Delving into a career as a radiologic technologist allows you to work within the blossoming medical field while still personally connecting with patients. The radiologic technology field requires a mixture of specific technical skills as well as soft skills to ensure the job is done right. While precise imaging is a crucial piece of the career, you must also be able to communicate well with patients who are facing traumatic illnesses or unexpected medical complications. It’s an equal balance of understanding the medical needs of the patient while also comforting them in a trying time.
Those who seek a professional career in RT experience many benefits along the way. As technology that leads the medical field evolves, the possibilities of recognizing and treating illnesses and conditions once thought terminal are endless. A radiologic technologist is at the center of it all, working with the most advanced machinery and sharing life-saving information with doctors who rely on the correct information.
Radiologic Technology Benefits
Radiologic technology gives you the opportunity to customize your career in several different ways, which is what makes entering the field so attractive. RTs enjoy a lucrative, rewarding career that’s packed with a number of benefits.
Radiologic technologists have the opportunity to specialize in a variety of areas, including diagnostic x-ray, mammography, computed tomography or bone densitometry, to identify just a few. With specialized training, RTs can build the experience needed to work at a desired medical facility or be involved with research in a designated area. The option to continuously expand your skills helps keep the job interesting.
- Ever-changing work environment
If you desire a career in an environment that changes on a regular basis, RT is for you. Don’t be forced into a work environment that causes you to count the hours until the end of the day. Being a radiologic technologist adds variety to each shift, as each day’s setting differs based on the needs of the patient. Different diagnostic imaging needs are constantly being requested, setting you up for a career that’s exciting and constantly changing.
- Increasing needs for service
The country’s demand for skilled radiologic technologists is increasing. Americans are living longer than ever before, which means the aging population is in need of quality medical care. The aging population continues to need diagnostic imaging to treat and manage different medical conditions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment growth of about 13 percent between 2016-2026 for this profession – that’s more than 18,000 new positions.
- Available work in a variety of settings
A career as a radiologic technologist travels with you for good reason. Whether you’re in a large metropolitan area or living in a more rural geographical region, medical care is still needed. While most RTs work in hospitals, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more facilities in need of your services. Employment can be found in clinics, diagnostic labs and outpatient care centers.
- Helping people
For those who must work in an industry that allows them to feel that they’re giving back to humanity, this profession does not fail. As an RT, you will work directly with patients who need your encouraging words, guidance, and imaging expertise. Patients will rely on your knowledge to advance their medical treatment and ensure they’re on the best possible path of success.
- Potential to earn strong income
The pay rate for radiologic technicians is much higher than the national average. The median annual wage for radiologic technologists was $59,520 in May 2018, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is much higher than the national average salary of $44,564. In addition, with the option to earn specialized certification in different areas of imaging, you can build upon that base salary.
- Escape the 9-to-5 bore
Not everyone is made to sit in a cubical Monday through Friday. For some, working action-packed 12-hour shifts and getting extended weekends is a major career advantage. Because medical needs persist throughout the night, weekends, and holidays, you have an opportunity to create a flexible schedule that appeals to you.
- Flexibility to work in groups or alone
Thanks to the variety of employment places in need of radiologic technologists, you will work with a group of people at certain times but also have extended moments of autonomy. You have the power to make your own decisions and do what you feel is best for the patient. Whether you feel you’re best in a group environment or succeed flying solo, you’ll find the right setting as an RT.
- Skip extensive time in school
The most common route to becoming a radiologic technologist is through a two-year degree program. You can enter a lucrative medical career without acquiring hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt and spending eight years in a classroom. After gaining your associate degree, you can earn certification in a specialized area of diagnostic imaging if you desire.
- Lead the way into the future of medicine
The need for more advanced technology and knowledge to harness its power is ever evolving in the medical realm. As a radiologic technologist, you’re at the forefront of the changing landscape of medicine. Your work is a core component of helping the top doctors better understand and treat critical illnesses. As an RT, you never stop learning, constantly improving your ability to help others.
Whether you’re still undecided about how to advance your career or you clearly realize you need a change, a step into radiologic technology may be the right path for you. If you’re ready to leave behind the boring desk job and create a financially promising future no matter where you live, becoming an RT is a good professional move. Combine your passion for helping others and your love of cutting-edge technology into a career as an RT. With the option to choose a specialty field and be a part of the future of medicine, you can take advantage of the enticing benefits of being a radiologic technologist.