Radiology Technician Salaries
Radiology Technician Job Description
Radiologic technicians use and maintain supplies and equipment , such as x-ray, magnetic resonance imaging, mammography, and computed tomography depictions of sections of the human body, used in diagnostic imaging exams. Included in their duties are patient preparation and patient record maintenance. The technician also processes the exposed radiographs and ensures that exposures correlate to the requested procedures. This work involves standing for long periods and performing duties at diagnostic machines or at the bedside of a patient.
Radiology Technician Salary
In 2008, approximately 61 percent of radiology technician positions were in hospitals, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The majority of other positions were in physician offices, diagnostic and medical laboratories, and outpatient care centers. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median annual wage as of May 2008 was $52,210, with the lowest ten percent of technicians earning under $35,100 and the highest ten percent earning over $74,790. Medical and diagnostic laboratories were the highest payers, offering a $55,210 median annual wage. Median annual wages in the federal executive branch, general surgical and medical hospitals, and outpatient care centers were each over $50,000.
Radiology Technician Job Outlook
2008 – 2018 Projected Employment Changes 37,000 new Radiology Technologist jobs 17% increase in employment
Radiology technician employment is expected to grow faster than average. As of 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 214,700 people working in this field. From the years 2008 to 2018, anticipated increase is 17 percent, for a total of 37,000 additional workers. As medical technologies become more successful in treating disease, there will be an increasing need for diagnostic imaging to monitor treatment progress. Individuals who are skilled in multiple diagnostic imaging procedures will be most marketable.
Radiology Technician Education & Training
Hospitals, colleges, and universities provide multiple avenues of entry into a radiology technician career. A formal training program may result in a certificate or an associate or bachelor’s degree. Only two percent of those in this field who participated in an O*Net career survey held a bachelor’s degree. Some college but no degree was the level of education achieved by 25 percent and 73 percent held an associate degree.
Certificate programs usually have a duration of 21 to 24 months. In 2009, 213 certificate programs were accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. The committee provided accreditation to an additional 25 bachelor degree and 397 associate degree programs that year. Both clinical and classroom instruction are included in the curriculum of each program. Anyone interested in pursuing this career should focus on math and science in high school.
Licensure is required in most states and requirements vary by state. Being properly trained, as evidenced by a license, protects members of the public from hazards resulting from unnecessary exposure to radiation. A voluntary certification is offered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Graduation from an ARRT-accredited educational program and passing score on an examination are required to receive certification. Every two years, certified individuals must complete 24 hours of continuing education.
Radiology technicians operate complex equipment that aids in patient diagnosis and treatment. Related healthcare occupations include diagnostic medical sonographer, radiation therapist, nuclear medicine technologist, and cardiovascular technologist. Diagnostic medical sonographers, also called ultrasound technicians, direct sound waves into various areas of the body. Radiation therapists operate machines that provide radiation treatment to cancer patients. Nuclear medicine technologists use cameras that identify and map radiopharmaceuticals in the body to create diagnostic images. The heart and blood vessels are the focus of cardiovascular technologists, who assist physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of relevant ailments.