Career Options for X-Ray Technicians

Qualifying as an x ray technician can set you up for a great career as a medical assistant. The combination of working with patients, doctors and very sophisticated machines makes this career a real challenge. With great immediate employment prospects, now is a great time to start your career. With a great shortage of x ray operators and technicians you have a lot of career choices before you.

Qualifying x-ray technician can take anything from 1 to 4 years of full time or part time study and depending on which qualification you get, you can work in a number of different fields. Here are a few of the most popular career choices.

You can obtain your qualification from a variety of different x ray technician schools and most universities offer degrees and courses. There are basically 2 different types of qualifications you can get and it takes anything from 1 to 4 years to be fully trained and qualified. Although you can get qualified online, there is a large part of the qualification that has a practical component and learning to operate the machinery is one of the main aspects of your qualification.

The quickest and easiest way is to obtain a qualification from a certified radiology school and to obtain a general radiography qualification. This will enable you to operate x-ray machines and help medical professionals to obtain images that will enable them to find broken bones and tumors in patients. General radiology certificated will allow you to further specialize.

The second type of qualification is to obtain an Associates Degree in Radiological Technology which will give you the formal title as a Radiologic Technologist or RT as its commonly known. With this qualification you can take the ARRT exam and get licensed to practice as a medical professional in your state. This qualification will enable you to further specialize in things like Ultrasound and MRI technologies which will broaden your work and career opportunities immensely.

Most programs for an X-ray Technician will prepare the student with studies of patient care, medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, pathology, the uses of radiology, and necessary protection from excessive radiation. Additionally, students will be instructed in the proper positioning of patients for specific techniques, principles of imaging, and medical ethics. X-ray Technician programs take one to four years of study, depending on the program and the level of expertise the student chooses.

A curriculum emphasizes the development of effective techniques and preparation for state examinations for certification or licensing, as necessary. Most programs prepare X-ray Technicians to perform back office medical assistance, as well, which will increase job opportunities and vary job one’s experience.

Career options for x ray technicians are endless. Although most end up working in hospitals, you can always venture into the private sector. Working for Radiologists, general practitioners, dentists or even vets makes this a very diverse qualification with endless opportunities. Financially, it can be very rewarding but most of all it’s a very secure career as the demand is high and it remains relatively unaffected by economic downturns and recessions.

Experience counts for a lot and getting your license can open up even more career prospects. There are several schools that offer internships that allow you to work in training. This hand on approach is the best way to get qualified but it tends to be more expensive and much slower. It will however give you a head start when it comes to finding a job and if you can get a scholarship it can be the most cost effective way to obtain your qualification as an X ray technician.