Limited scope X-ray technicians are responsible for taking basic X-rays of patients and assisting radiologic technicians in their procedures. Many of these technicians go on to become radiologic or MRI technologists. Students pursuing a career as an X-ray technician will need training through a diploma, certificate or associate's degree program from a technical school.
|Required Education||Diploma, certificate or associate's degree|
|Other Requirements||Licensure and certifications are needed for advancement to a position as a radiologic technologist|
|Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)||21% (for radiologic technologists)*|
|Median Salary (2014)||$34,294**|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com
Career Information for Limited Scope X-Ray Technicians
Limited scope X-ray technicians act as assistants to certified radiologic technicians who perform the more complex procedures. According to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT), limited scope X-ray technicians typically work in physician's clinics, hospitals and diagnostic imaging centers (www.asrt.org). The ASRT also notes that although these technicians are in charge of taking basic X-rays of areas such as the chest, hands, knees or ankles of patients, they are restricted from taking X-rays of more sensitive parts of the human body like the abdomen or skull.
Limited Scope X-Ray Technician Job Outlook
As the technology for X-ray equipment becomes more accessible and widely used, the demand for these services increases. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), the demand for radiologic technologists - a somewhat higher-level position than radiologic technician - is predicted to grow 21% between 2012 and 2022, which is faster than the average for all occupations.
Salary for Limited Scope X-Ray Technicians
Limited scope X-ray technicians are generally paid by the hour, as opposed to being on salary. Since the job entails mostly lab work, technicians usually have fairly flexible working hours. According to PayScale.com in December 2014, limited scope technicians earned a median hourly wage of $15.00 per hour, or approximately $34,294 per year; however, with more years of experience, it is possible to increase wages. According to the BLS, radiologic technologists in general earned a median annual salary of $55,870 in 2014.
Requirements for Limited Scope X-Ray Technicians
The education process for limited scope X-ray technicians is typically shorter than that required for radiologic technicians. After earning a high school diploma or GED equivalent, potential technicians can pursue technician training in a diploma, certificate or associate's degree program for careers such as medical assistants or X-ray technicians with a focus on limited scope.
Many technicians in this field are able find jobs after earning a diploma or certificate in a one-year X-ray technician training program. In this training, a student will take courses in anatomy, radiobiology, physiology, ethics and pathology, as well as radiation safety courses.
There are also associate's degree programs available that provide training for potential limited scope X-ray technicians, including the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Medical Assisting. Although the extra years of schooling are not necessary to becoming a limited scope X-ray technician it can lead to a higher salary.