Radiology technicians may work as medical labs, public hospitals, private health centers, clinics, and many other types of healthcare facilities. The x-ray technician will take pictures of the body while utilizing various imaging methods, which may include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), mammography, basic x-ray, fluoroscopy, and computed tomography (CT). In any healthcare facility team, a radiology technician is a crucial component. Their role in assessing the obtained images and figuring out which techniques are necessary to get those images is very important. They also hold the responsibility of assisting physicians with reading and understanding the images and what they mean based on the patient’s circumstances.
List of Duties:
– Instructing the patients to undergo the appropriate positions to get accurate images
– Keeping radiographic equipment in quality working order
– Obtaining images for any areas requested by the physician or radiologist
– Using radiation on the patient if necessary
– Managing work schedules
– Keeping track of patient records
– Assisting radiologists and physicians in the process of understanding and evaluating the images
– Preventing exposure from certain areas of the patient’s body so they do not expose to radiation
To continue to grow as a career at an exponential rate is expected for the radiology technician. An employment growth of as much as 28% is expected from 2010 to 2020. This means an increase in the amount of radiology technicians by 61,100. It is expected that position availability will increase as the demand increases for radiology technicians in all different areas, such as hospitals, doctor’s offices, and medical labs. With a growing population of elderly, demand for radiology technicians is surely to continue to rise and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics expectations is definitely expectable. It has been believed that this will become one of the best career choices and will offer tremendous job security.
Education, Training and Certification
A student is required to obtain their Associate’s degree in a program that focuses on radiographic studies in order to become a radiology technician. It is possible to obtain a Bachelor’s degree instead when going through the education path for this job. Course length will vary based on the particular degree that is pursued. It can range anywhere from only six months to multiple years. To obtain admission clearance, the three following requirements must be met:
The requirements in obtaining the admission clearance are: clear criminal record check, a high school diploma or completion equivalency, and a passing mark in the entrance exam issued by the school.
The training consists of both classroom and clinical assignments. The classroom work consists of subjects in the fields of chemistry, physiology, anatomy, biology, radiation physics, mathematics, and nuclear physics. Some other subjects that will be covered in detail include medical imaging, emergence medical procedures, computer programming, and nursing procedures. Training will be performed in a clinical environment to get a more practical training experience.
It is necessary for the majority of the United States that a form of licensure or certification is obtained before practicing in this field. Certification can be obtained by passing the exam issued by American Registry of Radiology Technologists (ARRT). To keep the radiology technician certification renewed and up to date, there will be continuing education criteria that must be met.
Work Environment and Typical Work Schedule
Most of the radiologic technologists are working in hospitals and physician offices. Over 61% of individuals in this field are in fact working in private and state owned hospitals. Some may also work in outpatient clinics, federal government, and laboratories. Radiologic technologists in any case are always working alongside of radiologists or other physicians since their main role is to provide diagnostic images to the doctor in charge, hence facilitating the prompt diagnosis and treatment of the diseased or injured patient. They are working full time and often at any times of the week. Some may work part time or between different hospitals and clinics. Those individuals working in hospitals tend to work more nights and weekends, while those working in physician offices working according to the business hour of the clinic.
Average Annual and Hourly Salary
The average annual salary of a radiologic technologist is $56,760. This is calculated by adding all the wages within the occupation and dividing that value by the total number of employees. Lowest 10% of this occupation makes less than $37,360 and the top 10% makes over $77,760. Their average hourly salary is $27.29. The bottom 10% makes $17.96 while the bottom 10% gets $37.39.
Highest Paying Cities:
1. Boston, MA: $91,840
2. Fairfield, CA: $87,460
3. Oakland, CA: $86,440
4. Anderson, SC: $86,310
5. San Francisco, CA: $81,180
Highest Paying States:
1. Massachusetts: $80,630
2. California: $68,650
3. Maryland: $67,930
4. Hawaii: $66,910
5. Alaska: $66,550
State with Highest Employment Level:
4. New York