Career Growth Opportunities for Radiology Technicians
Radiology technicians play a crucial role in helping doctors to diagnose injury and illness. They operate X-ray machines and other diagnostic imaging devices to view internal areas of the body. Radiology technicians typically enter the field with an associate's degree. Some radiology technicians may wish to advance their career in diagnostic imaging. These professionals may want to specialize in forms of imaging at various levels, or may opt to manage imaging or radiation programs. Some examples of careers are presented below.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2018)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)**||Education or Experience|
|MRI Technologist||$69,930 (2017)**||14%||MRI certification|
|Diagnostic Imaging Director||$98,678||20% (medical and health services managers)||Bachelor's degree and experience|
|Radiation Safety Officer||$74,289||8% (occupational health and safety specialists)||Bachelor's degree|
|Interventional Radiologist||$324,677||11% (physicians and surgeons, all other)||Medical degree, residency, and fellowship|
Sources: *PayScale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
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Radiology technicians have extensive experience utilizing imaging equipment. One option for advancement would be to become an MRI technologist. Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a different type of way to achieve imaging for medical use. MRIs use powerful magnets. MRI techs inject medical dyes and position patients for appropriate scanning. They then utilize a machine called an MRI scanner. This provides information about soft tissue or organs. MRI technologists must have a thorough understanding of safety procedures involved in administering MRIs to protect the patient and themselves. Individuals can pursue this career by completing a program in MRI technology or by having a primary certification as a radiology technician, having documented education and clinical experience in using MRIs, and obtaining certification.
Diagnostic Imaging Director
Some radiology technicians may wish to advance in their careers by managing others. These individuals might consider becoming a diagnostic imaging director. These managers are responsible for the diagnostic imaging program at a hospital or clinic. Diagnostic imaging directors would plan the goals of the radiology and imaging department. They are responsible for staff management, budgets, safety and compliance. Typically, directors would have a bachelor's degree and extensive experience in the field.
Radiation Safety Officer
Radiology techs must ensure the safety of the equipment that they utilize. Those who are highly concerned regarding these safety procedures should look into advancing their career as a radiation safety officer, which is a position found at hospitals. Radiation safety officers are responsible for ensuring compliance with regulations regarding radiation and look into the facts if an incidence of overexposure occurs. They track materials, oversee safety testing, and are responsible for audits. Most radiation safety officers hold a bachelor's degree in health physics. Certification programs in radiation safety, which take approximately 40 hours, are available.
Some radiology technicians may wish to undergo extensive training to offer specialized radiology services as a physician. A career as an interventional radiologist may be attractive to these professionals. Interventional radiologists use small probes that can be directed through body tissues or openings to obtain diagnostic imaging information. This allows physicians to treat conditions less invasively than would be required with traditional surgery. To become an interventional radiologist, candidates must first complete a bachelor's degree and then attend medical school. After medical school, they must complete an integrated interventional radiology residency, or a diagnostic radiology residency followed by an interventional radiology fellowship, and become licensed.