How do I Become an X-Ray Technician?

X-ray technicians enjoy professional stability and lucrative salaries. In fact, this profession has been listed as one of the best employment options for individuals that have an associate’s degree.

Obviously, having some education and knowing how to follow safety precautions will be essential for a successful career in the field of radiological imaging. If you’re interested in becoming an X-ray technologist, you’ll first have to complete a couple of important preliminary steps.

Educational Requirements for Becoming an X-Ray Technician

Acquiring an associate’s degree is one of the best opportunities for securing your workplace stability. The educational requirements for employment in the field are lower but if you don’t get an associate’s degree you’re going to enjoy a limited number of professional options.

An interesting study shows that 67 percent of the X-ray technicians in the US have an associate’s degree. The competition is intense, thus you can’t afford to go only for a basic diploma.

A training program in the field will feature a vast range of courses. X-ray technicians need to have some understanding of human anatomy, physics and biology. They will also learn how radiation impact living tissues and how it can be used for diagnostic purposes. The courses will also focus on safety and operating X-rat technology in an effective way.

The vast range of accredited programs features both classroom activities and practical exercises.

Depending on career goals, individuals that obtain an associate’s degree may continue working on their education until they get a bachelor’s degree.

Certification and Additional Requirements

The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) is the entity responsible for certifying professionals in this field. In order to get certification from ARRT, you need to have completed the educational program of an accredited university or college.

Certification should take place within three years of obtaining an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in the field of radiology. Individuals that haven’t completed an educational program may try to obtain their certificate after getting some on-the-job training. The ARRT website features more information about the certification requirements

Keep in mind that ARRT certification is an optional step. Still, many employers would favour X-ray technicians that have been certified.

A written exam has to be passed for candidates to get their certificate. It’s a four-hour test that consists of 220 questions. The test is scored on a pass/fail basis.

The ARRT certification doesn’t last a lifetime. It will have to be renewed, especially if you decide to practice in a state where membership with ARRT is a requirement for being employed as an X-ray technician.

The final step that will have to be completed involves licensing. Once again, the licensing requirements vary from place to place and will have to be examined in advance. The licensure criteria and duration will also vary. Very often, ARRT certification will be accepted for licensure purposes but there could be additional requirements.

Doing a bit of online research about the local regulations and about what hospitals are looking for will be essential for obtaining the right license and getting an opportunity to find a lucrative job in the field.

Advancement Options and Furthering Your Education

An associate’s degree will be the perfect start of your career path. If you’d like to move forward professionally, however, you’ll need to consider additional education options. Acquiring additional degrees will enable you to climb the professional ladder and get access to even more lucrative career opportunities.

ARRT is once again the entity responsible for further qualification. Many X-ray technologists undergo the ARRT program to become radiologist assistants. They may also choose to specialise in other types of imaging technology like CT scanning or MRI.

Some of the best professionals that have obtained the right kind of education can be promoted to become department managers or directors.

Also, keep in mind that technological innovations are changing the medical diagnostic imaging field. X-ray technicians that want to stay competitive on the job market should look into opportunities to acquaint themselves with new technologies, safety measures and opportunities to make radiological imaging safer or more effective.

These are the first steps that potential X-ray technicians will need to go through. The condition of the industry and the stability that it delivers will justify both the expenditure and the effort needed to complete the educational process. Becoming an X-ray technician doesn’t require a lengthy period of academic development, so if you’re interested in entering the medical field quickly, this professional path may be the ideal opportunity for you.

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