If you’ve always wondered what a radiology technician does or if you want to become one, you’ve come to the right place to learn more about radiology tech programs! Firstly, to clear the confusion, radiology technicians are also referred to as radiographers, so I will use these two terms interchangeably throughout the article.
Most simply put, radiographers are trained healthcare professionals and members of medical teams who specialize in the imaging of the human body. If you’ve ever broken an arm or something else, you’re probably familiar with how the imaging of the body goes.
What does the radiology technician job description include?
The radiology technician prepares patients for the process, explains the procedure and answers any questions the patients may have. Then they position them properly and prepare all necessary equipment for the imaging process. This includes heavy x-ray equipment that requires special care.
Besides operating the scan devices and other equipment, a radiographer’s duties include updating the patient’s record and consulting with doctors regarding specific cases. The most challenging part of the radiology technician career is most certainly the communication with different people.
It is common to be anxious, nervous and scared before getting an x-ray. That’s where the radiographer jumps in to relieve the stress. In order to be a successful radiology technician, one must have great communication skills and the knowledge on how to explain the procedure and help people feel less nervous.
After each procedure, it is the radiographer’s tasks to review the results and ensure the image is clear and well done, so that the doctors can use it for further diagnosis and treatment. Maintaining the equipment and machinery is also on the list of a radiology technician’s work duties.
Why choose the Radiology Tech Career?
The imagery of the human body is an important aspect of today’s medicine because it helps doctors and medical specialists diagnose and treat certain conditions and injuries correctly. Without accurate x-ray scans, doctors would be practically playing in the dark when treating fractures and other conditions.
Therefore, it is important to have a highly skilled radiology technician on the team. However, besides the need for the x-ray scans, there is also a need for those scans to be completely accurate. This is one of the responsibilities of a radiographer who must ensure that their work is done properly. A badly done x-ray scan can lead to greater consequences. Because of the responsibility and the knowledge required in this field, radiology technicians have to undergo continued education and even additional training.
How much do radiology technicians get paid?
You’re probably interested in the radiology tech salary and how much these medical professionals make per year. The work week of a radiographer usually consists of 40 hours for which they get paid 57 450$ per year on average. However, depending on the location and the skill of an individual, the salary can vary from as little as $30,000 to as much as $80,000 per year.
The salary often depends on the workplace as well. Radiology technicians can work in different medical facilities including hospitals, clinics and imagery centers. Each facility has its own rules and salary range. However, the salary of an individual radiographer mostly depends on their performance and specialization.
Radiographers don’t work on the imagery of the human body in general. Each radiology tech specializes in a specific diagnostic test or group. There are also radiographers who specialize in more than one type of diagnosis and these individuals usually get hired faster and have a higher salary. Therefore, the more educated you are and the more specializations you have, the better your salary is going to be.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistic, the demand for radiology technicians is expected to rise through 2024, which means more and more people will get hired in this field. Therefore, it is definitely a good time to enroll in radiology technician training. Besides, to get paid more, you need certain certifications and ability to handle different pieces of equipment.
Radiology Tech Programs
Speaking or radiology technician training, here’s what you need in order to take up this career path. The first thing you need to obtain is an associate’s degree in radiology. Without this degree you cannot take up further education and get certified for working in medical facilities.
Once you get your associate’s or BA degree in radiologic technology, you will need to enroll in additional radiology tech training. Many educational facilities and radiology tech schools offer these types of programs and they often include a lot of practical work for gaining the relevant knowledge and experience.
Your end goal here is to get the AART certification or the American Registry of Radiology Technologist certification. However, you cannot just walk in and take the certification exam. You firstly need to be qualified for this level of certification, which means you need to take an official training program known as the JPCERT. JPCERT stands for The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.
Once you’ve gone through this training program, you can take the certification exam and upon passing, you will be ready for work in this field. On top of this, some states require extra certification known as the RT(R), short for Registered Technologist, Radiography.
Online Radiology Tech Programs
Even though the above mentioned radiology tech training programs and certifications aren’t really mandatory, it is difficult to find a job without them. Most employers look for individuals who have completed additional training and obtained a certification. However, if you don’t have time to physically attend classes and take exams, you can enroll in online radiology tech programs to get further education or get your degree.
However, the radiology technician training programs that require you to be physically present are much more valuable because they provide experience on working with patients and advanced equipment. Whichever form of training programs you choose, you will need to pass a background check to secure a job position. In terms of skills, one needs to have good communication skills, attention to details, knowledge and physical strength needed for operating the heavy machinery.
If we look at the predicted demands for this job position, the future in radiology technology is quite bright. Radiographers are expected to become even higher in demand in the next five to six years so, if you’re wondering whether you should take up radiology tech training programs now, it is definitely a good idea to do so!
Even though the education program for this career path is quite long, as it includes BA studies and additional training, it pays off in the end. Speaking of payment, the average salary of radiology technicians is quite great and, if you end up specializing in more than one type of diagnosis, you will be paid even more.
There is always room to advance in this career, which is why it is a perfect choice for ambitious people. If you believe you’ve got the right skills such as communication and the desire to learn, you should definitely pursue this career. Not only that there are plenty of job positions for radiology technicians in hospitals but clinics and imagery centers hire a lot of people too.
Therefore, you definitely won’t be lacking job opportunities if you get the right type of education. Remember that certifications aren’t mandatory but they will get you a long way in terms of getting hired faster and being paid more. It is definitely worth it to invest a bit of extra time in getting certified for the sake of your future success!