Radiology technicians use some fairly complicated equipment to carry out medical imaging scans, and it can be a rewarding job that you stick with for a long time. Almost any job in healthcare also carries a good deal of job security, so once you’re established, you can expect to be employed for as long as you wish to be.
In this article, we’ll discuss the approach you should take in order to acquire the skills necessary to become a professional in this field. The radiology tech salary Las Vegas might be a bit higher than the salary in other parts of the country, but you can expect to be well compensated after having learned all the skills you need.
1. Learn the requirements
As you might expect, there are a number of requirements that applicants are advised to meet before entering into any kind of program involving a radiology technician. Students may have to undergo background checks as well as drug screenings, so as to ensure that they are eligible for the field.
There are usually a number of prerequisite courses that must be taken before you can enroll in a radiology technician program. These will generally include science and math courses, English, and at least one course on medical terminology. You may also have to volunteer as a beginner radiologist, so that you can learn all the various duties and requirements of the job before you actually commit to it.
2. Enroll in an accredited program
It’s highly recommended that you enroll in an accredited training program approved by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). These programs are generally offered as an associate degree and can be completed within two years. There are also some bachelor’s degree programs in Radiology that exist, and they will include courses on pathology, radiography equipment, radiologic technology, and anatomy and physiology. Radiology technician programs will generally also incorporate some type of clinical component, providing a number of hands-on opportunities for learning at nearby healthcare facilities and hospitals.
3. Get licensed as a radiology technician
Most states will require you to be licensed as a radiology technician before you can actually work in the profession. Requirements for licensing will differ from state to state, but you’ll generally have to pass some kind of a licensure exam, as well as graduate from an approved program.
There might also be a number of requirements that relate to practical experience, and in some cases, it will also be necessary for you to be certified as well. All licenses must be kept current, and if any continuing education requirements are in effect, these must be fulfilled as well.
4. Get certified
Even if you live in a state that doesn’t require certification, it may be to your advantage to do so because a number of employers are currently seeking certified candidates. Once you get certified, you’ll have to go through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), and obtain a credential as a registered technologist (RT).
You can get certified in any of five different areas, for example, radiography or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and the particular areas you focus on will depend on your degree program. Anyone applying for certification must have an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree, and must have completed an approved educational course in a relevant field.
You’ll also have to pass a certification exam and meet any ethics requirements associated with the program. Radiology technicians can be certified in a number of different specialty areas as well, for instance, mammography or densitometry, after primary certification has been earned.
After you’ve been certified, your certification will have to be renewed every year, and continuing education requirements must be satisfied probably every two years. Some continuing qualification requirements have to be met on a 10-year basis, but this is to ensure that certified technicians stay abreast of all developments in technology, and within the general field of radiography.
5. Prepare a dazzling resume
This can be one of the most important steps you take when you are preparing to start a career as a radiology technician. It’s extremely important to prepare a powerful resume that will optimize your skills and talents, and to prepare you for interviews. Here are some of the ways you can beef up your resume, and make it more appealing to hiring managers:
- If you earned a top ARRT exam score, this should be featured somewhere prominently on your resume.
- If you are a member of ASRT, make sure to highlight this on your resume, along with any of the details or related events that occurred during training.
- Make sure to include reference to your internship or the program you went through and bring out anything that will demonstrate the skills you’ve acquired as a radiology technician.
- List the institution where your training hours were completed and provide as much detail as possible on all the tasks you were obliged to perform during that training.
- Always use words like certified, licensed, and bachelor’s degree or associate degree, so as to make your resume stand out from others.
When you have a solid resume prepared that accurately lists all the skills you’ve acquired, you’ll have at least a fighting chance of getting noticed by any manager looking for at least an entry-level radiology technician.
6. Start your career as a radiology technician
After you’ve become fully licensed and certified as a radiology technician, it will then become possible to legally work in the field on your own, without having any direct supervisor. Radiology technicians are most frequently employed in hospitals, but there are also positions available in private practices, as well as some facilities that are dedicated to medical imaging.
Radiology technicians are obliged to keep up with renewal requirements and continuing education even while they are currently working. You might also want to consider developing your own particular specialty, so you can advance your career and become a leader in your field.