How to become a X-Ray Technician
X-ray technicians perform diagnostic imaging examinations on patients to identify medical problems. X-ray technicians are responsible for preparing their patients for x-rays by explaining the procedure, positioning them properly, and removing jewelry and other items that will get in the way of the x-ray. X-ray technicians are also responsible for operating and maintaining the equipment, and filing patient records.
X-Ray Technician Education Requirements
If you are interested in becoming an x-ray technician, it is recommended that you enroll in a radiography program at least at the associate’s degree level. Radiography programs offer clinical instruction and focus on anatomy, physiology, radiation physics, medical terminology, medical ethics, radiobiology, pathology, patient care procedures, positioning of patients, and radiation protection.
Most states require x-ray technicians to be licensed and may also require certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. To become a certified, you will need to graduate from an accredited radiology program and pass the examination. Employers prefer to hire licensed and certified x-ray technicians, so receiving as much education and training as possible can be very beneficial to your career.
Job Opportunities for X-Ray Technicians
Employment of x-ray technicians is expected to increase by about 17 percent between 2008 and 2018. The median annual salary of x-pray technicians was $52,210 May 2008, where the middle 50 percent earned between $42,710 and $63,010.
Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition; Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.