, and most X-ray technologists now acquire their Associate’s degree, which takes 2 years to complete. Some people may choose to pursue a 4-year Bachelor’s degree.

Educational training programs are available at community colleges, vocational schools, universities and technical schools. Today the internet offers a vast array of online training programs, though there is always a clinical component conducted in a classroom or lab. It is important to verify that your program of choice is formally accredited.

High schools students interested in a career as a radiology technician should hone their technical and mathematical skills by making sure to take chemistry, physics, math, and computers, as well as biology, physiology, and anatomy.

Even after you’ve secured a position as a X-ray technician at a medical facility, your will likely need to periodically enroll in continued educations classes to stay current with innovations in technology and state/Federal regulations. A quick internet search will yield numerous schools and online programs through which you can complete your coursework.

Certification and Licensing

Regardless of the educational track you pursue, you will need to complete a licensing exam at the end of your course. After graduating from an accredited school you will be eligible to take a state certification exam or the national standardized test proffered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technology (AART).

Certificates need to be renewed periodically.

Where do radiology technicians work?

The majority of X-ray techs are employed by hospitals (about 61%). After hospitals, the most likely work environment is the physicians office, where about 21% of X-ray techs are employed. A minority of technicians find work in outpatient imaging facilities, the army, and private laboratories.

Due to the 24-hour schedule of hospitals, X-ray technologists usually work full-time, including weekend, evening, and on-call shifts.

On the job, technicians are constantly in danger of exposure to deleterious X-ray beams. X-ray technicians must always exercise good safety precautions, for their and their patients’ sakes.

Is there room for career advancement in the radiology field?

Specialization

As a radiographer, there are plenty of paths to career advancement and even higher salaries! Radiographers can choose to specialize in niche imaging techniques, like CT and MRI scans. Other specialized fields include mammography and ultrasound technology. Many schools and online programs offer specialization classes to students enrolled in X-ray technician programs; other students may learn specialized trades while on-the-job.

Higher Education

X-ray technicians who complete an Associate’s degree can use their degree to procure a Bachelor’s degree in a related, lucrative field, like nursing. Other radiographers may choose to pursue an administrative or managerial career path.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }


The path to a stable, stimulating, and extremely lucrative career as an ultrasound technician is simpler than you may think– read this short guide today to figure out all of the necessary steps to become a licensed healthcare professional of tomorrow!

The main reason to consider a future as an ultrasound tech is the simple formula of supply and demand: according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for ultrasound technicians is expected to grow by 19% by 2018, outpacing almost any other profession! An increase in demand mandates an increase in supply– that’s where you come in. By training for a career as an ultrasound tech now, you will be eligible for work when the need for your skills is highest. That means there will be ample job opportunities and handsome compensation readily available. The median salary of ultrasound technologists is $64,380.

What is an Ultrasound Technician?

Ultrasound Technologist

An ultrasound technician, alternatively referred to as a diagnostic medical sonographer or ultrasound technologist, is a healthcare professional that masters imaging equipment, including sonography and ultrasound diagnostic machines, to take internal pictures of patients’ internal organs, tissues, and blood flow.

Ultrasound machines use high frequency sound waves that bounce off of soft bodily issues to create images that would otherwise be unavailable to physicians. Technicians must learn to identify whether or not their scans are satisfactory to pass along to a physician, who will use the images to diagnose and treat patients. Ultrasound technology is also used to track pregnancies and enhance prenatal care. [click to continue…]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }



With the proper education and an ambitious outlook, X-ray technologists can earn $54,340 per year– and that’s just the median salary! In addition to shockingly high salaries, X ray techs have the luxury of overwhelming job security. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate for X ray technologists is projected to increase faster than any other occupation: over the next 10 years, occupational growth has been estimated at at a whopping 28%! Do not miss the opportunity to capitalize on a rapidly expanding healthcare system propelled by an ever-aging population. By choosing a career as an X-ray technician, you can make a difference in the lives of others and earn remarkable wages.

What is an X-Ray Technician?

X Ray Technician Training

X-ray technologists, sometimes referred to as X-ray techs or radiologic technologists, are responsible for diagnostic imaging using X-ray equipment.

X-rays are used to take internal photos of patients’ organs and bones to aid in their diagnosis. Technologists must learn to prepare the images for doctors to examine, but are not required to interpret them. Another important responsibility of the X-ray tech is to ensure patients’ safety by protecting them from overexposure to radiation, the by-product of X-rays. This requires technicians to understand how to properly position patients, cover non-target areas with lead material, and reduce the size of the X-ray beam . [click to continue…]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

X-Ray Technicians Job: No Less Important Than That of the Doctors

The job of x-ray technician is gradually becoming the most in demand job in the health industry. It offers a lot of opportunities to the candidates opting to become an x ray technologist. Many people are now getting into this field with proper x-ray technician training. But before deciding to step into this field it […]

Read the full article →