Career Moves: Radiologic Technologists and Technicians
Employment is projected to grow faster than average; those with knowledge of more than one diagnostic imaging procedure will have the best employment opportunities.
Formal training programs in radiography are offered in hospitals or colleges and universities and lead to a certificate, an associate degree, or a bachelor's degree.
Most States require licensure, and requirements vary.
Although hospitals will remain the primary employer, a number of new jobs will be found in physicians' offices and diagnostic imaging centers.
Employment is projected to grow faster than average. Those with knowledge of more than one diagnostic imaging procedure—such as CT, MR, and mammography—will have the best employment opportunities.
Employment of radiologic technologists is expected to increase by about 17 percent from 2008 to 2018, faster than the average for all occupations. As the population grows and ages, there will be an increasing demand for diagnostic imaging. With age comes increased incidence of illness and injury, which often requires diagnostic imaging for diagnosis. In addition to diagnosis, diagnostic imaging is used to monitor the progress of disease treatment. With the increasing success of medical technologies in treating disease, diagnostic imaging will increasingly be needed to monitor progress of treatment.
The median annual wage of radiologic technologists was $52,210 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $42,710 and $63,010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $35,100, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $74,970.
There are multiple paths to entry into this profession offered in hospitals or colleges and universities. Most States require licensure, and requirements vary.
Formal training programs in radiography lead to a certificate, an associate degree, or a bachelor's degree. An associate degree is the most prevalent form of educational attainment among radiologic technologists and technicians.
Most States require licensure for practicing radiologic technologists. Licensing requirements vary by State; for specific requirements contact your State’s health board. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) offers voluntary certification for radiologic technologists. In addition, a number of States use ARRT-administered exams for State licensing purposes. To be eligible for certification, technologists must graduate from an ARRT-approved accredited program and pass an examination. Many employers prefer to hire certified radiologic technologists. In order to maintain an ARRT certification, 24 hours of continuing education must be completed every 2 years.
Experienced technologists also may be promoted to supervisor, chief radiologic technologist, and, ultimately, department administrator or director. Depending on the institution, courses or a master's degree in business or health administration may be necessary for the director's position.
Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition
For more information on this career track, visit the BLS website.