X-Ray Technician Training

An X-ray technician is considered to play a very important role in the field of allied healthcare. Individuals working in the allied healthcare field provide services and support the work of physicians. It is estimated that this field will continue to grow thanks to the increase in demand for diagnostics and health care that is needed by an aging population.

Technicians working in this field work with patients and doctors to create X-ray images, which can be used for the diagnosis of various conditions. They assess a number of factors before positioning patients and X-ray machinery in order to take the highest quality image possible for review. Anyone looking to become a technician will be rewarded with a high level of job satisfaction, plenty of employment opportunities, and an attractive salary.

Education and Training

X-ray technician training programs are offered by private technical schools, community colleges, and universities. Training programs offer either a one-year certificate, a two-year associate’s degree in radiological technology, or a four-year bachelor’s degree in radiological technology upon completion.

Technical schools and community colleges generally offer one-year certificate or two-year associate’s degree programs, while bachelor’s degree programs are mainly found at universities. Tuition will vary between institutions, but shorter programs generally cost less, with community colleges being the most cost-effective route.

Upon completion of an accredited training program, some students choose to take the certification exam offered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, or ARRT. Although this certification is voluntary, it is required by certain employers, and preferred by others. A certified technician will earn a higher wage and have more job opportunities available to them.

Curriculum

X-ray technician programs generally only require applicants to possess a high school diploma or its equivalent for admission. However, some community colleges and universities may require that a stuent take courses in English, psychology, anatomy and physiology, or algebra prior to admission.

The typical curriculum will include the following courses: medical terminology, human anatomy and physiology, patient care, medical law and ethics, radiation biology, radiographic pathology, radiologic exposure, radiographic physics, and radiation protection.

Most training programs include clinical courses, in which the students will be taken to a hospital or other medical setting to receive hands-on training and observe how the job is performed.

X Ray Technician Salary and Career Advancement

X-ray technicians make an average of $48,500 per year. An entry-level position pays an average of $30,000 per year, while an experienced technician can make upwards of $60,000 per year. Technicians who work in diagnostic labs are amongst the highest paid in the profession.

There are also many ways a technician can advance their career. With the relevant experience and a bachelor’s degree, it is possible for an X-ray technician to begin working with more advanced forms of diagnostic imaging, such as CAT, CT, or MRI scans. The ability to work with various forms of technology makes a technician an asset to their employer and increases their salary. It is also possible, with further education and experience, for a technician to advance into a supervisory position, which requires more responsibility and comes with a higher salary.

With people living longer, healthier lives, the healthcare industry booming due to an aging population and the advancement of diagnostic tools and preventative healthcare, technicians are in particularly high demand and can expect significant job growth in the next decade.

Anyone looking to working in this profession must be highly trained and skilled in order to maintain the safety and efficacy of radiological examinations. X-ray images are essential in diagnosing and curing a number of illnesses and conditions, many of which are life- threatening. There is no doubt that X-ray examinations have saved many lives and helped to avoid many unnecessary and invasive procedures, making skilled X-ray technicians vital to the allied healthcare field.