Of the many careers in the healthcare field, graduates with a degree as a Radiologic Technologist have promising employment opportunities with nearly zero unemployment and good entry level starting pay. In fact, US News & World Report ranks radiologic techs in the top 10 of best health care support jobs with median pay at $57,450 and the top 75th percentile earning $70k. The United States Department of Labor statistics backs this positive outlook, declaring that jobs for radiologic technologists are expected to grow faster than average for the next 10 years.
Gaining experience in a clinical setting is important to your success, as this healthcare field can be competitive to start. With a short, two-year Associate’s in Science degree in Radiologic Technologist from Florida National University, you get a quick start into the field, including practical experience in clinics so you can hit the ground running when you graduate.
The Five-Year Outlook for Radiologic Technologists
Most graduates go through a two-year associate’s degree and certification program to become a radiologic tech or radiographer. Compared to other jobs out there, the rewards are incredible for radiologic technologists. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 200,000 jobs available for rad techs, and this is expected to grow 13% over the next five years.
The health care industry, in general, offers long-term, stable career paths. As the population grows older, more radiologic techs will be needed to support clinics and hospitals in handling their patient load. Equipment is also expected to become more advanced as more acute conditions develop.
Licensing and Skills Expected for Job Entry
Radiographers perform one of the most necessary processes in healthcare. What you do is key to finding diseases and plays an important role in monitoring and predicting the outcome of treatment. With professional diagnostic imaging examinations, they create important x-rays with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners. These are used by doctors to diagnose difficult conditions.
While certification is not always required, it is the one way to ensure that you have all of your bases covered. Most positions will require that a rad tech have field-specific education and must pass a certification exam, which is administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). However, not all states use ARRT currently as part of licensing.
Talk out loud with someone about the different healthcare careers that you can get into and see program is best for you. Call us at FNU at 305-821-3333, where we focus on helping workers in our Hialeah and South Miami communities enter and advance in careers that are in demand today and tomorrow. Or write us online.
Pay Scale for Radiologic Technologists
With longevity and an abundant need for radiologic techs, the job market is looking incredibly good for this field. Future growth is expected, and stress levels are low. With an average salary of $69,000 or an estimated $28/hour, radiologic techs enjoy a high work/life balance as well.
Outpatient vs Inpatient
Which one should you pick? It depends on where you live and the opportunities available. In general, there are more inpatient radiologic jobs than outpatient. With inpatient, you will probably work in more than just hospitals. You may find yourself at nursing homes, residential care homes and hospice.
In outpatient, your schedule is more predictable with a typical 9-to-5 day. There are some weekends where you may need to work in emergency situations, but most likely, you will be seeing patients on a predictable basis for doctors in a private clinic.
Start Networking and Building Your Skills Early
One of the most common pieces of advice from current radiologic techs is that you should network before you graduate. This involves going to conferences, meetups and presentations at your university. You should already be well known with your instructors and preparing to use your favorite professor as a reference as well. At FNU our professors are known to support students. Our student testimonials point to their instructors and department heads as critical for their success. Most doctors are looking for skilled techs who are dependable and knowledgeable about the latest advancements in the field and establishing rapport with your professors and other professionals is one of the secrets of success in any field.
Innovation in technology is a particularly strong part of the radiologic technology field. If you are a person who enjoys technology and the challenge of being the top in your career, this may open more doors for you insofar as salary expectations. As in any technology-based career, the more proactive you are to learn and seek out new techniques and machines, the more of a valuable expert you can be considered in your field.
At FNU we train students on:
- CAT Scan
- Nuclear Medicine
- Radiology Therapy
- Cardiac Catheterization
- Preparation for Certification
FNU professors are aware that you will be preparing for the National Certifying Examination with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and/or the State of Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Service General License Exam and can give you useful information with these goals in mind.
Here are some tips to ensure you get the top positions available once you begin your studies and enter the field:
Before you graduate, you should take time to talk to all of your clinical instructors. You should attend every seminar and extracurricular activity in order to get more familiar with the field and make contacts with professionals in the field.
2.Treat Every Class Like a Job
Once you graduate, you will need references and contacts to get the best radiologic technologist positions. Even better, instructors may recommend you to clinics where they know you will succeed. With that in mind, every class is an opportunity to show how you would in the field and what you can do as a technologist.
3.Be an Equipment Expert
One key component to this job is understanding how to use the equipment better than anyone else. It is your job to observe the different clinical settings, examinations, protocols and equipment processes in order to do your job effectively. Once you are in the working world, it won’t be as easy to come back from a mistake.
4. Determine Your Pace
What kind of setting do you want to work in? If you like walkie-talkie emergency situations? Do you like the rush from working with trauma patients? Do you want to work with ER or intensive care? Is your pace slower and more methodical? Take the time during your course work to determine what place is best for you and what will bring you the most satisfaction.
5. Take the Initiative and Accept Opportunities
Practice makes perfect. If you want to be prepared for the real world, then you have to take on those opportunities right now. Treat every patient and examination as a new experience. These are moments where you learn how to perfect your skills and work with doctors. Each procedure will heighten your proficiency as a radiologic technologist, as well.
6. Hone Your Skills – Both Technical and Soft Skills
It is not just about knowing the equipment and following procedures. To be hired with experience, soft skills are also highlighted in job postings. This means employers are looking for staff with critical thinking skills, can build trust, has a good bedside manner and patient assessment abilities in addition to working the equipment like an expert. You should listen, observe, and test your knowledge with experienced technologists while you are in school. This will help you boost your confidence and give you the skills for real-life situations.
7. Build a Reputation and Build Trust
What do you stand for? How do your peers see you in the field? This will matter immensely when you go to apply for different positions and internships. You want to make sure that when under scrutiny, your record stands for itself. Your behavior on the job and in school is your best route to getting the ultimate clinical job offer.
8. Your Future is Yours
Take the time to learn about the different clinical settings and where you see yourself working. Who is beside you? What equipment do you work with? What kind of patients do you like? This is very important to enjoying your career and maintaining an incredible reputation. If you become bored with it, you won’t do the best job that you can. Likewise if you don’t enjoy the pace, you won’t want to stay in the field. You should take every precaution while in school to find the right place for you.
Your success is important to us at FNU, so radiologic techs need to take advantage of meetings, labs, seminars, and conferences to meet others in this field. You need to be computer-savvy, personable, pick up soft skills, be flexible and reliable so that you have the best chance of working in the right clinical setting. We’ll be happy to give you more information about our Radiologic Technology A.S. degree. Call to speak to someone at 305-821-3333.