When you injure your ankle or experience chest pain, an X-ray technician may perform a diagnostic imaging examination – also known as a x-ray – to help aid in the diagnosis of your injury. Also known as radiologic technologists, x-ray technicians are trained to adjust, maintain, and safely operate imaging equipment, prepare patients for procedures, and work with radiologists to read images. An associate degree is the most common educational requirement for x-ray technicians, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and for students who need a flexible alternative to campus-based learning, online degree programs for x ray technician provide a convenient option. Because x-ray technicians must be licensed or certified in most states, the best online degree programs in radiologic technology would prepare students for credentialing exams. We also recommend applying to accredited online degree programs to ensure that you meet any eligibility requirements for certification or licensure.
Online Associate Degree Programs for X-Ray Technician
Online x ray tech degree programs at the associate degree level teach students how to operate medical imaging technology that uses x-rays, a form of radiation, to produce images of the body. Because radiation hazards exist, x-ray technicians must be properly trained to perform safe exams that provide patients with minimized radiation dose levels during imaging procedures. They must also be properly trained to protect themselves and minimize exposure to radiation. Upon completion of an x-ray technician online degree program, students know how to operate imaging equipment to meet medical industry standards and to produce high-quality radiographic images. They will also know how to read these images and determine if more are needed. Classes you may encounter during x ray technician degree programs include anatomy, pathology, patient care, image evaluation, and radiation physics and protection.
Online Degree Programs in X-Ray Technician in the Work Place
Upon completing online college degree programs and acquiring any relevant professional credentials, graduates are prepared for entry-level work in a variety of healthcare facilities as x-ray technicians. A majority of x-ray technicians work in hospitals; in 2010, 61% of radiologic technologists worked in state, local, or private hospitals, according to the BLS. Elsewhere, physicians’ offices employed 21% of radiologic technologists, while medical and diagnostic laboratories, outpatient care centers, and the federal government each employed fewer than 10%.
X-ray technicians can expect to make anywhere from $36,510 to $76,850, with the median annual wage at $54,340 in May 2010, according to the BLS. The profession is expected to experience faster-than-average growth, increasing 28% through 2020, notes the BLS. A growing aging population, which will have more medical conditions requiring imaging to diagnose and treat, will fuel this growth. The BLS also notes that radiologic technologists with multiple certifications will have the best job prospects, though it’s important to bear in mind that job prospects, as well as wages, will also depend on your education, experience, and employer.