Those who desire a healthcare career aren’t always aware of becoming radiologic technologists. That’s not surprising – many with a desire to care for patients think first about entering the nursing profession or some other specialty that’s more well known. Truth is, a 2-year radiologic technology degree combines intensive patient care with the opportunity to work in one of the most in-demand of all healthcare professions: diagnostic imaging.
A Vital Role in Today’s Healthcare Economy
Radiologic technologists – often known rad techs, or radiographers – produce the images of the human body that physicians must have to accurately diagnose and treat diseases and injuries. The numbers tell the story. Each year, healthcare practitioners with a radiologic technology degree perform:
OK, now you’re beginning to see the big picture: diagnostic imaging procedures are vital to better patient care.
CMEScience, a provider of continuing medical education courses and professional development in many healthcare areas, puts it this way: “It’s vital to medical care because it’s one of the most powerful diagnostic and treatment tools available. Without radiology, many would die sooner due to disease, and it would be much harder to even fix something as simple as a broken bone.”
1. It’s a 2-year degree.
More than half of all rad techs who want patient interaction choose to earn a two-year radiologic technology degree known as the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Radiologic Technology. It’s designed to provide the educational knowledge needed to sit for the national certification exam to be a radiologic technologist and meet state licensing requirements.
2. It’s an exciting mix of working with tech tools and people.
Rad techs perform equipment set-up and testing, ensure patients are in the correct physical position for imaging, provide care and comfort for those in pain or have an injury, help patients understand w what to expect during procedures, and consult with physicians regarding the images needed for the diagnosis or treatment.
3. It’s a profession with lots of variety in job duties.
Being a radiologic technologist will provide varied job duties from day to day. They may be called to perform imaging on someone injured in an accident, set-up a portable X-ray session in someone’s hospital room, or assist with C-arm imaging equipment used in surgeries.
Rad techs also review the scan orders and the patient’s medical information and monitor safety procedures during the imaging session.
4. It’s a great fit for men and women.
Of rad techs currently employed, 77% are female, and 21% are male, suggesting the expanding diagnostic medical imaging field could benefit from more men entering the profession.
5. It’s a career with a great upside.
After entering the profession, radiologic technology degree grads often add other imaging certifications. These certifications expand career opportunities. Popular options include computed tomography (CT), mammography (M), radiation therapy (T), magnetic resonance imaging (MR) and vascular interventional radiography (VI).
6. It offers the flexibility to work throughout the healthcare delivery system.
Yes, about half of rad techs perform diagnostic imaging in a hospital setting. However, places where imaging professionals increasingly work include:
7. It offers high pay for the two-year educational investment.
For example, a newly certified radiologic technologist in the midwestern U.S. can typically expect a yearly salary between $45-$47,000.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. states with the highest average compensation per year were California and Hawaii, which can increase salaries by up to 30%. A survey of rad techs by Salary.com shows those with three or more years of experience earn $51,000 to $60,000 per year.
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) — a nonprofit, private, healthcare-focused university — offers an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S. degree) in Radiologic Technology. Focused 8-week evening courses on campus are designed to immerse you into your class subjects.
Our program meets the educational requirements set by American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Our goal is preparing students for the national certifying exam as a radiographer.
Classroom knowledge combines with hands-on training in the University’s own radiologic equipment rooms and two demonstration suites. CUKC has a network of partner clinics where our rad tech students get clinical experience while in school. All CUKC instructors have experience working as radiologic technologists.
Medical diagnostic imaging is a superior career field, and it’s radiologic technologists who are doing this important work. To learn about the rad tech degree, request information, and get this free eBook: Your Complete Guide to a Career as a Radiologic Technologist.