The need for people in the medical field is projected to continue to increase because the baby boomer generation is getting older. One profession in particular that needs more people due to its recent growth is that of an X-ray technician. X-ray technician employers are reporting a difficulty in hiring enough licensed professionals to meet their demand in the workplace. This means that you should have no problems getting a job in this field once you are qualified.
The largest X-ray technician employers are hospitals, but other employers include diagnostic imaging centers, and physicians’ offices. The average income for an X-ray technician is $44,000 a year. Most hospitals offer other benefits, such as medical coverage, paid sick days, and vacation time.
X-ray technicians, who may also be called radiographers, radiologists, or radiological technologists, are responsible for knowing the basics of Human Anatomy and X-ray technology, so that they can generate X-ray images of any part of the body. This job entails many key skills such as having a good understanding of computer technology. X-ray technicians must properly position and prepare patients for x-rays, which means that these individuals have to be strong enough to lift some patients. This job requires a lot of time on one’s feet, so X-ray technicians must also be fit enough to stand most of the day. They must also develop radiographic films for doctors to use in order to diagnosis various medical conditions.
In order to become an X-ray technician, you must have a High School Diploma or GED. If you are not good at Science and Math, this field may not be for you. Programs vary in length between one and four years, but the most popular choice is for individuals to earn an Associate’s Degree to become an X-ray technician, which takes two years. Some people enter a one-year certificate program, while others will complete a four-year Bachelor’s Degree. Whichever you decide, you should conduct research to ensure that it is an accredited radiography program.
Some of the coursework to become an X-ray technician will include classes in radiation protection, patient care procedures, pathology, principles of imaging, and medical ethics. As previously noted, you will need to have a good understanding of the human body, which is why you will also have to take a course on anatomy and physiology. This is important so that you will be able to accurately produce imaging for medical diagnostic purposes.
In order to be competitive for hiring, you should take the steps to become certified. In some states, and at some facilities, you will only be hired if you are certified, but in a few others, this is voluntary. In order to get your certification, you will have to pass an exam from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. You will also benefit if you can work on an internship while you are earning your degree. Many employers want to see that an applicant has spent many hours in the field before hiring them. Many schools offer internships.
This is a rewarding field that does not require a lot of time in school. Once you become certified and work many hours in the field, you will have opportunities to advance to higher level positions. Some people choose to eventually work in supervisory positions or teach which can lead to increased salaries. X-ray technicians are highly sought after, so this is a great career field to enter.