Radiology Technician Salary
An average Radiology Technician in the United States can expect to take home roughly $19.85 per hour. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and slightly less than a fourth lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by a strong majority and dental coverage is claimed by a little more than half. Female Radiology Technicians make up most of the survey respondents at 75 percent. The majority of Radiology Technicians claim high levels of job satisfaction. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
Job Description for Radiology Technician
Anyone who has been injured has likely crossed paths with a radiology technician, as these are the people responsible for utilizing x-ray equipment and, occasionally, other medical imaging technology. At the most basic level, radiology technicians use fixed and movable x-ray imaging technology to record images of injured or unwell areas of a patient, and advanced practitioners in this field may also work with MRI gear and CAT scans. Radiology technicians not only take x-ray images, but also develop them and provide them to medical professionals who can act upon their findings.Read More...
Radiology technicians typically work in hospitals and dedicated radiology/imaging clinics and facilities. They are often presented with patients who are complaining about a health concern and receive specific instructions from medical professionals who have asked for the imaging to occur. Those instructions specify the patients' issue and the images sought typically focus on broken bones, but also may involve preliminary scans for occlusions, tumors, or other ailments.
Whatever the patient's need, the radiology technician helps calmly arrange for these images, which can involve moving the patient on an examination-style table to get the best-possible angles with the equipment. This may also involve making decisions on which tools in his/her arsenal should be used. Because patients may be hurt or ill during this process, these technicians must have great patience and excellent bedside manner while working.
Although radiology is generally associated with x-rays, some who use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or CAT scan equipment are included among the ranks of radiology technicians. While the specific skills for different gear are unique, the broader outlines of these areas of work are similar.
Aspiring radiology technicians should pursue technical or vocational school training after high school. Due to the radiation concerns present in x-ray careers, it is of the utmost importance that these prospects be diligent regarding all safety precautions and the use of protective gear at all times. Radiology technicians generally work in clinical and hospital environments, and some are scheduled for shift work during daytime, evenings, and even overnight.
Radiology Technician Tasks
- Use beam-restrictive devices and patient-shielding techniques to minimize radiation exposure to patient and staff.
- Process exposed radiographs using film processors or computer generated methods.
- Perform basic general x-rays of the chest, hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, knee, foot or ankle under supervision of physician.
- Explain process and position patient for x-ray; adjusting restriction devices; moving and adjusting equipment to set exposure factors.
- Determine patients' x-ray needs by reading instructions from physician.
Common Career Paths for Radiology Technician
Radiology X-Ray Technician Job Listings
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Pay by Experience Level for Radiology Technician
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For many Radiology Technicians, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. The average beginner in this position makes around $41K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $50K. Radiology Technicians who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $51K. Ultimately, more time spent in the workforce does seem to translate to bigger paychecks; seasoned veterans with more than 20 years of experience report a median income of $60K.