X-ray technicians are professionals who need to have the ability not only to empathize with their patients, but also to help them be as comfortable as possible when they are positioned, and re-positioned, under the x-ray machines. It is critical that x-ray technicians read with high comprehension, as they will be figuring out orders written by physicians. They need to have good dexterity, be detail oriented and have a solid foundation of basic math. Problem-solving is also important as x-ray technicians may be called upon to do basic repairs and maintenance of the equipment. Today, x-ray technicians also need to show computer skills in order to enter results, send and receive email, access medical information and more.
Those who desire to become x-ray technicians need to choose a course of study from a college that the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology approves and accredits. Associate degree programs for becoming an x-ray technician can be completed, depending upon a particular program, in 21-24 months. These courses of study are offered by junior or community colleges as well as by medical training schools.
Beyond an associate degree, some 35 universities and colleges throughout the United States also offer bachelor degrees for those who plan to study for careers as x-ray technicians. Programs combine classroom education in science with chemistry, physics and anatomy along with hands-on practical learning opportunities.
The x-ray technicians are required to obtain a license issued by their state before they can treat patients without supervision from a licensed professional. The particular requirements for obtaining a license do vary depending upon the state.
States require a college transcript or diploma as proof that the individual has been trained in x-ray technology. Most states also have an examination that must be passed about both procedures and safety before issuing a license. Some states include a requirement for continuing education. Classes must be taken in order to continue as an x-ray technician in good standing. Once the class has been completed, the technician provides to the state proof of successful completion of the class.
As an x-ray technician, you can earn what would be considered a decent wage in many parts of the country. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), professional technicians average over $53,000 per year. The prospect of getting a job is high, because the demand for x-ray technicians continues to grow.