X-ray vision is more than just a comic-book hero's superpower -- it's a life-saving medical technology. X-ray technicians may work with patients every day to identify illnesses and help doctors diagnose and treat patients.
X-Ray Tech School: What to Expect
If you enroll in an online X-ray school, you may have the opportunity to take classes on campus as well as online, and you may probably be required to complete hands-on clinical lab work as well as a diagnostic radiology internship before you pursue a degree or certificate for your X-ray technician degree program. Some of the classes you may probably take are:
- Medical classes
- Imaging classes specializing in areas like computed tomography (CT scans) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Most states may require people performing X-ray technician jobs to be licensed and most employers may prefer an X-ray technician with a certificate, associate or bachelor's degree. A certificate program through an online X-ray technician school may take under a year, while an associate degree may take about one year, depending on the program. For more career options, you may also choose to pursue a bachelor's degree, or work toward a specialty such as cardiac or vascular X-ray technician.
Career Options for X-ray Tech School Graduates
X-ray school degree programs may allow you to specialize, opening up career paths such as:
- Ultrasound technician
- Radiation therapy technologist
- Nuclear medicine technologist
- Diagnostic medical sonographer
Salary Outlook for X-ray Tech School Degree Holders
Job prospects for X-ray technician jobs expected to grow by approximately 25 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The mean annual wage for radiologic technicians in 2010 was $54,340. Opportunities exist to move up the career ladder, by specializing as listed above or working up to MRI, mammography, or cardiac and interventional radiography.