Before we go into details about a radiology technician salary you may be interested in the following facts regarding this particular health profession.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the employment opportunities in the field of radiology is growing well above average.According to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) this career choice offers a promising future, job stability and a good salary
The ASRT also say there is growing demand for services of radiology technicians and technologists and this is expected to increase as the human populations ages.
As with many health professions many shortages exist within radiology for example, a recent survey revealed that up to 42 percent of hospitals surveyed did not have enough sonographer’s and 40 percent had a shortage of radiographers.
A radiology technician salary can vary depending on which industry you practice. Based on the 2010 ASRT wage survey the average yearly salary is in the region of $44,500 for a entry level radiographers. This annual can increase substantially up to a level of $85,000 per annum with more experience, training and management responsibilities.
As pointed out earlier the industry that you decide to practice in can also determine your level of salary. For example, based on 2008 figures you could expect to earn in the region of $55,210 if you were employed in medical and diagnostic laboratories whereas, a slightly lower $52,890 salary is offered if you decided to work in a general or surgical hospital.
Training and Education
A radiology technician salary can increase with further training and development. There are a variety of ways in which you can train to become a radiology technician. You could decide to qualify either through hospital universities, college or medical school. For example, an associate degree will take two years of study either based in a hospital or college. Alternatively, many universities and colleges offer 4 year bachelor degree courses.
Many employers prefer to employ certified radiologists. Organizations such as the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) provide certification programs which will prove to future employers that you can demonstrate your abilities and qualifications. It is important to point out that after December 14 2014 the ARRT will only accept graduates who have an associate degree as a minimum.
As you can see a radiology technician salary is quite competitive. If we take into consideration that we are living longer the need for radiology, medical imaging and x-ray will continue to increase in demand. This means the outlook is very good for this chosen profession. There are many opportunities for a technician to advance their careers in to more specialized areas with more experience and further training. They can specialize in areas such as the following:
Bone Densitometry – Special x ray machines are used to determine the mineral density of certain areas of the body that can include the spine, wrist, hip or heel. Physicians can use these results to determine for example, the risk of that person of getting a fracture or even the rate of bone loss due to conditions such as osteoporosis.
Mammography – is used to create diagnostic imagery of breasts and breast tissue. Within this speciality mammographers need to meet high educational standards in order to conduct mammographic procedures on patients.
Cardiovascular-Interventional – This is where specialized equipment and magnetic resonance imaging to guide instruments such as catheters through the body. This is a unique approach that enables treatment without the need for evasive open style surgery.
Computed Tomography – The introduction of CT technology has enabled specialized x ray machines to create thin sections of the human body to create 3D images of major organs such as the heart and brain.
Future Job Market
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the demand for radiology technologist and technicians will increase by 17% by 2018. This forecasted figure is predicted due to an ever growing aging population. As the human body ages the occurrence of injury and chronic diseases will increase resulting in a higher demand for qualified x-ray technicians in the future. It is also important to point out that radiology plays a vital role in the monitoring of diseases during and after treatment. The effectiveness of diagnostic imaging will mean it will continue to be in high demand.
To take full advantage of this specialist field you should consider training in more than one diagnostic imaging procedure. This will make you more attractive and sought after in the market place. A person who has experience of using both CT, Magnetic Resonance and Mammography will be much less expensive to employ than having an employer hire 3 technicians to perform each procedure separately.
With more skills you can also expect your radiology technician salary to rise accordingly.