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X-Ray Technician Schools

By: CareerFactsheet editors- Updated: Jul 10,2012

X-ray technicians, also referred to as radiologic technicians and radiographers, are primarily involved in the use and operation of diagnostic imaging equipment. Aside from handling x-ray equipment, other duties and specializations of a technician include use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), mammography, and nuclear medicine, among others.

This field of medical science is, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an emerging field with a growth projection of 17% through 2018. The increased need for x-ray technicians is due largely to the demand for diagnostic imaging analysis that is important in the monitoring and treatment of various diseases. Likewise, government foresees the need to replace radiologists who opt for a career change. Thus, being knowledgeable on more than one procedure provides added job prospects for would-be technicians considering that more employers now prefer multi-credentialed radiologists.

Educational Requirements for X-ray Technicians

To begin a career as an x-ray technician, following is the path aspirants must complete:

X-Ray Technician Schools
High School. A high school diploma is the minimum requirement to gain acceptance into an x-ray technician school. One must have mastery on subjects such as math, physics, biology, and chemistry because these are main requisites for this course.

Formal Training Program. Next step is to complete a degree as radiologist. One may choose from several programs:

Certificate Program – Typically, certificate programs last from six months to 18 months of study, and students may choose between two types of radiology certificates. The first one is the beginner's certificate for those who want to fast track their training and immediately work as a technician. Sometimes, this is also called a diploma course. On the other hand is the specialized certificates for those already working as x-ray technicians but who want to further their education and training by focusing on specific imaging procedures such as CT scans, radiation therapy, or interventional radiology.

Associate's degree program – Per BLS studies, this is the route preferred by students opting for a career in Radiologic Technology. In the two years that it takes to complete the course, students gain solid knowledge about the basics of radiology, including safety procedures and case studies. Completion of the course allows students to continue with on-the-job training.

Bachelor's degree program – If a student's goal is to handle managerial positions and earning considerably higher pay in the future, then this is the path one should take. A bachelor's degree sets one apart from the rest of the employees, thus, more employment opportunities await future employees. However, it is important to note that for someone who is just starting a career in x-ray technology, a bachelor's degree is not required. An associate's degree is enough to gain employment in a hospital, and if one still wants to pursue higher education to prepare oneself for leadership roles, then he can easily complete a bachelor's degree in radiology.

However, it is important to note that for someone who is just starting a career in x-ray technology, a bachelor's degree is not required. An associate's degree is enough to gain employment in a hospital, and if one still wants to pursue higher education to prepare oneself for leadership roles, then he can easily complete a bachelor's degree in radiology.

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