Limited Scope X-Ray Technician Career Information and Requirements
Limited scope X-ray technicians are responsible for taking basic X-rays of patients and assisting radiologic technicians in their procedures. Students pursuing a career as an X-ray technician will need training in a diploma, certificate or associate's degree program in the field.
Career Information for Limited Scope X-Ray Technicians
Limited scope X-ray technicians act as assistants to certified radiologic technicians who perform the more complex procedures. According to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT), limited scope X-ray technicians typically work in physician's clinics, hospitals and diagnostic imaging centers (www.asrt.org). The ASRT also notes that although these technicians are in charge of taking basic X-rays of areas such as the chest, hands, knees or ankles of patients, they are restricted from taking X-rays of more sensitive parts of the human body like the abdomen or skull.
Limited Scope X-Ray Technician Job Outlook
As the technology for X-ray equipment becomes more accessible and widely used the demand for limited scope X-ray technicians increases. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), the demand for X-ray technicians and technologists is predicted to grow 28% between 2010 and 2020, which is faster than the average for all occupations.
Salary for Limited Scope X-Ray Technicians
Limited scope X-ray technicians are generally paid by the hour as opposed to being on salary. Since the job entails mostly lab work, technicians usually have fairly flexible working hours. According to Payscale.com in October 2013, limited scope technicians earn between $10.89 and $20.40 per hour or approximately $23,000-$45,000 per year; however, with more years of experience it is possible to increase wages. According to the BLS, radiologic technologists in general earned a median annual salary of $54,620 in 2012.
Requirements for Limited Scope X-Ray Technicians
The education process for limited scope X-ray technicians is typically shorter than that required for radiologic technicians. After earning a high school diploma or GED equivalent, potential technicians can pursue technician training in a diploma, certificate or associate's degree program for careers such as medical assistants or X-ray technicians with a focus on limited scope.
Many technicians in this field are able find jobs after earning a diploma or certificate in a one-year X-ray technician training program. In this training, a student will take courses in anatomy, radiobiology, physiology, ethics and pathology, as well as radiation safety courses.
There are also associate's degree programs available that provide training for potential limited scope X-ray technicians, including the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Medical Assisting. Although the extra years of schooling are not necessary to becoming a limited scope X-ray technician it can lead to a higher salary.
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