Most states require x-ray technicians to be certified before working in a clinical setting. X-ray technician training programs offered by career colleges prepares students to take the licensing exam administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Even in states that don’t require a professional license, job opportunities will be better for people who graduate from an x-ray technician training program.

Certification

Depending on the college, students may earn a certificate in x-ray technology, an associate’s degree, or even a bachelor’s degree. The more training a student receives, the more diagnostic tests she will be able to perform. Students who at least hold x-ray technician certificates will be more successful job applicants than those who don’t. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, applicants holding certification in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), and mammography are considered very desirable in this quickly growing field.

X-Ray Technician Courses

While receiving x-ray technician training, students learn how to operate standard x-ray equipment and develop film. They learn about human anatomy and physiology and about all aspects of patient care in hospitals and clinics. Courses in positioning and radiation safety are followed by clinical practice, in which x-ray technician students are placed in real hospitals and work with real patients under close supervision.

One of the great things about x-ray technician training is that the courses are career-specific, build on each other, and teach students how to be professionals in their chosen field. When students graduate from an x-ray technician school, the can walk into any hospital or clinical practice and know exactly what to do.

Life after School

While most graduates of x-ray technician training programs go on to work in hospitals, private practices, nursing homes, and community health clinics as radiographers, some find work in other related fields. After graduating from an x-ray technician program, some students go back to school for additional certifications in diagnostic imaging techniques. Some work in labs that develop x-ray film for practices that don’t have their own developing equipment. Others go on to work as health care equipment sales people because they are already familiar with how the equipment operates. After years of experience, some x-ray technicians find they have a gift for teaching others and go on to train the next generation of x-ray technicians.

Drawbacks

Life after graduating from an x-ray technician training program isn’t all peaches, though. X-ray technicians have physically demanding jobs and have to be able to stand for most of the day while lifting and maneuvering patients. Because hospitals are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, x-ray technicians may be asked to work overnights, swing shifts, and holidays. They may also be placed on call.

X-ray technicians who receive proper training find that their work can be incredibly rewarding, because they can minimize patient pain on the x-ray table and provide some comfort during emergencies. For those who stick with it for a number of years, there are opportunities in the field for advancement.

If this sounds interesting, find out more about how you can become a certified x-ray technician. Check out the X-Ray Technician Schools directory today!