Medical specialists known as radiologist technicians carry out diagnostic imaging examinations like x-rays. The path to becoming a radiologist technician may take less time than other healthcare careers if you are interested in a career in medicine.
If you are unsure about whether this is the perfect medical position for you, learning more about the educational requirements, job responsibilities, and average compensation may be helpful.
In this post, we provide answers to some frequently asked questions regarding working as a radiology technician, such as how long it takes to get started.
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Who is a Radiologist Technician?
Radiology technicians, often known as radiographers or x-ray technicians, take x-rays of patients to aid in diagnosis. An imaging specialist who performs more complex procedures is a radiology technologist, not a radiology technician.
In addition to preparing patients for x-rays and operating equipment and maintaining patient records, radiology technicians may also be required to adjust and maintain equipment and may potentially lead a radiology department in the future.
Explaining the procedure, taking off any jewelry, positioning the patient and the machine correctly, and using radiation protection devices can all be part of getting a patient ready for an x-ray. This ensures that only the area of the body that needs the x-ray is exposed to radiation.
They are in charge of managing the machinery to ensure that the radiographs have the proper contrast, detail, and density. They closely adhere to medical protocol and are guided by a doctor’s supervision.
It is crucial that they protect themselves, their coworkers, and their patients from any unwanted radiation exposure. They accomplish this, for example, by using lead aprons, shields, and monitoring tools to gauge radiation exposure.
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What is a Radiology Technician School Like?
Patient care principles and procedures will be incorporated into the classroom instruction and lab sessions of a quality radiologic technology program.
Direct access to rooms housing radiologic equipment is essential, so plan on guided “hands-on” time. Both routine medical checkups and trauma scenarios require students to become proficient with imaging technology.
Verify the radiologic technology program’s affiliate network to see if it can provide you with the extensive work experience you require prior to graduation.
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Is Attending a Radiology Technician School Worth it?
X-ray technicians and radiologic technologists assist other medical specialists in the diagnosis of diseases and injuries. X-ray technicians position patients while using imaging equipment to capture images of the body. Patients benefit from their labor by receiving the medical attention they require to recover and thrive.
Students who want to work as x-ray technicians can enroll in Cambridge College’s Radiologic Technology program. You will learn all you require for a fruitful career as an x-ray technician with this curriculum.
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What Schooling Do You Need to Become a Radiology Technician?
Getting an associate’s degree is the most typical path to become a radiologic technologist.
An Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Radiologic Technology, for instance, is offered by NWHSU. For this career, bachelor degree programs are also available.
Although some schools may demand a minimum cumulative GPA, a high school diploma or GED is typically the sole educational requirement to enroll in a radiologic technologist program.
Be aware that there can be extra requirements for admission, such as writing a personal essay, offering references from the workplace, and passing a criminal background check.
The specific courses needed for each program will differ. Here is a brief summary of the coursework for NWHSU’s Radiologic Technology program to give you an idea of what it entails to become a radiologic technologist:
- In addition to the arts and social sciences, general education courses are offered in anatomy, mathematics, English composition, and communications.
- Medical terminology, radiation physics, and anatomy as it relates to medical imaging methods are just a few of the topics covered in program-specific courses and lab work on radiologic sciences and procedures.
- internships in healthcare.
It normally takes two years to complete an associate’s degree. The course material includes lessons on human anatomy and physiology.
By enrolling in psychology, patient care methods, and patient evaluation courses, you can also learn how to work with patients. Studying actual radiography processes, medical language, radiation protection, and radiographic imaging also gives you expertise with medical equipment.
Anatomy, radiation physics, medical jargon, medical ethics, radiobiology, and pathology are among topics included in the radiography bachelor’s degree.
With this advanced 4-year degree, you can manage more intricate and specialized treatments like MRI and CT scans and address issues with medical imaging.
You can also get ready for a job in radiography by obtaining a professional certificate in radiology if you already have a medical degree in nursing or a similar subject.
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How Long Does it Take to Become a Licensed Radiology Technician?
The normal training period for radiology technicians is two years. Although it is feasible, it is unusual to finish the necessary coursework and certifications in less than two years.
A typical course load for those pursuing a career as a radiology technician is roughly 70 credits, spread out over four to six semesters. The completion time for this can range from sixteen months to two years.
However, it’s crucial to choose a curriculum that has been approved by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT), as certain states demand that radiologist technicians complete this approved program before they can apply for licensing.
While an associate’s degree in radiologic technology can be earned in as little as two years, some students might prefer to go for a four-year degree instead. This gives them a more thorough education and frequently gets them ready to take on responsibilities that are more specialized and complex.
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How Much Does it Cost to Become a Licensed Radiology Technician in 2023?
A certificate in radiography or radiologic technology typically costs between $6,000 and $20,000 and takes 18 to 24 months to finish.
Whether you are paying in-state or out-of-state tuition fees, the type and location of the X-Ray Technician school you choose will all affect how much it will cost to attend.
When choosing a program, it is important to consider all available schools. By making this crucial decision, you can contribute to determining how much you pay for school. An recognized school’s Radiology Tech program typically costs between the following ranges:
- One-year certificate program; yearly cost: $2,500–$10,000
- Associate’s degree in two years: $4,000–12,000 per year
- three years $7,000–13,000 (in-state); $12,000–27,000 for bachelor’s degrees (out-of state)
- The average annual cost of books and supplies is up to $1,200.
- Room and board typically cost between $10,000 and $17,000 a year.
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Salary and Job Outlook for Physician After Study
The middle 50% of radiology technologists made between $42,180 and $92,660 per year in 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most radiology techs work at hospitals and doctor’s offices that specialize in medicine and surgery.
According to the BLS, employment prospects for radiology technologists were predicted to grow between 2020 and 2030 at a rate of about 9%, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations.
The projected growth was attributed to our aging population and federal legislation that will increase access to health insurance.
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By 2026, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 12 percent growth in employment for X-Ray technicians. In this industry, people with advanced degrees, greater managerial experience, or specialization in a subfield of radiologic technology will be in high demand.
For anyone joining the healthcare industry in any capacity, having excellent customer service and interpersonal skills are essential.
In order to diagnose and treat more medical issues, such as osteoporosis-related breaks and fractures, the aging population will become more prevalent. The diagnostic tools will require the use and maintenance of radiologic technologists.
Despite the fact that hospitals will continue to be the primary employers of radiologic technologists, a number of new positions will be available at doctors’ offices and imaging facilities.
Due to the trend toward outpatient care wherever possible, employment in these healthcare settings is anticipated to rise.
Third-party payers promote outpatient care as a cost-saving strategy, and it is made possible by technology advancements like less expensive equipment that enable more procedures to be completed outside of hospitals.
Radiologic technologists typically have full-time jobs. Emergency situations necessitate imaging, thus some technology work weekends.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Radiology technicians do indeed earn well. Around $62,000 is the median annual salary for radiologic technologists and technicians. The richest ten percent earn nearly $92,000 annually, while the worst ten percent make about $42,000.
The majority of programs last two years and grant an associates degree.
Since students must retain the information to pass the national board exam administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, radiology schools can be difficult.
The prevalence of diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, which require imaging as a diagnostic tool, will rise as the population ages. To take the pictures, radiologic technologists will be required. Additionally, a result of federal health insurance reform, more people are anticipated to have access to health insurance in the future.
The future for radiology technicians looks bright. People who wish to start working and making money can enroll in six-month or one-year programs.
A radiologic technology bachelor’s degree is a good place to start for those who desire to continue their studies or enter other closely linked medical sectors.
The complexity of a radiology technology program is manageable if the student is prepared to put in the effort and the necessary study time.
Depending on the program and specialization one chooses, the level of difficulty may change.
The future is promising for radiology technicians. People can enroll in six-month or one-year programs if they want to start working and earning money.
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