An industrial radiologic technician uses radiation imagery to test for materials in manufactured products. While formal education is not typically required many opt for a radiologic technology program.
Industrial radiologic technicians use radiation imagery to test the different types of materials found in manufactured products, including metals. Although formal education programs in industrial radiologic technology are rare, individuals interested in the field may choose to complete a radiologic technology program designed for the medical field or complete a radiation safety course and learn the necessary skills on the job after completing an exam. Professional certification is typical for this career, but organizations that can provide such certification are few.
|Required Education|| Completion of a radiation safety course concluding with a comprehensive exam; on-the-job training provided
Certificate programs in industrial radiologic technology are available but rare; individuals may choose to complete a medical program in radiologic technology instead
|Other Requirements||Certification programs in radioactive materials (RAM) or x-ray technology available in ten states|
|Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)||9% for all radiologic technologists*|
|Median Salary (2018)||$59,520 for all radiologic technologists*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Industrial radiologic technicians take x-rays of manufactured products, such as gas and oil pipelines, boilers and pipes, to determine their levels of durability, quality and safety. Technicians may also examine the pressure vessels found in aircraft, chemical plants or transportation vehicles. In addition to manufacturers, they may be employed by sales and service or traveling technology companies.
Industrial radiologic technicians use both gamma rays and x-rays to produce images of products. Gamma rays are delivered in sealed containers by way of small, portable devices. Large x-ray generators are similar to the equipment used for medical purposes, and screenings take place in a fixed location. Technicians use both types of machines to take nondestructive images of products without compromising their physical properties or ability to perform.
According to the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors, industrial radiologic technicians must attend a radiation safety course, have on-the-job training and pass a written test, as required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and individual states. Successful completion of these requirements can lead to professional certification as an industrial radiographer. As of November 2013, there were approximately ten states in the U.S. that offered certification programs in industrial radiography. These include radioactive materials (RAM) or x-ray technology, with some programs certifying candidates in both areas.
Radiographic and radiologic technicians working in the medical field typically must receive an associate's degree in radiologic technology. These same degree programs can help train aspiring industrial radiologic technicians. Accredited programs can be found through the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.
In general, an associate's program in this field covers topics in radiation biology and physics, instrumentation, and, most importantly, safety procedures. Many programs also offer courses in industrial radiology. Some schools offer certificate programs specifically in industrial radiologic technology.
Industrial radiologic technicians must have the technical skills necessary to maintain imaging equipment in a responsible and safe manner. They should also have the physical strength necessary to transport heavy portable devices. The ability to distinguish among imaging subtleties is required, as are the communication skills and critical thinking skills necessary for sharing information and making recommendations.
If you enjoy working with technology, are very observant and precise and have good critical thinking skills then a career as an industrial radiologic technician could be for you.