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Become an Imaging Assistant: Requirements and Job Duties

Aug 20, 2018

Research the requirements to become an imaging assistant. Learn about the job description and duties, and go over the step-by-step process to start a career in imaging assisting.

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  • 0:04 Imaging Assistant Career Info
  • 1:05 Earn High School Education
  • 1:39 Get Additional Training
  • 2:07 Think Ahead

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Imaging Assistant Career Info

Imaging assistants work in the radiological departments of hospitals or clinics, assisting technologists with patient care and transportation. They often help with film processing, answering patient questions and assisting the radiologic technologist. Clerical duties, such as data entry and other office functions may be included in an imaging assistant's job duties. This occupation may require many hours standing, and some assistants work nights, holidays, and weekends.

Degree Level Not required but an associate's degree or 1 year certificate program is helpful.
Degree Field Medical Imaging technology.
Licensure and Certification Not required but an imaging assistant certification helpful.
Key Skills Good interpersonal skills, attention to detail, office computer skills, knowledge of medical terminology, and the ability to take patients' vital signs
Salary (2016) $45,223 per year (Median salary for certified radiology X-ray technicians); $45,007 per year (Medial salary for radiologic technicians in general)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, (May, 2015), Payscale.com

Step 1: Earn a High School Education

The general educational requirement for an imaging assistant is a high school diploma or GED. Most imaging assistants obtain job skills through on-the-job training.

Imaging assistants must be familiar with database and word-processing software applications. Knowledge of medical terminology is a plus. An imaging assistant must also be able to work well with others and possess good communication skills. While licensing or certification is not required to work as an imaging assistant, many employers require these professionals to be certified in CPR.

Step 2: Get Additional Training

Though not required, someone who aspires to work in this position might opt to enroll in an imaging science assistant certificate program. These programs, which are offered by some community and technical colleges, include coursework in anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, and introductory radiology. Students usually are required to spend time in a clinical setting, which can help them obtain the practical experience that employers prefer.

Step 3: Think Ahead

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, radiologic technicians earned far more than imaging assistants. They earned a median salary of $56,670 in 2015. Consider acquiring the training and education needed to advance your career in the field of radiology in order to achieve your career goals.

Once again, while imagine assistants are often required to have no more than a high school diploma and on-the-job training, many in this profession seek postsecondary education in medical imaging technology, particularly those who are interested in advancing in the field.

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