X-Ray Tech – Pay, Online Schools, and Certification

An X-ray technician is also referred to as a radiologic technologist or an X-ray technologist. They use imaging methods and techniques to see inside the human body. These pictures provide physicians with the ability to accurately treat and diagnose injuries and illnesses. They work with the most technologically advanced machinery available.

An X-ray tech takes a brief medical history from the patient, explains the procedure, and answers any questions. They then position the patient and shield them from ionizing radiation. They must adhere to the written orders of the physician, and often work with a radiologist. There are specialties within the field such as breast augmentation. An X-ray tech must keep detailed records and maintain the machinery.

The Salary of An X-ray Tech

The average wage for an X-ray tech is $57,450 annually. This figure fluctuates according to the geographic area and the current need for the position. The jobs can pay anywhere from $38,660 to $82,590 annually.

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The Programs for X-ray Techs

To become eligible for certification, an X-ray tech is required to have an associates degree. A traditional campus and school online both offer associates degrees. The school and classes must be accredited to be eligible for certification with the ARRT, or American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Many states additionally require the accreditation of the program through the JRCERT, or Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. The courses include biology, intravenous drug administration, anatomy, phlebotomy, and physics. The requirements include both classroom courses and practical training.

The Bachelor’s Degree

Many X-ray tech choose to earn either a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science or Radiologic Technology. These degrees are referred to as a BS or BSRT. These degrees have numerous advantages regarding salary and career advancement. The courses teach more advanced procedures and imaging modalities. A working knowledge of the quality of healthcare is additionally gained. The career skills learned help the individual become a more effective leader, team member, and collaborator. The most common courses for a bachelor’s degree are:

  • Computed tomography
  • Medical imaging pathology
  • Interventional radiology
  • Professional conduct standards
  • Ethics
  • Current Issues
  • X-ray technology
  • Diagnostic imaging labs
  • Clinical rotations at hospitals and clinics

The Certificate Program

The certification program is designed for individuals who already possess a minimum of an associate’s degree. A degree in another field is acceptable. Any prerequisites that were not included with the previous degree must be completed to be eligible for the certificate program. The most common prerequisites are:

  • Anatomy
  • Medical terminology
  • College algebra
  • Writing
  • Physiology

There are a lot of similarities between the curriculum for certification and the professional phase of a bachelor’s or associate degree. Clinical rotations are required to achieve certification. Radiologic physics teaches students the basics of radiation including how radiation is produced, and how it must be controlled within medical settings. Basic radiographic techniques including caring for patients during procedures and basic imaging protocols. Radiographic image critique is the identification of abnormal and normal anatomy on X-rays. Special procedures of radiology are an introduction to imaging procedures including fluoroscopy and angiography. The students practice their skills in diagnostic imaging centers and hospitals under supervision.

The Workplace for An X-ray Tech

In the past, the majority of X-ray techs worked within hospitals. Since a lot of health systems now offer imaging services including mammography and MRI on an outpatient basis, this has changed. Approximately one-third of all X-ray technicians work in specialized diagnostic centers and physician offices. Most technicians are required to work on a full-time basis because the facilities provide care around the clock. Outpatient settings offer regular business hours for X-ray techs.