Becoming an X-Ray Technician

Have you considered becoming an x-ray technician? If you’ve ever broken or fractured a bone and ended up in the hospital, the person who prepared you for your x-ray and took the images was an x-ray technician. Although you may have overlooked this as a potential job opportunity, it is worth taking a closer look. There are a number of benefits to this career path, including the chance to choose what kind of education you receive, earn a satisfying income, and enjoy an occupation experiencing significant growth.

1. Flexible Education Choices

If you want to become an x-ray technician, you actually aren’t limited to a single schooling option. Some
technicians earn certificates through diploma programs that last between six months and a year, while others choose to go to longer programs where they can graduate with an associate’s degree. However, it is more common for people to choose the longer path. By going to school for closer to two years instead of only one year or six months, you can learn more about subjects related to your future career. You can also learn more about general subjects that will be helpful in professional life, such as English and math. Either way, you can choose the type of program you want to attend – something that not many career paths can count as a benefit! And no matter what, you won’t have to stay in school for four years and earn a traditional bachelor’s degree. This means that you can graduate with less student debt and start earning an income sooner!

2. Comfortable Income

Speaking of income, x-ray technicians make, on average, $54,340 a year. Those in the lowest ten percent of earners bring home $36,510 a year, while those with the highest wages earn $76,850 annually. Just think – if you stay with the career long enough, you could earn almost $80,000 with only an associate’s degree or less! That’s as much as some people with master’s degrees earn. Radiologic technicians (a general name for many different types of technician, including x-ray, MRI, and CT) also earn significantly more than the average for all health technicians, which is only $39,340. It’s also significantly higher than the average income across all occupations, which is $33,840. The other good news is that there is a fairly wide range of incomes, so even if you start at the lower end of the spectrum, over your career there is a lot of room for growth!

3. Great Job Outlook

Over the period from 2010 to 2020, most occupations are growing by an average of about 14%. Compare this, then, to the average growth for radiologic technicians – 28%! This is double the growth rate of most professions. Jobs for radiologic technicians in particular are growing slightly faster than those for other health technician occupations, which average 26% growth. Part of the reason for this growth is that as the aging population increases, there will be more need for x-ray and imaging services due to problems like osteoporosis. Hospitals employ the biggest percentage of technicians, but there will be growth specifically in physician offices and imaging centers as patient care continually shifts to outpatient settings.


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