A Short Guide to Becoming an X-Ray Technician
Finding a lucrative career that you like is quite difficult. For some people, the choice is quite easy but others keep floundering. Your career choice will be the way you earn money, care for your family, and save for your future and your retirement. As a result, you should be able to like your career. We cannot make the choice for you but we can definitely tell you a little more about the most popular career options available at present.
So here goes. We’ve collected a little information on why you should study to become an x-ray technician.
What Does He Do?
X-rays are a simple and easy way to look inside the body without operating. In order to diagnose medical conditions, most doctors take simple x-rays to help them with their diagnosis. Doctors, themselves, don’t have the time to do the procedure themselves. As a result, trained X-ray technicians help them with the job. X-ray technicians are trained to help patients, position them for the X-ray, take the X-ray, process the finished X-ray, and assist the doctor with any X-ray related procedures. Most professionals work under the supervision of a medical professional and they can work at hospital diagnostic centers, medical offices, and outpatient care centers.
What Are The Skills Required To Become An X-ray Technician?
Becoming an qualified professional is quite easy. However, a few essential skills are required to help you advance in your career. For example, X-ray technicians have to be friendly. It is the job of the technician to undress the patient, position them for the X-ray, and then take the X-ray. Patients may be anxious or worried and a calm personality with people skills can be invaluable in this career. Apart from this, you will have to move heavy equipment, position it in a new location, take x-rays, process them, and prepare them for interpretation. As a result, a little physical stamina and technical skill is necessary. Most technicians will also have to work closely with doctors to help them with their diagnostic procedures. In case you have completed an additional qualification, you may have to assist the doctor and nurse while they position the patient for invasive imaging techniques.
Studying To Become an X-Ray Technician
Here are a few things that should help you out. You have to prepare for the career by taking additional courses from high school. Most students can take biology, anatomy, physiology, human anatomy, and physics as supportive subjects to help them with their career choice. After this you can choose your x ray tech training course. Once you ready with the basics, you can then choose from a certificate course that lasts for 21 months to 24 months, an associate’s degree that takes two years to complete, or a bachelor’s degree that takes four years to complete.
The associate’s degree is the most common degree offered by x ray tech schools. Most of these schools are community colleges, vocational centers, technical schools or allied health organizations. Certificate courses in x-ray tech are also available but they are not very popular. In fact, these courses are recommended for people who have learned their profession through hands-on expertise. As they already have the experience, a certificate will add to their expertise and help them advance in their careers.
Bachelor’s courses are also available and these courses are recommended for students who have the time and money. These programs are usually offered by medical college and healthcare institutions. The advantage with a bachelor’s degree is that the student will learn supplementary knowledge on how to handle and operate other imaging technology like CTs, and MRIs. A bachelor’s degree provides the most rounded training and it is a valuable asset if you want to get promoted in your work location.
Certification and Licensure
Most technicians are required to complete a licensing exam held by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. The actual licensing process may vary from state to state as well. Some states require students to pursue voluntary accreditation from an organization like the The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). However, to sit for this exam, the candidate has to complete his education from an ARRT-approved college.
Information about x ray tech salary Ranges
The actual salary for an X-ray technician will vary according to state, education, and location. For example, MRI technicians are in high demand to operate the sensitive machinery. As a result, an MRI tech salary will be higher than an ordinary X Ray tech salary range. On an average, the limited x ray tech salary range will range from $27,308 – $58,755. This salary may not include vacation days, medical and dental insurance, bonus, and overtime payments.
Geographical variations will also affect salaries. For example, Texas is facing a severe shortage of trained technicians. As a result, the average x ray tech salary Texas may be higher than what is offered anywhere else. Other states that have a higher demand for trained technicians include California, Alaska, Washington, DC and Hawaii. In some hospitals, technicians may also get the chance to be promoted or moved into management positions depending on their education. For candidates who have completed a management degree or have specialized in a particular type of radiographic technique, the salary will increase substantially.
On an average, most new graduates can expect an average starting salary of $43,000 a year. As you advance in your career, candidates can expect a salary hike of $52,000-63,000 a year. Candidates who have additional degrees like a management degree or an additional qualification can expect a higher salary. However, you should know that there are very few options for promotion if you don’t have an additional degree.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for trained professionals is at an all-time high. The Bureau predicts a 17% increase in jobs for trained technicians over the next two decades. Most technicians can expect jobs at colleges, universities, professional schools, outpatient clinics, hospitals, etc. Work hours for technicians will vary considerably as well. For example, most hospitals will have shift systems for technicians. On the other hand, outpatient imaging centers will have definite business hours. On an average, technicians will have to work on ten to 50 patients per day.
As you can see, becoming an x-ray professional is quite easy. All you have to do is study hard and you can easily find a career anywhere in the US. Most states already have a high demand for trained technicians and the highest salaries are offered by states like Massachusetts and California. Adding an additional management or postgraduate degree to your basic qualification, can raise your salary expectations substantially. For additional information, make sure you check online with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Learn everything you need to know about becoming an x ray specialist.