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Become a Radiology Technician

Medical ResearchJob MarketBiologyBreast Cancer

If you have stamina, strength and an interest in biology and technology, plus the willingness to assist people who are under stress due to an undiagnosed illness, a career as a radiology technician may be right for you.

What They Do

Radiology technicians (aka radiologic technologists and radiographers) take x-ray films (radiographs) of different parts of the human body and administer nonradioactive materials into patients' bloodstreams as requested by physicians for the purpose of diagnosing medical problems.

Radiology technicians with greater experience and specialized training can perform more complex imaging procedures such as mammograms, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Many radiology technicians specialize in mammography, which uses low-dose x-rays to produce images of the breast for the purpose of diagnosing benign breast conditions and breast cancer.

Experienced technicians may be promoted to supervisor, chief radiologic technologist, radiologist assistant and department administrator or director. An advanced degree and additional certification are required for these positions. Some become instructors in a medical institution program or with equipment manufacturers. Others become sales representatives with equipment manufacturers.

You should know that radiology technicians stand for long periods and may have to lift or turn disabled patients.

Qualifications

Radiology technicians who graduate from an accredited radiography education program with an Associate's or Bachelor's degree and earn certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists® (ARRT) have an edge on being hired and promoted.

The Demand

Radiology technician employment will increase faster than average for all occupations due to our growing and aging population.

Hospitals employ the most radiologist technicians but as outpatient health facilities grow, so will opportunities in physicians' offices, diagnostic imaging laboratories and diagnostic imaging and outpatient care centers.

Radiologic technicians who can relocate and who have experience in more than one diagnostic imaging procedure--for example, CT, MR and mammography--will have the best employment opportunities.

The typical average annual salary ranges between $42,000 and $49,000. Radiology technicians in jobs that require more experience, training, specialization and certification can make upwards of $70,000 per year.

For more information visit the U. S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site at www.bls.gov and Web Travelers' Web site at www.webtravelers.com.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Medical ResearchJob MarketBiologyBreast Cancer
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