How to Be an X-Ray Technician: Requirements, Responsibilities, and More
Checkout this video:
What is an X-Ray Technician?
An X-ray technician is a professional who uses medical imaging equipment to produce images of the human body for diagnostic purposes. X-ray technicians are also known as radiographers.
Radiographers use X-ray machines to produce images of the inside of the human body. The images produced by X-ray machines are called radiographs. Radiographers use X-ray machines to produce radiographs of the bones, lungs, and other organs inside the human body.
X-ray technicians must be trained in the proper use of X-ray machines and in the interpretation of radiographs. X-ray technicians must be licensed in most states.
The Job of an X-Ray Technician
An X-ray technician is a medical professional who uses imaging equipment to take pictures of the inside of a patient’s body. The images created by an X-ray machine are called radiographs. X-ray technicians often work in hospitals, but they may also work in private clinics, diagnostic centers, or doctor’s offices.
X-ray technicians must be able to operate the machines that take the radiographs, as well as position patients correctly so that the pictures will be clear and informative. In many cases, X-ray technicians must also explain the procedure to patients who may be anxious about it. X-ray technicians must be able to follow instructions precisely and pay attention to detail, as even a small error could result in an inaccurate picture.
X-ray technicians typically need at least an associate’s degree from an accredited program before they can be licensed or certified to work in most states. Many X-ray technicians go on to earn bachelor’s or master’s degrees in radiologic science or a related field.
The Skills of an X-Ray Technician
An X-ray technician, also called a radiologist, is someone who uses imaging machines to capture pictures of the inside of people’s bodies. X-ray techs typically work in hospitals and clinics, but they may also find employment in private practices and diagnostic centers. In order to become an X-ray technician, one must complete an accredited training program and earn a certification.
The skills of an X-ray technician include:
Operating imaging machines: X-ray techs must be able to operate the imaging machines properly in order to get clear images.
Positioning patients: X-ray techs must be able to position patients correctly in order to get the best possible images. Patients may have to stand, sit, or lie down in different positions during the procedures.
Communicating with patients: X-ray techs must be able to communicate with patients in order to explain the procedures and put them at ease. They must also be able to answer any questions that patients may have.
Reviewing images: X-ray techs must be able to review the images they have taken in order to ensure that they are of high quality. If they are not satisfied with an image, they may have to retake it.
The Education of an X-Ray Technician
Education requirements for X-ray technicians vary by state, but most states require at least an associate’s degree from an accredited radiologic technology program. Some states also require certification by the American Registry of Radiologic Technicians (ARRT).
After completing an accredited program, X-ray technicians must pass a national exam administered by the ARRT to earn their certification. Once they are certified, they must complete continuing education credits on a regular basis to maintain their certification.
X-ray technicians typically work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, or diagnostic imaging centers. They may also find employment in mobile X-ray units or labs.
The Certification of an X-Ray Technician
There are three types of X-ray machine that commonly used, these are fluoroscopy, computed tomography (CT) and mammography. Each state in the US has their own definition of what is required to be certified in each type of X-ray machine. In general, you will need to have completed an accredited radiology program and have sat and passed a state administered certification exam. You will also need to have completed a certain number of clinical hours working under the supervision of a licensed radiographer.
The Salary of an X-Ray Technician
An x-ray technician is a medical professional who uses diagnostic imaging to help physicians treat patients. X-ray techs typically work in hospitals, diagnostic centers, and physicians’ offices. Salaries for x-ray techs can vary depending on experience, geographical location, and place of employment.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual salary for x-ray techs was $61,240 in 2019. The lowest 10 percent of earners made less than $41,180, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $86,350.
X-ray techs who work in hospitals typically earn higher salaries than those who work in other settings. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for hospital x-ray techs was $64,280 in 2019. X-ray techs who worked in outpatient centers had a median salary of $60,070, while those who worked in physicians’ offices had a median salary of $58,710.
Geographical location can also impact an x-ray tech’s salary. The BLS reports that the highest paying states for x-ray techs are California, Washington, Hawaii, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The lowest paying states are Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Tennessee.
X-ray techs with more experience tend to earn higher salaries than those just starting out in the field. According to Payscale.com, entry level x-ray techs have a median salary of $49,000 per year. X-ray techs with five years of experience have a median salary of $54
The job outlook of an X-Ray Technician
X-ray technicians typically work in hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices, and urgent care centers. They may also work in mobile units that travel to provide services to patients in rural areas. There is a growing demand for X-ray technicians as the population ages and the need for diagnostic imaging increases. The median salary for an X-ray technician is $60,070 per year.