What Is a Rad Tech?

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Rad techs, short for radiologic technologists, run X-ray and nonradioactive imaging equipment for medical purposes. The job requires mechanical expertise and the ability to work with and communicate directly with patients.

Function

  • Radiologic technologists prepare and position patients for X-ray examinations. They operate and maintain the equipment for such examinations in medical facilities. They often work in hospitals but occasionally work in physicians offices or in specialty imaging centers.

Types

  • Some rad techs specialize in specific fields of X-ray imagery. These include technicians who perform mammograms, test bone density, guide catheters and other tools through the bloodstream and produce complete imagery of organs.

Size

  • About 196,000 rad techs worked in the United States as of 2006, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than 60 percent of those jobs were in hospitals.

Requirements

  • Most rad techs complete a two-year associate degree. Those experienced in other medical fields can complete training in a year. A four-year bachelor's degree is required for supervisory rad tech positions.

Potential

  • Rad techs earned a median income of $48,170 per year as of May 2006, while those who worked in diagnostic laboratories earned slightly more. The U.S. Department of Labor predicts a 15 percent growth rate for rad tech jobs through 2016.

References

  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Hamed Saber
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