In an economy plagued with instability and rampant unemployment, there are ample and lucrative employment opportunities for X-Ray technicians across the country. In fact, the X-ray field is booming and studies predict that the job availability for X-ray technicians will increase 15% by the year 2016! With yearly salaries averaging $30,000 to $60,000 PLUS potential health care benefits and vacation time, now is the absolute opportune time to consider a rewarding career as an X-ray technician.
Choosing The Right X-Ray Technician School
X-ray technicians can earn a handsome salary, but they also have a chance to work one-on-one with patients and make a difference in their lives. The primary duty of the trained X-ray technician is to master the manipulation of X-ray equipment to take internal photos of organs and bones in order to help diagnose patients. The X-ray techs are not required to read x-rays and are prohibited from informing patients of the results, but they are responsible for preparing patients for the procedure and ensuring their safety.
Other responsibilities of the X-ray technician, or radiologic technologist, include positioning patients properly, protecting non-target areas from radiation by reducing the size of the X-ray beam or covering them with lead material, developing X-ray film, and fixing images for doctors to examine.
Technicians with special expertise in niche imaging techniques like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), mammography and ultrasound applications can earn even more than the average X-ray tech. It’s always possible for X-ray technicians to pursue further training to achieve specialization in one of these fields and seek a more lucrative position.
Schools by State:
So, you will need to get certified. No problem!The potential profits of a career as an X-ray technician are evident and you’ve resolved to join the work force as a skilled health care professional, but how do you embark on your new path to success?? The good news is that there are now more options than ever to choose from and one is bound to fit your financial needs and time constraints.
The very first step towards an X-ray technician career is to figure out what type of licensing requirements your state requires. Each state has different requirements which can be found through official websites or a quick call to local licensing authorities. Most prospective X-ray technicians need a high school diploma or GED.
Then, based on the individual’s career coals and time/financial constraints, he or she can opt to follow different academic paths, including a certificate course, a diploma course, an associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s degree. Depending on the course selected, program lengths range from 12-48 months. An associate’s degree, the most popular choice for students, takes 24 months to complete.
Students will have the opportunity to learn about fascinating and applicable subjects, such as anatomy, physiology, imaging concepts, patient care methodology– and even some elementary radiation physics.
Today more than ever, programs can be completed through online coursework offered by a plethora of quality institutions. Not only are these courses much cheaper than traditional in-classroom programs, but they allow the student to complete work at their convenience. This is ideal for prospective X-ray technicians who plan to complete their X-ray certification process while maintaining their day job.
Following the completion of whatever program you choose, you will need to complete a certification examination to be awarded an official license by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologies.
After obtaining your certification, you can then pursue the wast wealth of well-paying employment opportunities available for licensed X-ray technicians! Radiologic technologists are in high demand at hospitals, outpatient facilities, and even the armed forces.
Following certification, technicians are in a good position for career advancement and can opt to specialize in other diagnostic imaging technologies, like ultrasound sonography, CT, or MRI scans. The US Labor Bureau of statistics estimates that the median salary for ultrasound technicians is $66,604!
Here are some excellent schools which offer accredited education in X-ray technology to consider:
- Argosy University
- Sanford Medical Center School of Radiologic Technology
- Everest Institute
- Remington College
- Herzing University, Orlando
- Medix College
- Career Technical College
- Ultimate Medical Academy
- Tri-State Business Institute
- Fortis College
Whenever you’re ready, the path to a more lucrative and fulfilling future is waiting!