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How to Become a Radiology Technician
Radiology Technicians, also known as radiologic technologists or Radiologic technicians do the work of capturing radiographic images such as x-rays or mammograms. X rays are radiographic images that can be taken of many parts of the body in order to show physicians and surgeons where bones are broken or abnormalities exist. Mammograms are procedures which capture images of breast tissue for diagnostic purposes. In order to carry out their work, radiology technicians (x-ray techs) must know how to get their patients ready for such procedures. This involves using protective cover and understanding the equipment as well as power of the radiology at hand. X ray techs also keep records of their imaging and care for their machinery. Radiology technicians may also have to physically assist some patients in getting onto the x ray table or into the proper position. At times they may even come to the patient’s room or house, with their specialized equipment. The workload is most often 40 hours per week.
Most radiology technicians find work in hospitals, though there are also many positions in labs, imaging centers and other care facilities.
Radiology Technician certification is voluntary, but it truly boosts your career prospects. You can also obtain an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. You will typically study about 2 years in a certification program. Programs should be accredited by the JRCERT (Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology). One excellent certification program comes from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Their exams are also used for certification and licensing.
Certification curriculum covers everything from medical knowledge to physics to patient care. Special attention is given to proper safety procedures with radiation. In order to keep your hard earned radiology technician certification, you must keep up with continuing education.
There is also a chance for career growth by extending your certification to include specialization in things such as CT scanning and MRI technology.
The average radiology technician salary has been reported anywhere from $43,000 to $64,000 per year. Those with more experience can earn up to $ 75,000. Locations in the United States that report the highest salaries include Washington, D.C., Maryland, Hawaii, Nevada and Massachusetts. Most cities will have higher wages for x ray techs than rural areas.
Higher salaries also exist in private facilities, such as research and development of new technologies and procedures. Becoming a private consultant for scientific or technological firms is one of the best ways to increase your salary after several years of radiology experience.
Those who choose to continue their education with a Master’s degree will be eligible for administrative positions and their accompanying higher compensation packages.
The x-ray tech job outlook for the next few years is looking very bright. The medical needs of the now elderly baby boomer population guarantees that careers in the medical field will continue to experience excellent and steady growth. In addition to this statistic, more and more facilities are using radiology and imaging to detect diseases such as cancer. Jobs in laboratories and in the federal government will most likely continue to experience the highest rate of job growth.