X-Ray Technician Salary
Job Description for X-Ray Technician
X-ray technicians are responsible for operating radiology machines under a doctor’s orders for a patient. Depending on the illness, a doctor may decide to order x-rays of particular parts of the body, and the technician is tasked with capturing these areas using the x-ray machine.Read More...
X-ray technicians use their in-depth knowledge and training to provide patients with the correct, and safe, amounts of radiation exposure to ensure the safety of everyone involved. They know where and how to place “patient shields,” which are gowns or covers which protect the majority of the body which is not being radio-graphed. It is important to be able to keep patients calm and well-informed of what is happening, as well as help patients feel at ease if they are apprehensive about these procedures. These technicians are also responsible for maintaining x-ray equipment and cleaning the parts of the machines which come into close contact with patients.
Most x-ray technicians have either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in radiology, and it is also recommended to attend a course which is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. Upon graduation and before becoming officially licensed, one must also pass an examination for the geographical location in which they will work.
X-Ray 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 X-Ray Technician
X-Ray Technicians may experience a large salary bump if they progress into a role such as MRI Technologist. The latter position pays an average of $60K annually. A Certified X-Ray Technician role is the most common promotion for X-Ray Technicians moving up the ladder. Pay for this role tends to be $38K per year. Another typical, albeit less common, transition for X-Ray Technicians is a Radiology Technologist position, where earnings are usually $45K.
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Popular Skills for X-Ray Technician
X-Ray Technicians report using a diverse set of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in medical assistant, Computed Tomography, Orthopedics, and Radiology are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 3 percent and 7 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Phlebotomy. Most people skilled in Orthopedics are similarly competent in Computed Tomography (CT).
Pay by Experience Level for X-Ray Technician
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. The average inexperienced worker's salary is approximately $38K, and people with five to 10 years of experience bring in more at around $42K on average. X-Ray Technicians claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $48K. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $53K on average.
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