Last week we covered how to become a radiologist, but how about a technologist? Patients actually spend the most time with their technologists at their radiology appointments. According to Explore Health Careers, some of them specialize in specific techniques such as cardiovascular-interventional radiography, mammography or sonography.
Radiologic technologists are responsible for accurately positioning patients and ensuring that a quality diagnostic image is produced. If you’re thinking about becoming a technologist it’s not a bad idea- employment is projected to grow 21 percent from 2012 to 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Pretty lucrative, right? Here are a few different ways to become a rad tech:
1. The most popular way currently is a two-year associates degree. Programs like these are offered at almost all accredited community colleges and private (for-profit) institutions.
2. Another way is to get accreditation. Starting in 2015, you can only become certified if you have taken an associates program in radiology. As for certification, the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) provides voluntary certification in a variety of specialties. Several states use ARRT examinations for licensing purposes as well.
3. On the Field Training: You will need to know how to operate x-ray equipment, organize, process and analyze medical images, acquire and calculate accurate mathematical measurements and perform quality control.
4. Get Licensed: After completing your program and achieving accreditation, many states require you apply for ARRT. Check with your state’s health board and find out what you need to do.
5. Find a Job: Go online to reputable websites such as the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) site to see what opportunities are out there. Answer all questions with clear and precise information using buzz words. Buzz words are the words the human resources department will initially scan for when checking an application.
After completing these steps, you’re well on your way to becoming a radiology technologist. If you’re curious, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, salaries typically range from $37,610 to $80,080, with hospitals and diagnostic laboratories generally paying higher levels of compensation than physicians’ offices. That’s a pretty big incentive right? Good luck and get studying!