X ray technicians are medical professionals who have been specifically trained to operate x ray machinery to take pictures of the inside of the human body.
What are the job duties of an x-ray technician?
The primary job duty is to take x-ray films and keep the patient as comfortable as possible. More specific tasks include positioning the patient appropriately, positioning the equipment correctly, loading and unloading films, developing the films, reassuring the patient, and using the proper equipment to protect both himself and the patient from radiation. The technician must also maintain accurate records, communicate with physicians, and maintain the equipment in good working order.
What are the job prospects for an x-ray technician?
For newly qualified x-ray technicians, job prospects are good. Demand for x ray technicians is expected to grow faster than for the average career, especially as the growing and aging U.S. population requires more medical services like diagnostic imaging. In addition, the increasing emphasis on outpatient care is creating a greater need for imaging services and x ray technicians.
Where can I find x-ray technician employment?
The traditional, and largest, employer is hospitals.
Medical facilities outside of hospitals are also hiring more x ray technicians to administer their growing services, including:
• Diagnostic imaging centers
• Physician’s offices
• Physiotherapy centers
• Research and development
For an x-ray technician, employment outlook is even better if you specialize in CT, MRI or mammography, or if you are willing to relocate.
How much does an x-ray technician make?
There is some disagreement in these figures. According to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, the national median salary for an x ray technician is $58,000 annually. The 2006 Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a medial annual salary of $48,170; the top 10 percent made nearly $69,000 a year and the bottom 10 percent earned under $33,000 each year.
The exact salary may vary depending on the type of workplace. The Bureau also noted that an x ray technician working in laboratories made, on average, over $51,000 annually. Technicians in hospitals made almost $49,000 a year, and those in doctors’ offices made just $45,500.
Techs who are also trained in other imaging procedures, as mentioned above, have more earning and advancement potential. And, of course, the salary amount will also depend on where in the country you are working and on the local cost of living.
How many qualified x-ray technicians are currently employed in the U.S.?
In 2006, the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that there were 196,000 x-ray technicians working in the U.S. This number is expected to increase by roughly 15 percent by 2016, to over 225,000.