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Radiologic Technologist Offers Promising Outlook

Federal analysts say employment opportunities for Radiologic Technologists are going to grow nearly twice as fast as other occupations during the next 10 years — and that will mean thousands of opportunities for people with the right education.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth across all categories will chug along at a healthy 4 percent. But for Radiologic Technologists — the people who operate X-Ray machines and other imaging devices — the expected growth rate is nearly double, at 7 percent.

The Bureau says that will translate into thousands of new Radiologic Technologist positions. Those jobs will offer a median pay over $60,000.

Opportunity for Radiologic Technologists is part of a larger growth trend in health care. Demand for health services continues to rise year over year. Part of that is because more people are getting access to care. But the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the real driving force for the foreseeable future will be the growing needs of the aging Baby Boom generation.

Plainly put, healthcare is a growth industry, outpacing the rest of the economy, and many people will enter the industry as Radiologic Technologists.

Analysts at the Bureau of Labor Statistics say successful Radiologic Technologists have a few key traits in common. Being detail oriented is important because Technologists must follow exact instructions to get the images needed for diagnoses. Interpersonal skills are important because Technologists work closely with patients who may be in extreme pain or mentally stressed. They must put the patient at ease to get quality  images. Having some math skills is important because Technologists may need to calculate and mix the right doses of chemicals used in imaging procedures. Physical stamina is important because Technologists often work on their feet for long periods during their shift and they must lift and move patients who need assistance. And comfort with technology is important because Technologists must understand how to operate complex machinery.

The majority of those jobs will be in public or private hospitals, but Technologists also find work in outpatient facilities, doctors offices and laboratories. Most Radiologic Technologists may work either full time, part-time, or on an as needed basis. But because imaging is needed in emergency situations and on a 24 hour basis, some technologists have the flexibility to work evenings, weekends, or overnight.

To begin a career as a Radiologic Technologist, you must earn an Associate’s Degree. And Northwestern College has a program at their Oak Lawn, IL, campus that can help you earn that all-important diploma.

At Northwestern, students focus on the step-by-step specifics of performing diagnostic imaging exams, learning how to take x-rays and working as a liaison between patients and their physicians. The result is an Associate of Applied Science degree in Radiologic Technology that makes you a qualified candidate for a healthcare job.

There’s plenty more information about Northwestern’s Radiologic Technologist degree here.