What is an x-ray technician?
An x-ray technician is an integral member of every medical team and is vital for the diagnosis of various medical disorders to ensure that high quality care can be provided, thus addressing the problem appropriately. X-ray technicians are not only qualified to take x-rays in hospitals, doctor's officers, dental surgeries and various other medical settings, but they are also qualified to read them and make recommendations for the care of individual patients.
Individuals looking to qualify as an x-ray technician can take one of a number of programs to do so but must also commit to ongoing training to maintain the qualification. In addition, there are numerous technologies that x-ray technicians can actually specialize in, from mammography to CT scanning so relevant training will be necessary if you do want to specialize.
What different types of degree are there in the x-ray technician field?
There are numerous programs that individuals can take in the x-ray technician field, ranging from one to four years in length depending on the program of choice. The minimum education requirements to enroll in a program to become an x-ray technician is a high school diploma or GED but this will depend on the nature of the program. You can choose from the following:
- Certificate in Radiography: The most basic qualification available to individuals looking to become an x-ray technician, a certificate in radiology or other related field takes just 12 months to complete and deals with the basics, such as how to take, develop and interpret an x-ray. Patient care is also included in this largely workplace taught qualification.
- Associate Degree in Radiography: A little more complex than the certification, an associate's degree in radiography or related field, it is a flexible course that combines hands on training with basic education in the field. Digital imaging, patient care and medical terminology are all integral elements.
- Bachelor Degree Radiology: Taking a bachelor of science in radiology or a similar field can give students the best possible advantage in the x-ray technician field because the knowledge taught is more in depth and focuses on the sciences, including clinical education, anatomy, biology and pathology.
- Master of Radiology: The Master of radiology is essentially a course that follows on from the bachelor degree and is designed to enhance knowledge even further, allowing students to specialize in a specific area if they so wish. This enhances the career prospects no end.
What kinds of financial aid are available for schools offering x-ray technician programs?
In addition to the grants that are available for students from federal and state sources, there are specific x-ray technician grants, scholarships and financial aid available. Some are offered by individual schools to their own students but there are also general x-ray technician scholarships and financial aid available regardless of the school you attend:
- American Society of Radiological Technologists: The foundation offers various grants and scholarships to individuals looking to qualify as an x-ray technician. It is possible to apply for them on the website. The applicant qualification criteria depends on the grant or scholarship in question.
- MGH Institute of Health Professions: Again, this facility offers a number of x-ray technician financial aid, grants and scholarship options. From full scholarships to hardship grants, there are several programs that you can apply for depending on the qualification criteria of each one.
What colleges and universities offer x-ray technician programs?
There are hundreds of colleges and universities that offer x ray technician programs at the current time, many of which offer a range of programs to ensure that students can choose the one that is best for them. The following offers a small sample of the institutions and what they provide:
- Keiser University: Associate of Science in Radiologic Technology - Designed for students wanting to enter into the profession at a basic level, this associate degree can give potential x-ray technicians the fundamental knowledge they need to be successful as an assistant within the field.
- Pima Medical Institute: Advanced Placement Track Associate of Radiography - This course is administered solely online and is designed for students that already have experience in the field. This may be either education or experience in a workplace.
- South College, Asheville: Bachelor of Science in Radiological Sciences - This BS in radiologic sciences is a comprehensive degree program that is designed to provide advanced knowledge to help the transition to the workplace alone. It includes a foundation in science as well as practical training in patient care and equipment handling.
- Fairleigh Dickinson University: Bachelor of Science in Radiology Technology - Available in full and part time flexible options, the BS in radiology technology is designed for students starting out on this career path as well as those who have completed certification or associate degrees. It provides a comprehensive education in the field.
- Bellevue College: Associate Degree in Radiologic Technology - This x-ray technician program incorporated clinical experience with general education in the field. An associate degree in radiologic technology like this can also provide an entry into a higher degree program.
- Midwestern State University: Master of Radiologic Science - This is a unique course that offers key education in administration, education and assistance so as to enable students to specialize in the field. The master's degree of radiologic science does incorporate clinical experience as well as theoretical work.
What is the salary of someone with an x-ray technician qualification?
The x-ray technician average salary largely depends on a number of factors, including the medical facility in which you work, qualification level, experience level and relevant specialism. However, the average x-ray technician salary falls between $44,900 and $49,500, although 25% of those individuals in the field make in excess of $55,300 per year.
What are common x-ray technician careers?
The following careers are common amongst those that are qualified x-ray technicians:
- X Ray Technician: An x-ray technician generally works in a medical facility and takes x-rays of the human body to aid in the diagnosis of an injury or illness.
- Radiologic Technologist: Radiologic technologists, or radiographers, specialize in using x-ray technology to take and process images of the human body via CT or MRI scans within medical facilities.
- Sonographer: An integral part of an obstetrics or maternity department in hospitals and private clinics, sonographers use x-ray technology to provide ultrasound scans. This is most commonly used for pregnant women but may also be used as a tool for diagnosis.
- Dental Technician: Dental technicians take and process x-rays within dental practices, thus helping to enable the diagnosis of oral problems.
- Cabrillo Community College
- Canada College
- Chaffey College
- Foothill College
- Fresno City College
- Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts
- Loma Linda University
- Los Angeles City College
- Los Angeles City College
- Merced College
- Modern Technology School
- Mt. San Antonio College
- Orange Coast College
- Pasadena City College
- San Diego Mesa College
- San Joaquin Delta College
- Santa Rosa Junior College
- Skyline College
- Stanford School of Medicine
- University of California Davis
- Yuba College
- Academy of Health Care Professions
- Austin Community College
- Brookhaven College
- Howard College
- Kilgore College
- Lone Star College
- McLennan Community College
- North Central Texas College
- Remington College
- South Texas College
- Tarrant County College
- Temple College
- Texas Tech University
- University of Texas Health Science Center
- Weatherford College