Radiology technicians have the potential to make a great salary, provided they have the right eduction and experience needed to land an amazing position at a renowned hospital.
The world of radiology is an exciting and growing field that will provide growing opportunities for those breaking into the profession. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that job opportunities for radiology techs will grow 28 percent through 2020. This is mainly attributed to an increasing population of aging Americans, who will suffer more broken bones and other medical conditions that require x rays.
The Basics of a Radiology Technician Salary
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the median wage for technicians to be around $54,000 per year. Basically, half of workers earn more than that and half earn less. The top earning techs pulled in more than $76,000 per year, while the lowest-paid techs earned around $36,000. techs working in major metropolitan cities are often paid a higher salary to account for a higher cost of living.
To get into the higher bracket of earning takes a combination of experience and education. Most technicians enter the field with a two-year degree obtained through a college or vocational school. There are several schools to choose from in every state, and most hospitals recognize degrees from schools that earned accreditation through a state-level or national agency.
Many of those who earn a higher radiology technician salary obtained a bachelor’s degree, which typically takes two years beyond an associate’s degree. Bachelor’s degree programs go into more depth and prepare students for leadership positions in hospital and clinic x ray imaging departments.
Beyond the Salary
There’s more than just the radiology technician salary to keep in mind when it comes to deciding if this profession is right for you. You’ll have to decide if the other aspects of the job appeal to you and fit your personality.
Technicians work with patients of various ages and backgrounds every day and could suffer any number of medical issues, from broken bones to cancer. Technicians must be able to interact well with patients and perform duties professionally.
Those who show close attention to detail and technical skills will have an opportunity to earn a higher radiology technician salary. The job requires operating sensitive, complex machinery to provide accurate medical imaging. It also takes a certain amount of stamina. Technicians sometimes work afternoon and overnight shifts and spend most of the day on their feet.
The first step toward becoming a technician is to enroll in a good school. Most hospitals recognize degrees earned from a educational institution that is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.
The best way to really determine if a school will be right for you is to take a tour of the campus. Schools should have state-of-the-art facilities with the same equipment found at hospitals and clinics.
Financing is another important component when it comes to a choosing an educational program. Find out if the schools you are looking into offer scholarship programs and grants. If not, student loans may be an option in helping to finance your education.