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Radiologic technologists are the health care professionals who perform diagnostic imaging procedures, such as X-ray examinations, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans, and Computed Tomography (CT) scans.
According to the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, there are 300,000 registered radiologic technologists in the United States. A 2005 survey of radiologic technologists reports the top reasons professionals entered this field: they wanted an interesting career and they wanted to work in a profession that helps people.
For more information about radiologic technology, see the American Society of Radiologic Technologists website. To learn more about this career, watch a video profile of a radiologic technologist (in the Health Science category).
During a diagnostic imaging examination, the bones, vessels, tissues and organs of the body are captured on film, on videotape or as a digital file. A physician then evaluates the images to detect injury, diagnose disease, or evaluate the progress of a treatment or therapy.
Most full-time radiologic technologists work about 40 hours a week; they may have evening, weekend, or on-call hours. Opportunities for part-time and shift work are also available.
According to a recent survey by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, the average national wage for radiographers in 2010 was approximately $54,000 per year. Incomes for entry-level radiographers (those with less than 2 years' experience) averaged almost $44,450 per year. Technologists who work in specialty areas such as CT or MRI typically earn more. The national average for all types of radiologic technologists was $61,733 in 2010.
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Radiologic technologists are educated in anatomy, patient positioning, examination techniques, equipment protocols, radiation safety, radiation protection and basic patient care. Many radiologic technologists specialize in a particular area of medical imaging, such as mammography or Computed Tomography (CT scans). Search for schools that provide training for this career.
Preparation for this profession is offered in hospitals, colleges and universities, vocational-technical institutes, and the U.S. Armed Forces. Hospitals, which employ most radiologic technologists, prefer to hire those with formal training and national certification.
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Allied Health Professions
Last updated: March 11, 2014
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