Over the next several years job growth for the x-ray technician field is expected to expand. As the country prepares for a significant spike in the aging population more and more healthcare jobs are needed. Specialty fields are expecting significant growth and expansion. Once of the most favored careers to go into is that of an x-ray technician.
An x-ray technician works in close connection with patients and prepares them for radiography procedures. The x-ray technician offers care and attention to the patients while preparing them for x-rays or other diagnostic imaging procedures. Prep work may include removing jewelry, applying safety vests and positioning body parts for procedures.
With the growth in x-ray technician opportunities for employment, annual salaries must remain competitive. The rate of pay is steadily increasing well above the national average in this field.
Entry Level Pay
The median wages for entry level x-ray technician jobs was issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2010. The number reflects a recent college graduate with no work experience other than some volunteer work during school. The entry level pay is approximately $45,000 and steadily rising.
Higher paying positions can be found in laboratories and research and development facilities while standard paying positions are available in hospitals and major medical centers. Most entry level positions available are through hospitals or clinics. Recent graduates fair well in obtaining part-time or full-time employment opportunities at hospitals and medical clinics.
Job Outlook and Prospects
The job outlook is highly favorable for x-ray technicians because of the expected growth in population requiring this kind of care. Job prospects are expected to rise over the next decade and highly specialized x-ray technicians will be more likely to land employment opportunities. The demand in jobs will prompt schools to offer more programs in these highly specialized fields.
There are certain factors that determine job growth which includes location and specialization. West coast x-ray technician positions in northern California pay as much as $70,000 for mid-level jobs in the field and Hawaii offers $80,000 annually to its entry to mid-level employees in x-ray technology.
Specialization is also a key factor because some of the highly specialized x-ray technician jobs require additional schooling. Most x-ray technicians can expect to earn an additional $5,000 when going from their bachelor’s to master’s degree. Highly specialized fields require more schooling than basic entry level x-ray technician jobs. The more schooling the more one can expect to earn even at the entry level.
Advancement opportunities are available for entry level x-ray technicians who have gained experience and maintained their ongoing education requirements. Once an x-ray technician has completed three years of work history they are typically eligible for advancement either laterally or vertically. Advancement opportunities may include moving up to department heads or transferring to other departments that offer high pay scale ranges.
Some of the highest paid positions lie in highly specialized fields including cardiology, mammography, and nuclear medicine. Entry level pay ranges from $50,000-$60,000 per year depending on the field.