X-Ray Technician Jobs

X-Ray Technician Job Description

An x-ray technician works with x-ray machines that are used to produce x-ray films of internal tissues and/or bones. Specifically an x-ray technician’s responsibilities typically include the following:

  • Loading the film and fixing it if necessary
  • Safely and properly handling x-ray machines
  • Avoiding unnecessary exposure to radiation
  • Developing x-ray films
  • Explaining to the patient how the x-ray procedure works
  • Maintaining correct patient records
  • Working with doctors and medical staff to interpret results
  • Keeping x-ray rooms clean and neat
  • Keeping x-ray results absolutely confidential, even from the patient
  • Maintaining a professional and positive attitude
  • Preparing the patient for the x-ray

There are many different environments in which an x-ray tech can work, ranging from hospitals and doctor’s offices to dental offices and radiology clinics.

X-Ray Tech Training Requirements

The training to become an x-ray technician can take as little as one year or as long as four years. Different establishments have different requirements—some require that their technicians be certified, others require associates degrees, and still others require a bachelor’s degree.

The absolute minimum requirement is that you become a registered, licensed x-ray technician. Most states and most employers require registration. In order to become registered, you must first graduate from a training program and then pass a national certification exam.

Although not every establishment requires it, you’ll have a better chance of getting a good job as an x-ray technician if you have graduated from a school accredited by the American Registry of Radiologic Technology. Furthermore, having your bachelor’s degree will mean that you’re ready and prepared to enter a job as a supervisor or administrator.

Other than the necessary training, a successful x-ray technician will have the following characteristics:

  • Be very good with people
  • Enjoy continuously learning new things
  • Be good at observing situations and taking action according to those situations
  • Have a calm demeanor
  • Be patient
  • Have a very positive attitude

And keep in mind that just because you have the initial training necessary to become an x-ray tech, the education doesn’t stop there. You should continue to take courses and attend seminars to stay up-to-date with regards to current technology and machinery.

X-Ray Tech Average Pay

The demand for x-ray technicians is consistently growing, and this means that you can look forward to being a little higher up on the pay scale. The average annual salary for a qualified x-ray tech is anywhere between $48,000 and $72,000. Keep in mind that the more experience and education you have, the better pay you can realistically expect.

If you’re interested in becoming an x-ray technician, there’s one more thing you need to know before jumping on Monster and CareerBuilder looking for openings. Frequent exposure to x-rays has been connected to the gradual development of cancer. However, this risk can be greatly reduced by following proper safety measures such as standing behind a lead wall while the x-ray is being taken.

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