The X-Ray Technician

Most everyone has needed an x-ray at one time or another in their lives. It could be that they had an accident and broke an arm or leg or they had a chest x-ray during a routine exam. While the x-ray procedure is almost nothing to a patient, much goes into creating quality images that a doctor can use. This is the job of an x-ray technician who possibly assists an x-ray technologist.

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Fortis Institute can give you the skills you need to train for a career in the healthcare field.

* Programs vary by location

* Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information


Programs:

  • Medical Assisting with Basic X-Ray Operation
  • Medical Office Basic X-ray Technician
  • Radiologic Technology
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At Everest University you can get a higher education designed to meet the demands of employers in some of today's hottest fields.

Programs:

  • Radiologic Technology
Locations: Tampa

For more than 35 years, Keiser University has provided student-centered, career-focused education in fields such as health care, business, criminal justice and information technology.  Our one-class-at-a-time schedules allow busy students to focus on their education and balance the demands of work and family.  Whether you choose to attend online, on campus, or both you will be part of a caring learning environment led by experienced faculty who bring textbooks to life with real-world challenges and solutions.  Our unique combination of a curriculum that is in pace with technology and the skills employers value along with our “students first” approach provides an outstanding academic experience. 

Programs:

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Dallas-based Parker University, formerly known as Parker College of Chiropractic, is one of the world’s leading educators of health care professionals. Founded in 1982, this private, nonprofit, educational institution prepares men and women to become doctors of chiropractic. In addition, Parker University awards additional wellness-focused degrees including a Bachelor of Science with a major in Anatomy and a Bachelor of Science with a major in Health and Wellness, massage therapy certificates, and continuing education specializations and certifications.

Programs:

  • Associate of Applied Science with a major in Radiologic Technology
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Get personalized attention at UMA.

One-on-one tutoring, pre-interview coaching, job search assistance, alumni services—they’re all included in Ultimate Medical Academy’s competitively priced tuition. As a nationally accredited school, we provide quality career training at our campuses in Tampa and Clearwater, Florida. Let’s talk about your needs, your career goals and how UMA can help you succeed.

Programs:

  • Basic X-Ray with Medical Office Procedures
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Pioneer Pacific College is uncompromisingly dedicated to helping people improve their lives through high-quality, college-level career education. 

Programs:

  • Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting with Limited X-ray
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Locations: BeavertonSpringfield

Founded in 1819, the University of Cincinnati (UC) has been categorized at the highest level of higher education: the Carnegie Commission (which evaluates the achievements of faculty, current research, leading edge curriculum, and accreditation) has recognized UC as a Doctoral/Research University — Extensive. Each year, this urban, public, nonprofit university graduates 5,000 students, adding to more than 200,000 living alumni around the world. The online programs connect students to a dynamic community of devoted educators, accessible research, and a dedicated support team.

Programs:

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South College, located in Knoxville, Tennessee, can help you achieve your goals. We offer a small college environment, quality programs, and flexible day, evening, or Saturday classes.

Programs:

  • Certificate - Nuclear Medicine
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Get your career started with an education from Spencerian College. Earn your certificate, diploma, or associate degree for a career in the allied health, technology, or business administration fields.

Programs:

  • Limited Medical Radiography
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South College-Asheville offers a range of career-focused programs designed to help you reach your potential. Program areas include accounting, business administration, medical assisting, criminal justice and more.

Programs:

  • Bachelor of Science Degree - Radiologic Sciences
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At a Glance

X-Ray Technician TrainingOther Job Titles: Radiologic Technician
Salary Range:
$22,000-$73,000; Median $42,432
Education/Training Required:
Typical is a two-year associate’s degree in radiography
Desired Skills/Aptitude:
detail-oriented; science; mathematics; technical; interpersonal communication skills
Certification/Licensing:
Most states require a limited x-ray license in order to do basic x-rays;
Locations with Best Opportunities:
Mississippi, New York, Massachusetts, Washington, DC, California
Employment Outlook:
Expected to grow 28% through 2020 (faster than average)
Opportunities for Advancement:
X-ray technicians further their education and find opportunities in radiation therapy and diagnostic medical sonography; They can also meet certification requirements to become radiologic technologists; Some go on to become doctors of radiography after completing further education

What an X-Ray Technician Does

It is important to first understand that an x-ray technician is not the same as an x-ray technologist. The latter requires more stringent requirements plus certification.

An x-ray technician’s main responsibility is to produce images that show the internal region of a patient as directed by a physician. The technician oftentimes will assist the technologist. The physician will order the x-rays giving instructions as to which area should be imaged. For example, if the physician suspects that a patient has a broken ankle then x-rays will be ordered for that region. It is up to the x-ray technician to carry out the order and produce quality images that allow the physician to diagnose the condition such as where the fracture is.

The technician’s other responsibilities are to:

  • Position the patient for taking an x-ray
  • Describe the procedure to the patient
  • Prepare the patient by removing anything to hinder an x-ray
  • Position radiologic devices for getting the right image
  • Ensure patient safety with proper safety devices such as lead shields

Experienced and certified technicians who advance to technologists may also move into supervisory roles where they must manage shifts, prepare work schedules, and evaluate radiologic equipment purchases.

The Workplace

Most x-ray technicians work in hospitals and are shift workers. You will also find that some work in doctor’s offices, medical laboratories, and outpatient centers.

A typical day requires interfacing with patients and in some cases can be hurried and stressful. This is especially true for emergency rooms where several patients may all need x-rays at once.

Education and Certification

The typical program for an x-ray technician is for an associate’s degree in radiography. There are also certificate programs that last between 6 and 12 months but the associate’s degree is where you will get the best training. This is because the two-year associate’s degree also has clinical training where you actually practice in a hospital setting. There are four-year bachelor degree programs as well.

Accreditation of radiography training programs is done by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Check this before choosing a school because some states have strict requirements that a technician be trained only in a school with this accreditation.

Most states require licensing of x-ray technicians but only on a limited basis. A full license as a technologist is possible only after completing an accredited training program and passing a certification exam. Some states offer their own certification and nationally it can be obtained from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). However, the ARRT does not give certification to x-ray technicians even though they can take the exam. Nonetheless, if you have completed an accredited education program and passed the certification exam, you will become a radiologic technician. Continuing education is a must for keeping certification active.