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Pediatric Radiology Technologist: Job Description & Education Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a Pediatric Radiology Technologist. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and certification to find out if this is the career for you.

Pediatric radiology technologist help physicians diagnose children by operating imaging equipment, such as x-ray machines. Most pediatric radiology technologists need either an associate's or bachelor's degree, but some hospitals offer equivalent training programs. Professional certification is required as well.

Essential Information

A Pediatric Radiology Technologist is a medical professional who operates diagnostic imaging equipment and analyzes the images produced of infants and children. Pediatric Radiology Technologists have the option to work in general radiography or specialize in specific techniques such as nuclear medicine or magnetic resonance imaging. Technologists are required to complete a hospital training program, an associate degree, or a bachelor's degree. Pediatric Radiology Technologists must be certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. In addition, most states require licensure.

Required Education Hospital-based program, associate's degree, or bachelor's degree
Other Requirements Certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and licensure (depending on state)
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 9%*
Average Salary (2015) $58,520*

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Pediatric Radiology Technologist Job Description

Radiology technologists work closely with physicians, following their directions and assisting them in taking medical images, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Pediatric technologists focus on infant, children and adolescent patients. Along with the physician and radiologist, radiology technologists help to interpret medical images for diagnosis of possible diseases or injuries. Technologists prepare imaging equipment and position patients to ensure an accurate image is produced.

Unlike radiology technicians, who primarily perform X-rays, technologists perform more complex imaging examinations. As noted by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (www.asrt.org), radiologic technologists may specialize in one or more imaging technique, such as:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Mammography
  • Bone densitometry
  • Computed tomography
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Sonography
  • General radiography

Technologists must follow strict regulations to protect themselves, patients and coworkers from unnecessary radiation. Their duties also extend to clerical responsibilities, such as completing paperwork, scheduling patients and managing radiology department employees.

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Education Requirements for Pediatric Radiology Technologists

Radiology technologists must complete either a hospital-based certificate training program, an associate degree program or a bachelor's degree program. The most common education route within the profession is an Associate of Applied Science in Radiography accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. Subjects included in degree and certificate programs include:

  • Examination techniques
  • Radiation safety
  • Patient care
  • Radiation protection

Certification

The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) offers a certification program and a registered technologist (R.T.) credential (www.arrt.org). After graduating from an AART approved program, students may obtain initial certification by passing an exam. Completion of 24 hours of continuing education every two years is required to maintain the certification and use the R.T. designation.

Licensure

Most states require radiologic technicians to be licensed. Many states use ARRT exams for their licensing. However, states licensure requirements vary and some states do not regulate medical imaging.

Salary and Career Info for Pediatric Radiology Technologists

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in 2015 that radiologic technologists earned an average salary of $58,520 per year at that time. Most of these workers were employed at hospitals, physicians' offices and medical laboratories, though outpatient care centers and the federal government employed some as well. The BLS predicts the radiologic technology field will experience an employment growth rate of 9% between 2014 and 2024, which is about twice as high as the national average for all jobs.

Pediatric radiology technicians use diagnostic imaging technology to help physicians diagnose illnesses and injuries in children. They need an associate's or bachelor's degree or to complete a hospital-based training program, along with licensing in most states and professional certification. Jobs in this field are growing at an above average rate, and salaries averaged in the high $50,000s in 2015.


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