Radiologic technology is an increasingly popular career choice and there are plenty of jobs available for for those who graduate from an accredited program.
Radiology technologists are more commonly known as x ray technicians. It is an area of allied health that specializes in the use of radiation to diagnose or rule out medical conditions.
On a day-by-day basis, a radiology technologist works under the direction of a medical physician specializing in radiology. Working in the field requires an education that focuses on using the technology required and implementing the proper techniques to provide high-quality internal imaging.
Technologists work in a number of specialty areas. They take x ray images of bones, organs and tissues. Some techs specialize in other forms of imaging equipment as well, such as computed tomography, more commonly known as a CT scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Most educational programs last around 21 months and include coursework on radiation technology as well as human anatomy, physiology, disease conditions and medical terminology.
The majority of radiology technologists working in the industry hold associate of science degrees and are certified through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Those who pass the ARRT exam become certified as a Registered Radiology Technologist.
Outlook and Opportunities
There’s a lot of opportunity out there for certified techs and a career can go in many different directions. There is demand for qualified radiology technologists all over the country and the need is only growing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field is expected to grow 28 percent in coming years due to an increasing population of aging people who are more prone to broken bones and fractures.
While most technologists work in hospitals, there are growing opportunities in outpatient clinics and physicians’ offices. The most appealing aspect of this profession is the potential for a promising future with excellent earning potential and job stability.
More hospitals and clinics are in need of qualified radiology technologists to keep up with the growing number of patients and fill the positions of professionals going into retirement.
Radiology techs have great earning potential. The median wage is around $54,000 per year. The top 10 percent earned more than $76,000 per year while the lowest paid techs earned around $36,000.
Most people working in the industry have full time positions and work in hospitals. Stamina is a crucial quality in this business as radiology technologists are often required to spend several hours a day on their feet. They may also be required to lift and turn patients. Many techs also work evenings and weekends to accommodate emergency situations.
There are certain occupational hazards to consider. Like other healthcare professionals, radiology techs are sometimes exposed to viruses and infectious diseases. Specialized equipment is also needed to reduce the risk associated with exposure to radiation. Technologists work with radiation every day and therefore must take the proper precautions to avoid the hazards of exposure.
Armed with a proper education, safety procedures and the right certification, anyone can have a long and fulfilling career as a radiology technologist.