dcsimg

Radiology Technician

Radiology technologists and technicians perform diagnostic imaging for patients. They work closely with physicians and other health care professionals to ensure their images are as accurate, clear and as relevant as possible. They adjust and maintain equipment, ensure patients and health care workers are shielded from radiation, prepare patients for procedures, and analyze the images to ensure the doctor's orders have been met. Radiology technologists take X-rays, work with MRI or CT machines, and some often specialize in certain areas of imaging, such as mammography.

Radiology tech degree programs

Most radiology techs choose to earn their associate degree in order to obtain entry-level positions in the field. Those who have already earned a degree in a related health care field might opt for a certificate in radiology. Those who hope to move into positions of higher responsibility, such as management or administration, might opt for the bachelor's degree. Applicants to radiology degree programs should have a strong background in chemistry, biology, physiology, mathematics, physics and anatomy.

All programs require study in patient care, anatomy, pathology, image evaluation, radiation physics and protection. Below is a sampling of courses students can expect from a radiology technology program:

  • Radiologic positioning
  • Radiologic exposure and principles
  • Nursing procedures in radiology
  • Image analysis
  • Advanced exposures
  • Advanced medical imaging
  • Medical terminology

Some states require licensing in order to practice as a radiology technician or technologist. Many states require that students graduate from an accredited program in order to sit for the licensing exam. The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology is the accrediting body for radiology programs; as of March 2014, the JRCERT accredited 725 programs in radiology studies across the United States. Alaska is the only state that does not have an accredited radiology program.

Radiology tech training

Radiology technicians or technologists often begin work by taking X-rays of patients under the close supervision of seasoned techs. After several years of training in all areas of radiology, they might choose to expand their work to include MRI or CT scans.

Becoming an MRI technologist requires experience with imaging, including a set number of documented imagine examinations performed. Once the amount needed for certification is met, radiology technicians can then sit for the MRI technologist exam. Most states accept licensing through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).

Those in the radiology field will usually work closely with patients, and so must have strong communication skills and close attention to detail. Physical stamina is important, as the work of moving patients can sometimes be demanding. They must also have excellent math and technical skills, to better assess the amounts of chemicals or medications needed for imaging procedures, as well as operate complex machinery.

Radiology technician career outlook

Employment of radiology technicians is expected to grow by 21 percent from 2012 to 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment for MRI technologists is expected to grow by 24 percent during that same time period. The increase in employment is expected due to expanded health care legislation, an increase in chronic medical conditions in an older population, and the rise of imaging in outpatient care centers and offices of physicians. Those who earn multiple certifications are likely to see the best job prospects.

As of 2012, most technologists were employed by hospitals and surgical centers, followed by offices of physicians, medical and diagnostic laboratories, and outpatient care centers. Most of the work is full-time, and emergency situations might necessitate working evenings, weekends or on call. Radiation exposure is a risk of the job. However, many safeguards are in place to help reduce the levels of exposure.

In May 2013, the median annual wage for radiology and MRI technologists was $55,200, with the top ten percent making $78,440 and the lower ten percent making $37,570. Highest-paying industries include colleges, universities and professionals schools, employment services, scientific research and development services, specialty hospitals and management of companies and enterprises.

Sources:

Radiologic and MRI Technologists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/radiologic-technologists.htm#tab-1

Radiologic Technologists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2013/may/oes292034.htm

Student FAQs, Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology, http://www.jrcert.org/students/student-faqs/

Radiology Technician Schools

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Dallas campus named 2013 School of the Year by the National Association for Health Professionals (NAHP).
            • Tuition covers course-required materials for campus students, including books, lab equipment, and class supplies.
            • Offers flat tuition rate to continuously enrolled students who are on track toward program completion.
            • Campus accreditation by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • 18 campuses across the United States, with online options as well.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            1 Program(s) Found
            Florida Career College , Pompano Beach
            • Has specialized in career training since 1982.
            • Offers beginning to advanced training in computer repair, medical assisting, cosmetology, nursing, and more.
            • Continually maintains programs according to industry needs by working closely with industry experts and employers.
            • Provides well-equipped training facilities to give students the advantage of hands-on training.
            • Its instructors attend seminars and workshops to keep current with new technology and topics.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Instructors are typically real-world professionals with many years of experience in their career fields.
            • Ranked #3 in Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2014 by Military Times.
            • Presents the full tuition cost up front. In most cases, even textbooks are included in the total price.
            • Provides career services associates to help students review their resume, provide career counseling, help with job searches, and more.
            • Has 27 campus locations across the southern United States, plus offers online degree programs.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1997.
            • Reimburses students for the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) exam if taken during their 6th term, and one specialization test if taken within 90 days of graduation.
            • Employs a hybrid training approach, combining hands-on lab work with online theory classes.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
            • Program is offered at Clifton and Tom River in New Jersey, and West Hartford in Connecticut locations.
            Show more [+]
            3 Program(s) Found
            Fortis Institute , Baton Rouge
            • Provides a 24/7 myCampusLink system that lets students access their records, e-mail, communicate with faculty, and more.
            • Designated a 2014 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
            • Educates with the mission to serve the needs of the local community and graduates by matching opportunities to skills.
            • Offers career education in nursing, dental, business, information technology, and more. 
            • Has 44 campus locations across 15 states, with online options as well.
            Show more [+]
            • Financial Aid