Radiologic technologists are the third largest group of health care professionals, according to The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. These professionals take diagnostic images to administer exams such as X-rays, mammograms, CT scans and ultrasound images. Their services are in high demand, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 28 percent growth rate for radiologic technologists, which is much faster than the 14 percent average growth predicted for all other U.S. occupations. Radiologic technologists also earn a lucrative salary in relation to educational requirements.
Most radiologic technologists have an associate degree, although they can also obtain a certificate or a bachelor’s degree. While educational requirements may vary by colleges, at The New Hampshire Technical Institute, prospective students for the associate degree program should have a grade of “C” or higher in high school or college biology and lab and also chemistry with lab. In addition, they need to pass either college preparatory algebra I or take two NHTI algebra classes with at least a grade of “C.” Prospective students must also attend the Introduction to Radiology Seminar, presented by the Radiology Department, and complete a class in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Airway Obstruction Management for the Healthcare Provider/Professional Recruiter before they register for admission to the radiologic technologist program.
At NHTI, the radiologic technologist degree is a 24-month program that provides in-depth classroom instruction and clinical practice in radiographic techniques. Course work includes such classes as Radiographic Positioning, Radiologic Nursing Procedures, Radiographic Equipment Operation and Maintenance, Image Production and Evaluation and also Radiographic Clinical Procedures. In addition, students take classes such as Anatomy and Physiology, Communications, Psychology, Radiation Protection and Contemporary Ethical Issues. NHTI also states that students need physical stamina and manual dexterity to stand and walk for long periods of time, in addition to moving and lifting patients from stretches or wheelchairs to the radiographic table. Requirements vary by state, by most radiologic technologists must be licensed or certified.
Radiologic technologists made a mean annual wage of $56,450, or a mean hourly wage of $27.14, according to May 2012 salary data from the BLS. The median -- or halfway point -- was $54,620. The top 10 percent earners made $77,160, while the bottom 10 percent earned $37,060.
At $66,810, radiologic technologists earned the highest annual mean wage working for colleges, universities and professional schools, the BLS reports. Scientific research and development services paid the second-highest salary of $61,570. The top-paying state was Massachusetts, with an annual mean wage of $82,080. California paid the second-highest salary, which was $70,590.
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