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Radiologist Technician Education Requirements and Career Information

Job Descriptions February 15, 2013

X-ray scanning machines are used by radiologist technicians in generating images of internal organs and bones for diagnosis of ailments. These professionals also involve themselves minimally in patient care. While they are typically employed at hospitals, radiologist technicians are increasingly employed at work settings such as physicians’ offices and diagnostic imaging centers, with x-ray technology becoming affordable. In this article, we will take a look at the training requirements of radiologist technicians.

Radiologist Technicians Education Requirements

Accredited radiologist technician programs are offered at the bachelor degree, associate degree, and certificate program levels. The most common program for this position is an associate degree, and it starts with exclusive classroom study. Imaging, procedures and radiologic physics are covered in the program. Once core requirements are satisfied by students, they can gradually move on to advanced clinical practice during which they get to work with patients and doctors in a healthcare setting.

Radiologist Technicians Career Information

New patients are taught about the x-ray procedure and asked to remove any metal items that could result in the blockage of x-rays from radiologist technicians. Patients are then positioned for optimal imaging by the radiologist technicians and draped with lead blankets to provide protection from unwanted exposure. Images are shot after x-ray machine controls are adjusted for detail and contrast. Additionally, records are kept and light maintenance performed by radiologist technicians who, depending on their experience and seniority may also evaluate equipment purchases and creates work schedules.

Radiologist Technicians Licensing and Certification

Most states make obtaining licensure for radiologist technicians mandatory. While each state could have its own requirements, common requirements include passing a state board examination and completion of an accredited radiography course. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) offers a voluntary certification exam, the results of which may be accepted instead of the state exam; applicants should verify the actual requirements by contacting their respective state boards (www.arrt.org). Completion of an ethics assessment and passing a qualifying examination are the prerequisites for ARRT certification, which involves taking a computer based exam at an approved testing center. Successful passage of the exam must be followed by completion of twenty-four continuing education credits every two years or successful completion of an additional examination approved by ARRT.

Salary Information and Job Outlook

Job growth potential of eighteen percent has been projected for these professionals during the period from 2008 to 2018 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). The optimistic outlook is due to the aging American population and the increasing value diagnostic imaging as a monitoring or detection tool. In May 2009, these professionals earned an average annual salary of $54,180, with $64,800 being the highest annual salary in the field that is taken home by those working in scientific research and development.

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