X-ray technician schools offer many programs that enable students to acquire knowledge and skills needed in this profession. Students are taught the application of knowledge of physiology, positioning, anatomy, and radiographic techniques. This knowledge is used to correctly demonstrate various anatomic structures. Students will acquire skills used in the evaluation of radiographic images and exposure factors. Principles of radiation protection and laws regarding the application of non-ionizing and ionizing radiation in medicine will be explored in detail and participants will be able to apply this knowledge to real world scenarios.
Most programs aim to equip their graduates with competencies necessary to exercise discretion and independent judgment in the technical application of therapeutic procedures and medical imaging. Critical thinking skills are honed and graduates will have the ability to appreciate and understand technological advancements in radiologic sciences through continuing education and research.
Available Program Options
X-ray technician schools offer formal training programs that range from one to four years and can lead to a certificate, an associate's degree, or a bachelor's degree. A bachelor's degree usually takes four years to complete. Students enrolled in part-time formats may take more time by extending their program duration. Most individuals looking for entry level positions in the field of radiology opt to go for an associate's degree. Although an associate's degree program is the most common amongst students, certificate programs that last for 6 to 12 months are also popular. These programs offer a combination of classroom instruction and clinical training in areas such as pathology, anatomy, patient care, image evaluation, and radiation physics and protection. Programs are also offered in the online format. These allow students a great amount of flexibility in terms of the completion of coursework.
Graduates of X-ray technician schools may find employment in clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, medical laboratories and private industry. After acquiring relevant training and skills they may qualify for the following positions:-
Bone Density Technologist
Limited Radiology Technician
Radiologic Technician (RT)
Computed Tomography Technologist
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist
Professionals working in these capacities can possibly earn respectable salaries. For instance, according to O*NET, X-ray technicians (also known as radiologic technicians) earned a median annual wage of $40,700 in 2012. It is further reported that the employment of these professionals is projected to grow from 20% to 28% from 2010 to 2020.
Educational programs in Radiography are accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Most professionals related to this field are required to be licensed, although requirements may vary with states. Generally, the process of licensure involves graduating from an accredited program and passing a certification exam conducted by the state or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologist (ARRT). The accrediting agency must be recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).