Going into a new career is always an unnerving process. Having all the information about a career choice can make the process less of a hassle. This report will give all the information needed for a prospective future as a Radiologic Technician. The information will vary from schools, salary/pay, best work locations and even information on research done by the professionals in this work field.
The first step to becoming a Radiologic Technician is finding the right school. There are many choices of where to get an education such as hospitals, universities, vocational colleges and even the U.S Armed Forces. There are many schools to choose from right here in California. There is Canada College, Foothill College, Chaffey College and Cabrillo College which offer associates degrees. There is also Cal-State Northridge which offers a bachelor’s degree. All these schools are located in California and allow the student to choose the one that is most convenient for them.
Some facts about schools all over the U.S:
- Highest grad rate: Modern Technician School, 89%
- Highest net price per year: West Coast Ultrasound Institute, $40,480
- Lowest net price per year: Bakersfield College, $3,625
- Highest student population: Cal-State Northridge, 36,911
- Lowest student population: Modern Technician School, 110
- General annual tuition rate for rad-tech ranges from $1,068-$6,974
When going into this career field, the student will be educated in topics such as anatomy, patient positioning, examination techniques, equipment protocols, radiation safety/protection, and basic patient care. Not only do they have to get educated in these topics but they also need about two years of generic education as pre-requisites to be able to apply to the program.
Once getting a degree, knowing what to expect from the job is important. A Radiology Technician position earns a wage of about $27.94 per hour and about $58,000 per year (Bureau of labor statistics). This is for a person who has an associate’s degree. The job growth for this field is expected to be about 9%, which is about 20,700 jobs in the next 10 years. Most importantly what does a radiology technician do? They perform diagnostic imaging examinations such as x-rays and ultrasounds. They work in healthcare facilities and more than half work in hospitals. Also they must be licensed and certified, some jobs don’t require it, but it is best if they do it anyways. There is also the opportunity to study specific positions such as:
- Bone Density Technologist
- Cardiac Interventional and Vascular Interventional Technologist
- Computed Tomography Technologist
Finding the best location to look for a job is a main step. California overall has the best employment opportunity in the U.S. The list continues with Texas, NY, Florida and Pennsylvania (Bureau of Labor Statistics). What always needs to be taken into consideration is the population density of the state. The bigger the state, the more impacted the job might be.
The working conditions of a Radiologic Technologist are very flexible and have different hours of work available. They offer full-time work which gives about 40 hours per week. They also offer evening hours, weekend, on-call and part time positions. Having a variety of options is great because of busy life schedules. Especially when further opportunities for more schooling are available, it is important to be able to have a work schedule that can be worked around.
What is also significant to consider when going into a job field, is the opinion and comments of people who already work in that certain job. When looking into a job, what is key to take into consideration is how hard it might be to find a job. When looking at the website indeed.com, there were many comments about the Radiology field. People after graduating have a hard time finding a full time job. When graduation from a school, finding a job at a hospital is sometimes near impossible. Hospitals mostly only hire students who have taken the program that the hospital offers. Another complaint about the Radiology career field is how impacted it is becoming. What many of the recent graduates say is that there are not enough jobs out there compared to the amount of techs that the schools are turning out.“ Jobs are out there, and the techs just like to be discouraging because they don’t have the best work ethics and they don’t want competition” Jennifer in Lyons, Georgia. This goes to show that it won’t always be easy to find a job, but that is a problem faced in all the different work fields.
Radiology technicians help in many ways by working closely with Radiologists. The work and research that is done is remarkable. There is a new finding that says that getting radiation twice-daily can improve outcomes of cancer. Published Feb 08, 2017, “New study indicates that for patients with head and neck cancer, twice daily radiation therapy combined with chemo therapy could save more lives.” The research, that was presented at the European Cancer Congress 2017, was done in 100 different trials with 29,000 patients from around the world. Compared with 16 different treatments, getting radiation therapy twice daily cuts deaths about 20% (ASRT). A Radiologic Technicians contribution is important and gives meaning to the job.
Becoming a radiology technician will have its pros and cons, this report gives a wide variety of information needed to make a decision on whether or not this career suites the reader. There is more information that can be researched, but all the basic facts needed to spark interest are presented.