How to Become a Rad Tech | Salary & Education (2023)
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What is a Radiologic Technologist?
Radiologic technologists, sometimes called x-ray techs, radiology technicians, radiographers or rad techs, are professionals that are trained to assist and perform diagnostic imaging procedures such as x-rays, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and dynamic imaging, among others. These imaging procedures help rad techs create images of bones, tissues and even internal organs.
The images help physicians diagnose different ailments and figure out the necessary steps the patient should take for treatment. Radiologic techs may choose to focus on different imaging techniques such as X-ray and computed tomography (CT) imaging as well as positron emission tomography (PET). Aside from these methods, they are also responsible for monitoring patient safety, interviewing patients, explaining procedures and assisting them throughout the process.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 212,100 radiology tech jobs in 2020. The BLS projects a 9% growth for rad tech jobs in the United States between 2020 and 2030, which is faster than the average for all occupations.
How Do You Pursue a Career as a Rad Tech?
Rad techs typically enroll in a radiologic technology program to earn an associate's degree before entering the profession in radiologic technology. After getting their degree, the students may be eligible to take the national examination for a therapeutic radiologic technology certificate. This exam is given by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).
Rad techs both typically include classroom study and clinical work. Required classes could include anatomy, pathology, patient care, physics and image evaluation. When choosing a program, you may want to look for Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) accredited programs in radiography or American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT) accredited MRI since accredited programs are required for licensure in some states.
Admission requirements may vary depending on different states. For example, in California, radiology techs and technicians are required to have a certificate or permit to practice in the State of California. In order to do this, they must finish an educational program approved by the California Department of Public Health, Radiological Health Branch (RHB) and pass a California State examination or a national examination for certification. If you obtain California State certification, you may also apply for additional certificates.
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How Much Do Radiology Techs Make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, radiologic technologists had a median annual wage of $61,900 in 2020.
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