Being an x-ray technician is a rewarding and interesting technical career. Not only do you study medicine, including anatomy, medical technology and terminology, and patient care, but you also have a lot of options to advance by engaging in continuing education for x-ray techs. The career paths that individuals take can vary, but most techs start in a general position and work their way towards a specialty. Continuing education can guide your career towards a specialty that interests and inspires you as an x-ray technician.
The initial schooling for x-ray technicians is relatively short. You must have your high school diploma or GED to qualify for the certification exam and to be accepted to an x-ray tech program. The program itself will only last one to two years, depending on how intensive the course is. However, to stay up to date on the latest technology, it is required that you participate in some form of continuing education for x-ray techs as well as re-certification on a regular basis. Every two years you must complete an additional 24 credits of continuing education coursework.
Continuing education providers abound, both online and in traditional brick and mortar educational institutions. You can take individual courses that focus on a particular field, such as mammography which is used to diagnose breast cancer. Other specializations can be in the field of broken bones, such as working for a foot and ankle specialist. The more you know about the particular images that a specialist needs to diagnose or treat a patient, the better you will be at your job.
The longer you work in the field, the better your salary will be. Additionally, if you can specialize in a particular corner of the field, your skills will improve significantly and the demand for your services will be higher. In general, the need for skilled radiologic technologists is growing. The more you can do to focus your skills, the better your chances will be of getting the top positions in the field.
Working as an x-ray tech can be challenging, demanding, and very rewarding. You will always be learning, both from the doctors, nurses, and specialists you work with, as well as through continuing education courses. This allows you to participate in a dynamic career that never gets boring. If you are ready to work hard and continue to grow as your career advances, consider a career in x-ray technology.