A radiology technician or radiographer does more than take images – x-rays, CT scans or mammograms. They are responsible for preparing patients who require these imaging procedures, aside from operating the specific equipment needed for such diagnostic tests. A two-year associate degree will give you enough training to find entry-level positions such as radiology assistant to start your career.
Is There A Future For A Radiology Technician?
Community colleges can provide you with the technical and skills training to become proficient in operating radiology equipment. They usually offer certificate courses or associate degrees. But universities and colleges offering medical courses have also invested in this allied health service considering the constant demand for a radiology technician in hospitals, private clinics and medical laboratories that are not sufficiently met.
The imaging procedures taught in radiology technician schools are the most basic and often prescribed in the early stages to detect or diagnose disease or physical disorders. Thus, even community clinics require the services of these professionals and in fact have a lack of these skilled personnel while their clientele continues to increase.
Why Go To An Accredited School
It is important to find an educational institution strong in research and that has several funding sources because this will at least guarantee you the best kind of training. And even as you become familiar with radiology and medical terminology in the course of your studies, what is equally important is the practical training you receive from the radiology classes.
A radiology school accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology is usually a good indication that the quality of training you will get is based on the standards of the field you will eventually work in. The more known the school the better your chances of gaining employment.
Are You Qualified For The Job?
If you want to work in this allied healthcare field, consider the following requirements and qualifications:
1. A high school diploma or the GED equivalent
2. Additional credits in science subjects from high school
3. Physically fit
4. Good communication skills
6. Strong manual and mechanical skills
The job is more than just technical. Your education will provide you with the technical knowledge and skills essential to becoming a proficient worker, but it can be a physically taxing job because it requires you to be on your feet for long stretches of time and you will have to prepare and handle patients prior to the actual imaging procedure. This means briefing them what is going to happen, positioning them correctly and assisting those with limited mobility before actually operating the imaging equipment.
Outlook And Opportunities
A radiology technician is supervised by a radiologist, who interprets the images taken during the procedure. Eventually, you may want to specialize in other imaging modalities that are more complex, like magnetic resonance imaging or ultrasound diagnostic imaging, because they require the use of substances or drugs taken orally or injected into the patient before they are subjected to the actual imaging procedure. This means more training or usually a higher degree to supplement your previous education and actual experience.
The job outlook for the profession is very bright, and hospitals will continue to be the biggest employer for radiology technicians. Based on a survey by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, the average hourly rate of technicians is $24 and with enough experience your radiologist technician salary can go up to $65,000 annually, especially with specializations.
If you have the inclination towards this kind of work, it offers a lot of prospects and opportunities with the right kind of training and attitude. Earning a degree to become a radiology technician may be the start of something good.