Radiologic Technologists (also known as RTs, rad techs, or radiographers) use medical imaging equipment to produce images of the human body under the direction of a doctor or other medical professional.
Currently ranked number 15 in the best healthcare support jobs by US News & World Report, a career working as a radiologic technologist can be an excellent choice. Due to their important role on the healthcare team, job prospects for rad techs are expected to remain strong in the decade, with 9% job growth predicted. Work environments run the gamut, and employment locations range from hospitals and physician’s offices to outpatient care centers and diagnostic laboratories.
What to Know About Being a Radiologic Technologist
Working closely with physicians, Radiologic Technologists provide critical information around injury diagnostics that inform patient care. But there’s more to being a successful RT than that. Rad techs must also interact with patients in a caring manner while accurately and safely positioning individuals and operating diagnostic equipment. Here are some important skills and attributes needed for a Rad Tech:
Perform Foundational and Advanced Radiographic Imaging Procedures
Radiologic Technologists must provide accurate and detailed medical images while minimizing the patient’s exposure to harmful radiation. Professionals must safely move patients and position-specific parts of the body to ensure that images are accurate while providing protection from the potentially harmful effects of radiation for themselves, patients, and the healthcare team.
Act Professionally and Ethically
Frequent interaction with patients of diverse backgrounds and medical histories who may be in pain or under stress requires attention to detail and a positive professional demeanor. Since RTs also interact with other members of the care team, they must adhere to patient confidentiality and meet the professional expectations and medical ethics guidelines of the healthcare field.
Be a Problem-Solver
The healthcare system is complex, requiring techs with excellent analytical and communication skills. With experience, RTs may learn how to lead and manage teams of healthcare professionals and interning students in healthcare settings. Those who move into leadership roles will learn how to work with other healthcare professionals to understand and tackle challenging administrative and systematic processes that impact departmental functions and the patient experience.
Education and Potential Salary
With an associate degree or higher, you can become qualified as a radiologic technologist, working in various areas including x-ray technology.
A bachelor’s degree is a common entry point for young professionals and provides a more competitive education for rad techs in all areas of the field.
Finally, a master’s degree can lead to advanced careers in radiology assisting, designing, developing, and testing radiologic equipment (also known as medical physics), and management.
As of 2019, the national average annual salary for radiologic technologists was $63,120. The highest-earning 10% made over $89,760. Outpatient care centers and federal government agencies were the highest-paying industries for this profession, at $69,140 and $67,400 per year respectively.
The salary a rad tech can expect varies widely on a variety of factors, including the highest level of education achieved, geographic area, and the modalities an individual is qualified to practice. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has information on current salaries for those seeking a career in radiologic technology.
At Focus Staff we offer the career guidance you need to pursue a career in radiologic technology and other medical professions. We understand the ins and outs of healthcare professionals and have access to a wide variety of opportunities including traveling contract positions. To learn more, contact us today.