A job as a radiologic technologist is a fantastic choice to take into consideration if you have an interest in the medical industry, diagnostic imaging, or x-rays.
It does raise the question; how long does it take to become an X-ray technician?
People might believe that becoming a radiologic technologist requires years of training.
While there are prospects for growth, radiologic technologists can finish everything they need to do in as little as two years.
Finding out exactly what the profession entails is the first step in understanding radiology technology and how x-ray technicians operate.
In order to become radiology technicians, potential rad techs must have a thorough understanding of their duties, what the job entails, and respect for the work.
Therefore, this article describes what an X-ray technician does and how long it takes to become an X-ray technician, as well as addresses some questions often asked.
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What is an X-ray Technician School Like?
Radiologic technology associate degrees and certificate programs are the two main educational pathways for X-ray technologists.
If you want to work as an X-ray technician, some jurisdictions demand associate degrees, while others don’t have any formal licensing requirements.
It’s crucial to comprehend the intricacies of each software type before determining which path to take:
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Certificate for radiologic technologists
The background knowledge you should have before handling X-ray equipment is emphasized in certificate programs.
They go over the fundamental tasks performed by X-ray technicians and become familiar with the equipment, lingo, and best practices for dealing with patients. Course material may cover:
- HIPPA rights
- Radiation safety
- Human anatomy
- Math for radiology
- Radiation fundamentals
- Medical imaging analysis
- Using imaging equipment
- Patient care
A radiologic technician externship is another option provided by some programs.
During this time, you work with patients while learning from an experienced radiologic technician in a clinical setting.
For those who reside in states without an associate degree needed for licensure, certificate programs are the best option.
Additionally, they are a wonderful option for those who already hold an associate or bachelor’s degree in a different subject and wish to specialize in or change occupations in order to become x-ray technologists.
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Associate degree in radiologic technology
To become a licensed X-ray tech, you typically need an associate’s degree in radiologic technology.
A more comprehensive overview of advanced X-ray technician responsibilities is provided in the associate degree program’s curriculum, which also includes general education courses.
While offering more specific knowledge and practical instruction, associate programs may cover similar subjects to certificate programs.
Typical courses for associate’s degrees in radiologic technology include:
- Radiology modalities
- X-ray quality control
- Radiology physics
- Pathology in radiology
- Radiation protection
- Mobile X-rays for trauma
- Imaging in surgery
- Advanced radiographic positioning
The completion of clinicals, which are classes that take place in a clinical setting and entail practice under the supervision of a licensed technologist, is another requirement for associate degree programs in radiology.
To broaden your skill set, it’s typical to finish several clinics in various settings.
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Is Attending an X-ray Technician School Worth It?
1. You will be Prepared for a job as a Radiologic technician
After earning a degree in radiologic technology, such as an Associate of Applied Science with a concentration in Radiologic Technology, you can start working as a radiologic technologist at the entry-level straight away.
You’d need to work as a radiation technician, to begin with if you didn’t have the degree.
2. You’ll get paid more and have a better job
Salary for radiologic technologists begins in the mid-five figures. Radiation technicians make less money.
Only X-ray equipment is used by a radiation technician.
However, you’ll use a lot more imaging technology if you become a radiologic technician.
The position will also require overseeing radiation technicians and interacting with patients, other employees, doctors, and hospitals.
You’ll work a standard 40-hour work week, yet the work is constantly engaging and new.
While working, you prepare equipment and interact with patients.
You have the opportunity to facilitate their experience and make them feel secure and at ease.
Additionally, you have the chance to assist in the evaluation of imaging results by working with your team and speaking with medical professionals and other technicians, for instance.
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3. The future will present options to you
With this degree, you can advance your career in the industry in a number of ways.
You may pursue a career in radiation therapy, nuclear medicine, or mammography, for instance.
To learn computed tomography, you can also become an MRI technologist (CT).
4. Advanced training and confidence in your job
You can get the education you need to confidently perform your work with a solid radiologic tech degree.
You will gain practical experience working in clinical imaging centers as well as training in management and communication.
You’ll learn how to work with patients and improve their lives by consoling them and letting their medical team get the information they require to deliver the best possible treatment.
5. A strong support foundation and network will be available to you
You have the opportunity to network with other students and professionals when you earn your degree from a reputable educational institution.
These connections can also be used to your professional life.
The talents you gain from one other can then be used to support one another at work.
You will also have access to knowledgeable, credentialed teachers for assistance and queries.
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What Schooling Do You Need to Be an X-ray Technician?
The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists awards certification to X-ray technicians (ARRT).
They provide generic certification for radiologic technologists, which is frequently required by states before one may operate as an X-ray technician.
You must fulfill the following criteria to become an ARRT-certified radiographer:
Education: Attain a degree of at least an associate’s level and complete an education course leading to ARRT certification.
Obtaining an associate’s degree in radiologic technology is an easy method to fulfill both criteria at once.
Ethics: Agreement with the ARRT code of ethics and completion of the application’s ethical questions.
Exam: There are 200 questions on the ARRT basic radiography exam that cover patient care, safety, creating images, and radiography techniques.
A passing score is 75 out of a possible 99 points, and the exam lasts four hours.
As an X-ray technician, you can seek for advanced certification in subspecialties once you have at least two years of clinical experience.
- Radiography for the treatment of the heart
- CT imaging software
- Interventional radiography for the arteries
- Magnet resonance imaging
- Assistance from a radiology
License: Along with your ARRT accreditation, you may require a state license in some areas to work as an X-ray technician.
A background check, educational documentation, application completion, and application cost are often required in order to obtain a license.
Before deciding whether to pursue a profession as an X-ray technician, find out whether your state calls for state licensure, ARRT certification, or neither.
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How Long Does It Take To Become a Licensed X-ray Technician in year]?
Depending on the sort of educational program you select, being an X-ray technician may take one to two years.
Although some feature an accelerated track that allows you to finish the course early, certificate programs for X-ray techs normally last 14 months.
For X-ray technicians, longer degree programs often extend for two years.
Some X-ray tech programs provide part-time night classes that stretch out the course material over a longer period of time, making it simpler to work or take care of a family while pursuing your education.
If you currently hold a degree from a college, you might be able to transfer some of your credits to an X-ray technologist school and finish the remaining coursework in just a few months.
To find out about transferring credits, contact the college that is offering the certificate or degree.
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How Much Does It Cost to Become a Licensed X-ray Technician in 2023?
Whether you are paying in-state or out-of-state tuition costs, the type and location of the institution, and how many students are enrolled all affect how much attending X-Ray Technician schools will cost.
When choosing which curriculum to pursue, it is essential to consider all available schools.
On the basis of this significant decision, you can contribute to determining how much you pay for school.
The following price ranges generally represent the costs of completing a Radiology Tech program at an approved institution:
- One-year certificate program; yearly cost: $2,500–$10,000
- Associate’s degree in two years: $4,000–12,000 per year
- three years $7,000–13,000 (in-state); $12,000–27,000 for bachelor’s degrees (out-of state)
- The average annual cost of books and supplies is up to $1,200.
- Room and board typically cost between $10,000 and $17,000 a year.
Salary and Job Outlook for X-ray Technicians after Study
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment forecast for X-Ray technicians is expected to increase by 12 percent by 2026.
Candidates for this position will be sought after if they have advanced degrees, additional managerial experience, or have studied a specific area of radiologic technology.
Anyone entering the healthcare industry needs to possess excellent people skills and the ability to interact closely with patients.
Radiology and MRI technologists earned a median yearly salary of $63,710 in 2020, according to the BLS.
All healthcare occupations earned an average of $69,870 per year in 2020.
In the healthcare industry, this indicates that X-ray technicians make a respectable living.
The location, degree of experience, and education of a professional all have an impact on pay outlook, which is something that readers should keep in mind.
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In conclusion, following completion of their training, certification, and licensing requirements, X-ray technicians are eligible to apply for jobs in any medical environment that employs X-ray equipment for patient diagnosis or treatment.
Therefore, you might look into working in many types of facilities as a qualified X-ray technician.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some radiologists transition into managerial positions like chief radiologic technicians or shift supervisors as they gain more education and experience in their field. A clinical teacher or program director are examples of professions that some people take up in education.
To become a radiologist, one must complete high school and then study for an average of 13 years. This entails finishing a four-year undergraduate program, four years of medical school, a one-year internship, and four years of diagnostic radiology residency training.
There are four-year bachelor’s degree programs as well as two-year associate degree programs. Students can also enroll in one-year programs to become what is known as a limited radiographer, or LMRT. No matter the program you choose, one thing is certain: X-ray School is hard!
After learning more about the job of a radiologic technologist, you might be interested in pursuing it. Rad techs play a critical role in healthcare and have a high level of personal fulfillment in their work. According to U.S. News’ annual rankings, it is one of the top 20 healthcare positions.
In addition to their regular workday hours, radiographers also work weekends, evenings, and overnight shifts. You might spend a lot of time standing up, dealing with hard or stressful situations, or working in busy or stressful environments like A&E departments.
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