Becoming an X-Ray tech can take a lot of time, expense and unrelenting determination. X ray technician requirements are intensive. Meaning, you want to be sure this is a road you want to travel down prior to making any commitment. For starters, the process demands that you sign up for a rigorous study program. Duly note, you must chose an accredited university or medical school.
After the study process is completed, then comes the certification process and in some states a licensing process. The great thing is, it is all worth it. Depending on where you work, you could be earning up to $100,000 annually in some states! Naturally, the salary varies depending on the state you reside in. Additionally, factor in your experience, as well as the demand for x-ray techs in your area.
X Ray Technician Requirements - The Studies
When anyone talks about educational goals, probably one of the first aspects they consider is the time. The big question becomes, “Do I go for a certificate, an Associate’s Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree?” The answer will vary depending on:
- How far you want to take your career
- If you plan on entering into management
- The income you aspire to earn
If you decide on the route of a Bachelor’s Degree, you will have a lot more earning potential. You will also be viewed as much more valuable to any company who may potentially hire you. This extended education will provides you with more advanced knowledge of x rays, radiation therapy and the systems involved.
In the real world, educational qualifications can sometimes be trumped by experience. For instance, if somebody with an Associate’s Degree applies for an x-ray technician job, and they have five years’ previous experience in a similar role, they might be viewed as a better candidate than somebody with a bachelor’s degree but no experience.
In today’s fiercely competitive employment marketplace, you really need a bachelor’s degree in Radiology to compete. Know for a certainty that the crème of the crop will present a bachelor's. Which level of education you decide to study is totally up to you. Just know that others may outshine you with their advanced degree. Give this decision the contemplation that it deserves. Whichever path you decide, you’ll be studying similar modules – including:
- Biology: This is required as you need a working knowledge of the human body. And, you will need to be able to view and evaluate medical images.
- Human Anatomy: As said above, you need to understand how the human body works in order to be able to complete your job successfully.
- Physics: This will mainly be studying about different types of radiation, and how to keep safe while working with radiation. You will learn about the different types of radiation, and how they are used for medical purposes.
- Practical: You will also study a number of practical units, which will help you gain valuable experience working with machinery, such as X-Ray machines, CT Scanners, and MRI scanners. All of which you will be expected to work with in your future career.
X Ray Technician Requirements - Licensing
Once you have completed your degree, you will also need to be licensed by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (also known as the ARRT.) This is absolutely necessary for you to be able to work as an x-ray technician. This is regardless of the state that you wish to work in. In addition, depending on which state you work in, your program may also need to be accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. This ensures that the course you study is suitable, and covers all of the key units.
To be suitable for certification, you must be able demonstrate your capability in various clinical procedures within three years of achieving your degree. This is absolutely necessary, and can be done as part of your course or program, make sure to check with your university/medical school.
Other X Ray Technician Requirements
As we all know, you could be highly qualified for a job – but if it isn’t for you, it isn’t for you. Certain jobs or careers require certain skillsets, and attributes. To be successful as an x-ray technician, you should have the following skills and attributes:
- Organization: You will have a number of patient files to keep organized, and if these are lost – it can be disastrous. Make sure you are capable of managing a filing system, whether it is digital or physical copies.
- Time-Keeping: You will have a number of appointments each day, and you need to be able to ensure that these appointments are running on time, one late appointment can cause havoc.
- Physical Ability: You may spend a lot of your shift stood up, and you need to be capable of this. You may also have to move machinery, which can be quite heavy. Make sure your stamina and physical ability is up to par, otherwise you may struggle as an x-ray technician.