Radiology Tech Salary

radiology technicianRadiologic technologists work in the field of diagnostic medicine.  They are trained to operate imaging equipment and may perform  X-rays, ct scans or MRI’s.  They have an important role in a patients care that requires precise execution of a doctors orders.  Getting the proper angles of a bone or using the proper contrast to show an organ is vital to taking images that can be successfully used for diagnosis.  With an aging population comes increased health care needs and this leads the creation of many new jobs in the industry. The demand for newly certified radiology techs is expected to rise along with most other careers in the medical industry.

 

National Average Radiology Technician Salary

$56,760

 

Salary Range

Hourly Wage                          Annual Wage

                       Upper:             $37.71                                      $78,440

                       Median:           $26.54                                      $55,200

                       Lower:             $18.06                                       $37,570


 

States With Highest Salary

State                                    Avg. Hourly Wage                 Avg. Annual Wage

  • California                                         $34.63                                        $72,030
  • Alaska                                                $33.14                                        $68,920
  • Massachusetts                                $33.12                                        $68,890
  • District of Columbia                     $32.76                                        $68,130
  • Rhode Island                                   $32.63                                        $67,860

 

*All statistical data is from the U.S. Department of Labor and is updated quarterly

Job Description:

There are numerous types of imaging that a radiological tech can perform.  Taking x-rays of bones is just one of the diagnostic procedures that are done.  When taking X-rays it is vital that the patient be positioned properly so that not only the correct bone is captured, but the exact angle of the bone as ordered by the physician.

Computed tomography, more commonly known as a CT scan,  is another procedure that is performed.  CT scans involve injecting a radioactive solution into a patients vein.  Special equipment is then able to take detailed images by capturing images of the radioactive ingredients.  These scans allow detailed images of organs to be taken.

Magnetic resonance imaging, also know as an MRI, uses magnetic waves to capture images of organs and body tissues.  During an MRI a patient must remain immobile inside of the machine for an extended period of time, not only must the tech operate the equipment but also communicate to the patient what is expected of them during the procedure.  Some of the important aspects of this job are:

  • Operating and maintaining imaging equipment
  • Working with patients to produce the highest quality images.  This includes maneuvering patients to get proper angles.
  • Insuring the safety of patients as well as themselves and coworkers, by employing protective shielding when appropriate
  • Execute doctors orders with precision so that the proper parts of the body are imaged
  • Maintaining records of procedures as well as taking and updating patients accounts

 Schools

radiology technicianWork Environment:

The majority of radiology techs can be found working in hospitals, though they may also be employed in a physicians office, diagnostic laboratory, or health clinic.  Like other medical professionals that work directly with patients, there is the risk of exposure to infection disease.

Another potential hazard is the fact that the diagnostic procedures often involve the use of radiation.  Over exposure to X-rays or radioactive contrast used in ct scans can have long term effects on the health of the technician.  Numerous safeguards are used to limit exposure and if all procedures are followed, the risks are minimized.

Radiology techs can expect to spend a good part of their work day standing and walking around.  It may also be necessary to help patients into position so as to take the proper images.  It can be physically demanding and may present a problem for someone who has chronic pain or back problems.

Like other medical professions, there is a need for around the clock staffing.  In hospitals it is common for diagnostic evaluation to be performed in emergency situations, therefore a radiology tech must be present at all times.   Due to the fact that constant staffing is needed, work schedules can include overnight shifts as well as weekends.

 

How To Become A Radiology Technician – Education, Training, and Licensing:

There are several educational pathways that can be taken to become a radiological technician, certification programs and degree programs are both available.  Certification programs are usually 12 months long.  There is also the option of a degree program.  Many schools offer 2 year associates and 4 year bachelors degrees in radiological technology.  Training programs will include both classroom instruction and hands on training.  Courses are heavily focused on math and sciences.

Technicians will usually have one or more specialties that they focus on.  These can include X-rays, CT scans, mammography, or MRI’s.  Certification in each of these disciplines is possible,  Having multiple certifications greatly improves the chances of finding employment.

The majority of states require radiological technicians to have certification or be licensed. Every state has specific requirements, the state they are working in will determine what the requirements will be.  Most states will require successful completion of an accredited training program as well as a passing grade on a certification exam.

Because of the technological nature of diagnostic radiology,  there are continual advancements that are made leading to refinement of existing procedures and equipment.  With this advance in knowledge also comes new procedures and new equipment.  This is why it is necessary for radiology techs to have ongoing training,  continual education is required in order to stay certified.

Schools

Who Should Become A Radiology Tech?:

In order to excel as a radiology tech, one must be able to balance to two main aspects of this job.  One side is technical and involves the operation of advanced equipment.  The other aspect is the human side, effective communication and understanding are essential for taking the highest quality images while providing the highest level of care with minimal discomfort.

Having a strong analytical mind is of extreme importance for this profession.  Not only will this be needed for the safe and successful operation of diagnostic equipment, but also will be needed to determine proper dosages of chemicals needed for certain procedures.  Instructions from physicians must be carried out in exact detail in order to get the exact image that is needed.  Someone who is meticulous in following directions will perform best in this situation.

Developing good communication skills is important.  Not only will this help in getting the cooperation of patients so that high quality image can be taken, but can also be important to ease any stress or fears that a patient may be experiencing.  Explaining a procedure to a frightened person can help dispel any fears that may stem from misinformation or lack of knowledge.

How Much Does A Radiology Tech Make?

According the the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual radiology technician salary is $56,760.  The lowest 10 percent of reported incomes was averaged at $37,570 while the top 10 percent of earners took home an estimated $78,440. The state with the highest average salary is California, with an annual mean salary of $72,030.

Factors That Can Influence Salary:

As with most careers, location, experience and employer will be the biggest determining factors as to what a potential radiology tech salary will be.  Other things that can affect the salary of a radiology tech is certification.  Having multiple certifications in numerous specialties can be reflected in higher salaries.

Career Path:

Because of the similar prerequisites needed for a degree in this field, it would require minimal additional schooling for a radiology tech to complete a degree in nursing, surgical technology or numerous other health care related professions.  There is also the option of studying to be a physicians assistant or medical doctor as the medical background of radiology technology would provide a strong foundation for these careers.

Job Outlook:

Job growth for radiology technicians is projected to be around 21% from 2012 -2022.  This growth is above the average expected growth for the rest of the economy and presents a great opportunity for someone looking for stable career.  As the population ages, there will be a greater need for diagnostic imaging and therefore a greater need for certified radiology technicians.  The majority of current jobs are found in hospitals, with radiology labs and physicians offices making up a smaller percentage. This is expected to change in the coming years as more care is shifted to outpatient services.

Radiology Tech Schools In Your Area

*Contacting multiple schools will greatly increase the chances of finding the best school for your situation

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Get a hands-on education at Lincoln Technical Institute. Designed for today’s tough job market, our in-depth programs cover many fields including: Health Sciences, Business and Information Technology, Hospitality, Automotive Technology, HVAC Technology and Electrical Systems Technology. Financial Aid is available for those who qualify. Programs vary by campus.

Programs:

  • X-Ray Technician
Locations: Casselberry
San Joaquin Valley College is an accredited private junior college committed to the professional success of its students and graduates.
Founded in 1977, SJVC has campuses located throughout California-including an Online division and offers a variety of accelerated Certificate and Associate of Science degree programs in the business, medical and technical fields.

Students benefit from a balance of classroom instruction and real-world experience, learning the skills they need to go straight to work in today’s competitive job market.

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  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography
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Carrington College has helped over 45,000 graduates realize their dream of a career in healthcare. Now it's your turn. Choose from eleven conveniently located campuses.

Programs:

  • Medical Radiography
Locations: Spokane

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:

  • Radiologic Technology
Locations: West Palm Beach

Keiser University offers accredited degree programs in today's in demand careers: Healthcare, Technology, Paralegal, Business, Nursing and Legal Studies.

Programs:

  • Radiologic Technology, AS
Locations: Tallahassee

 

Explore a new career with Concorde Career College. We offer short-term programs in the fields of allied health, massage therapy, and nursing, including medical assisting, medical office administration, respiratory therapy, surgical technology, pharmacy technician, physical therapy assisting, occupational therapy assisting, practical nursing, vocational nursing, nursing bridge, dental assisting, and dental hygiene. Our focus is on hands-on skill-building, so you get real-life training and experience. We have 16 campuses located in and around major metro areas throughout California, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas.

Programs:

  • Radiologic Technology - (AAS)
Locations: Aurora
Pioneer Pacific College is a nationally recognized college with three Oregon locations. Degree programs are available in Business, Law, Computer Science and Health Services.

Programs:

  • Associate's in Radiologic Technology
Locations: Springfield
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:

  • Bachelor of Science - Health Science with Concentration in Radiography or Nuclear Medicine
  • Certificate - Nuclear Medicine
  • Associate of Science - Radiography
Locations: Knoxville

As a student at Southeastern College, you will gain the training, skills, and knowledge you need to start a rewarding career in growing occupations such as practical nursing, emergency medical services, medical assisting, massage therapy, and pharmacy technology. Our career-focused programs and flexible class schedules make Southeastern a great choice for busy working adults.

Programs:

  • AS in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Locations: New Port Richey
Don't wait another day to take the next step forward in your career. Kaplan College can give you the real-world knowledge and skills you need to succeed in your chosen field.

Programs:

  • Diploma: X-Ray Technician/Medical Assistant Back Office
Locations: Vista

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