X-Ray Tech Job Description and Outlook
X-Ray technicians get to work with cutting-edge medical technologies on a daily basis. Typical job duties include taking x-rays, performing MRI’s, and other imaging technologies (ultrasound, etc.). In essence, any type of imaging procedures that a doctor needs will be executed by the x-ray tech. They not only perform the imaging procedures, but also prep patients and the necessary equipment for filming. The job requires a great deal of precision as the equipment and patient must be in the proper place in order for the procedure to be successful. This requires an extensive knowledge of both anatomy and imaging technologies. You may even get exposed to more advanced imaging technologies like MRIs (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and CTs (Computerized Tomography), or even complex tests like flouroscopies.
X-ray Technicians typically work in a medical clinic or hospital in a radiology department. There are some limited physical demands due to needing to be able to position patients (some may have difficulty moving on their own). There is generally some concern regarding radiation exposure, but the proper use of shielding equipment takes that out of the equation. If you follow the proper procedures and use the proper equipment, you have nothing to be concerned about. Generally, x-ray techs are on duty 40 hours per week and almost always on-call in the event that their services are needed outside of normal working hours.
Education and Training Requirements
There are many different degrees that can be used as a starting point for a career in radiology. There are certification programs that can take less than a year, associate’s degrees that normally take 2 years, and bachelor’s degrees that usually take 4 years. All of these can be accelerated depending upon the capabilities and schedule of the student. It is generally recommended that you get a minimum of an associate’s degree if you want to be a tech and if you want to get into administration or move up the ranks then a bachelor’s degree is strongly desirable. It is important to make sure that the program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiographic Technology, and licensing is required in 38 states at the present time so make sure your college program prepares you for licensing exams.
According to the Indeed.com, the average salary for x-ray techs is $54,000 which is 16% below the average salary for jobs currently listed on indeed.com and other similar job boards. Depending upon your education level and experience it is very possible to make even more money.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the job growth for X-ray techs is growing faster than average for all occupations and that it will remain very strong at least through 2012. They also report that doctors and hospitals are reporting that they are struggling right now to find qualified candidates to hire as x-ray technicians.
Filed under: xray
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