What is an X-ray technician?
An X-ray technician also known as a radiologic technician is a trained professional that has developed across the educational years specific skills that help him in manipulating the X-ray and other machines based on medical imaging.
An X-ray technician usually takes some inside pictures of the organs and bones that are in the patient’s body. They usually identify any injuries or diseases that are in the body in order to give an accurate diagnostic and treatment.
Job description of an X-ray technician
The X-ray technician job involves many duties in the line of work such as having to work with very equipped medical imaging mechanisms and equipment. You will also need to spot the problems and conditions that might appear on the X-ray images, as well as work as a team with other health care specialists such as physicians, radiologists, nurse practitioners.
The X-ray technician is also a trained person that has to develop certain and specific skills in order to complete his work. As an X-ray Technician, you’ll work with various people that can be uncooperative in some situations. In other cases, these people are unable to sit or even stand, not to mention lie down due to illness or disease condition. If your dream is to become an X-ray Technician, then you should have developed a calm and supportive attitude towards those people that are in pain or that are worried about their life.
As an X-ray technician, you shouldn’t discuss with any of the patients about the findings or interpret their results that you find in an X-ray. Findings and interpretations come from other health care specialists such as doctors, radiologists, physician assistants or nurse practitioners.
An X-ray technician is trained to see and spot if on the X-ray are emergency problems that require immediate treatment and if this is the case then he or she will announce the radiologist. If the other scenario will intervene where there are spotted any issues in the body of a patient, and then he or she will have to expect the results in a couple of days.
Among other duties, an X-ray technician has to be prepared to take some risks. Risks come because they are working in an environment in which they expose to X-ray radiations, so there is this possibility of developing certain types of cancer. These professionals have be sure that they are following the safety protocols by blocking the radiations to get into contact with their vulnerable parts of their bodies.
How to become an X-ray technician?
To become an X-ray technician is not a tough way you just assure yourself that you have all the necessary knowledge that will help you decide whether this is the perfect career for you or not. Meeting other X-ray technicians who are working in this field and getting some insights will help you create a better picture in this process. This field has plenty of demanding and as well some great opportunities that you can check out.
In order to pursue your ideal, make sure that you know what this job implies and at the same time discover more concerning the environment in which you’ll want to work has prepared for you. As an X-ray technician, you’ll work in various settings and with various people that will come with broken bones, injuries, cancers or other types of diseases. After you’ve decided if this is the job for you, the next step consists in gathering up some information about the training programs that are available in your area. You also need to know the costs and the actual training that they are offering. You can check many out through their online systems or go to the college campuses.
You can get the necessary credentials by find out what the academic programs will offer in order for you to grow as an X-ray technician. Once you’ve figured out the costs, and you’ve decided to follow one that will suit you the most you should know that the maximum length for completing one of this programs is of 2 years.
Each campus program or online program will have its advantages and disadvantages that usually attracts many students or individuals to enroll in depending on each and every life situation. The advantages of online education are that you’ll have classes with a more flexible schedule while the campus education will take you to have contact with your instructor and other students.
Get a program that will help you improve your chances of finding a working spot, and that will get you prepared for an X-ray technician job. Each school will have its mandatory requirements and the courses that you will take to gain the necessary credentials will vary from program to program.
Your courses will include subjects that will involve biology, anatomy and medical terminology and other will cover the subjects, which relate to the field. You’ll learn the basics in the how to operate with the X-ray equipment’s with those that can be portable or just fixed.
At the same point, you’ll discover how to develop pictures and how to put the patient in certain positions so that you could take the best X-ray. If you want to advance you can do this by going further and developing in being able to perform sonograms, MRIs also known as magnetic resonance imaging or even CT scans.
With other words in order to become an X-ray technician you should have earned an associate’s degree in radiography. You’ll have to follow both a classroom training and a clinical one. However make sure to maintain the required grades and the schedule for certification in this field. Then you can submit for a job to those organizations that have openings.
Work environment and schedule
An X-ray technician finds a job easily, and he can work in a variation of environments such as hospitals, dental offices, convalescent homes, private offices radiology clinics and other health care facilities. Many of these professionals work on a full-time basis.
Their schedule will be very different according to the facilities in which every one of them works. For example, if you are an X-ray technician and you work in a hospital then the schedule of your working days will consist of nights, weekends and even holidays.
An X-ray technician is many times needed in emergency situations this involving the fact that many times he will need to respond calls as duty.
Pros and cons of being an X-ray technician
Like in every other job an X-ray technician has its pros and cons. One of the con would be that working as one of these professionals you’ll have to be really fit and be able to work many hours on your feet. There are cases when you’ll face physical challenges, and you’ll have to be able to lift unconscious or disabled patients.
Working with patients of all age categories is not an easy job to perform. Many times you’ll find yourself in stressful situations such as having to perform an X-ray to a child that is in pain and is very scared. In other case, you’ll have to work with those elderly that are suffering from dementia and not all the time will understand the procedures of performing an X-ray.
This job has its pros when it comes to working with people and involves the rewarding of having to contribute to some else life being saved and offering through X-ray answers to some health problems.
Another con that will fit in the job category relates to the risks of being exposed on a daily base to radiations. Those X-ray technicians that will use the best safety measures like wearing lead gloves and aprons are the ones to have a lowered risk of radiation.
As for the employment outlook of an X-ray technician, you’ll find that this job offers a high level of stability. The opportunities to advance in this field are numerous. You could further improve in another type of imaging that will bring you future advancement possibilities, as well as a better salary.
X-Ray Technician job growth
For the next years, the employment job growth, for X-Ray technicians is projected at 17% rate or even higher according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that is faster than the average. This growth is mainly given due to the aging population that needs more and more disease and illness detection through diagnostic imaging. Another reason for this growth is based on the fact that some X-Ray technicians were leaving the field. The job satisfaction in this field is great with plenty of stability and with an increasing number of cases that need X-Ray services. In other words, there are plenty of present and future job opportunities. There is an advancement in employment rates, which brings success and a constantly increasing demand.
X-Ray technicians can find jobs in various healthcare working places such as hospitals or dentist’s offices, where there is a lot of work.
X-ray Technician Salary
In the United States, the median annual expected salary for an X-ray is estimated to reach about $54,347 per year with an hourly wage that reaches $19 per hour more or less. The salary will vary according to numerous factors that involve the years of experience, each state, and the facility in which one is working. For example, the annual x ray tech salary will range from $36,515 and will go up to $76,857 per year.
The hourly wage for an X-ray technician will increase over time due to his experience and skills in the line of work and is approximately between $16.46 and $37.29 per hour. There are as well lowest points when you are working as an X-ray and highest points. The annual highest point salary in this profession can encompass more than $75,020 per year while the lowest earning point in this career can get one professional a salary that is of $26,600 per year.
The highest states that will pay well for an X-ray technician are Alaska, California, Hawaii and Massachusetts not to mention the top paying industries that will pay good salaries for these health care professionals. If, as a possible situation, you are working in the academic field such as colleges or universities, the average annual mean salary will be estimated at $66,325 per year. If you are working in the employment services than you’ll be earning an annual mean salary that reaches $63,415 per year.
States like Alaska will grant an X-ray technician a median earning that reaches $68,105 per year while in California working in this career you’ll get a median salary estimated to reach $69,720 per year. Hawaii will pay an X-ray technician a median salary that is around $67,410 per year.
Salary of an X-ray technician in 2015
With the numerous factors that influence the annual salary of an X-ray technician the figures will gain stability and with the number of demands increasing this career is a good choice. In 2015, the salary for an expert in this profession will be influenced according to the earlier mentioned factors. The influence is also set according to an X-ray specialization and educational path, the setting and the type of work one of these professionals is conducting.
The median annual earning in the US is approximately $52,215 per year, and it will be modified according to each job responsibilities and area of specialization and to each state. The figures for earning a good salary in the year 2015 are also increasing due to the aging population that many times will need a diagnostic based on imaging due to the age injuries.
X-Ray Technician salary in 2016
For the year 2016, in the United States, the average median hourly wage for an X-Ray technician has an estimated value that reaches at $18.02 per hour, with compensation that usually has a range that is from $13.10 per hour and up to $27.43 per hour.
On the other hand, the median incomes of these professionals are estimated at $42,058 per year. The starting point in the salaries is at $28,896 per year and goes up to $61,171 per year. The bonus that is granted has a value of $1,007 while the profit sharing reaches at $1,103, this leading to a total payment that is estimated from $27,741 and up to $59,154, according to the salary data information provided by PayScale.
There are also many common paths that X-Ray technicians choose when they are ready for the next step in their job and career. For instance, many of these professionals move into an MRI Technologist position, with an average median income that gets a lot higher, totaling up to $59,010 per year. Other will choose to become certified X-ray technicians, allowing them a median income that gets around $37,010 per year.
There are specific factors that impact and affect the salaries for this group such as the geographical location, followed by the years of experience in the field. Other than these are the type of employment, as well as the industry and company size.
Even though the level of experience doesn’t have a huge impact in the compensations of these specialists, is still one of the factors that impact. For instance, an entry-level X-ray technician can expect to bring home around $37,010, this salary is granted for an individual with less than five years of experience in the field.
For those with 5 and up to 10 years, the income has an expected average that goes around $43,010 per year, while those who are seen as experienced X-ray technician with 10 and up to 20 years can expect to receive around $48,010 per year. The veterans in this field, with more than 20 years of experience in the field reach somewhere at $52,010 per year.
X-ray technician salary in Canada, Australia and the UK
There are other countries where the X-ray technician’s salaries are influenced by the same factors. For instance, in Canada, an X-ray technician annual salary is estimated to range from C$30,995 and go up to C$75,504 per year. The salary comes with an yearly bonus that is received that is estimated between C$200,10 and C$5,020 per year. The hourly wage for one professional working in this career is estimated to range from C$14.08 and go up to C$32.46.
In Australia, an X-ray technician will earn an annual salary that will range between AU$52,215 and AU$74,973 per year. This annual salary will vary according to the year of experience in this field and on the grade level. For instance according on the grade level an X-ray technician monthly salary is estimated between AU$876.7 and AU$2,780.3 per month. The hourly wage for this healthcare specialists will vary, and it will be between AU$35.13 and AU$74.9 per hour.
In the United Kingdom, the median annual salary is estimated to reach at £26,132 per year while the annual salary of someone working in this profession is estimated to range between £19,634 and go up to £40,097 per year. The earnings are also divided according to the years of practice that one has in this line. For instance, with five and up to eight or even nine years of experience, an X-ray technician will earn a salary comprised between £19,753 and £35,746 per year. At the same time, having three or fewer years of experience means that you’ll earn a salary comprised between £16,459 and £31,152 per year.
The top industries that will pay a higher earning are in the health care system. Among them, you will find other jobs that will leave you with a satisfying salary. If you are working in the healthcare, then you’ll probably take an annual income estimated between £21,187 and £39,967 per year.
Conclusion on the X-ray technician salary
The X-ray technician salary will vary according the factors that influence the economic flux a lot. The salaries also range according to the number of cases that appear on a daily basis, the state in which you fancy to work and the experience you gained at work.
The estimation, treating the forthcoming decade, is very promising due to the numbers of cases and the stability that this job brings. X-ray technicians play a very important and vital role in the healthcare system.
- First Published Date: 6 January, 2015
- Last Updated Date: 31 October, 2016