X-Ray Tech Programs with Prerequisite and Coursework Information
An x-ray technician (or x-ray tech) is a healthcare worker specializing in the operation and maintenance of radiology equipment, which takes pictures of the inside of the human body to better diagnose diseases, conditions and injuries. X-ray technology programs are offered at 2-year schools and may results in associate's degree or certificates of completion. Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of healthcare settings.
Associate's Degree in X-Ray Technology
An associate's degree in x-ray technology combines both academic and clinical facets and takes two years to complete. The first year is made up of mostly classroom and theoretical work, while the second year is almost purely practical in nature. The second half of the program prepares students to directly transition into a career; many students gain employment at the same hospital or healthcare facility where they have been interning. Similar to associate's degree programs in nature, programs which result in a certificate of completion share curriculum but require fewer general education units and may feature less experiential elements. Completion of an undergraduate program qualifies graduates for careers as x-ray technicians or radiographers.
An associate's degree in x-ray technology program requires potential students to have received their high school diploma or its equivalent. Applicants are expected to have successfully completed science, algebra, biology or physics courses during prior studies.
Undergraduate coursework addresses on the use of x-ray machinery in a healthcare setting and the role of x-rays results. Students gain knowledge of human anatomy and radiologic technology. Courses include the following:
- Physical education
- Health science
- Radiologic anatomy
- Principals of x-ray exposure
- Modality imaging
- Patient positioning
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of radiologic technologists will increase by 28% from 2010-2020, which is faster than the average occupation. Most x-ray jobs are located within hospitals. In May 2012, the median annual salary of radiologic technologists was $54,620, with the highest-paid ten percent of workers earning more than $77,160.
Voluntary certification is available to radiologic technologists seeking career advancement. Certification is available through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), which also provides licensing tests for 35 states. Recertification requires 24 hours of continuing education every two years.
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