When you qualify as a radiographer—also called a radiologic technologist, rad tech, or X-ray technician—you’re entering one of the hottest professions in healthcare. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of rad techs is projected to grow 21% from 2012 to 2022, a faster rate than for other occupations. What kind of salary can you expect? Payscale.com, a company that tracks compensation, cites an average entry-level salary of $43,247, but a lot depends on your experience and location. The median income nationwide, according to the BLS, is $54,620.
You can enter the profession with an AS or a BS degree in Radiologic Sciences followed by certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. You’ll then have plenty of choices about where to work. There are positions in hospitals, physicians' offices, clinics, diagnostic imaging centers, temporary staffing agencies and mobile units.
So, what does a rad tech do? How do they spend their workdays?
A day in the life of a radiographer
Radiographers work closely with physicians and other healthcare professionals while also giving compassionate care to anxious, injured or very ill patients. Rad techs are critical members of their patients’ medical teams. They operate sophisticated diagnostic machinery to get high-quality images of parts of the body that can’t be seen by the naked eye. Doctors consult with radiographers to make sure that they get the best possible view of any trouble spots. As you’ll see from these real-life series of videos, rad techs play a key role in helping physicians make accurate diagnoses.
Landing your first rad tech job
At St. Vincent’s College, graduates of the radiography program have enjoyed a 100% placement rate. St. Vincent’s doesn’t guarantee positions, but our dedicated professors work with students one-on-one to help them build a network of contacts and successfully navigate the job-hunting process. St. Vincent’s offers an outstanding array of tools and resources to support their students’ careers. Shortly before graduation, every student receives a packet of information to help them in their job search:
- Resume writing guidelines
- Sample resumes and cover letters
- Networking tips
- A list of healthcare job websites, and much more
St. Vincent's job search tools
Read St. Vincent’s Career Development Workshop handout to learn about effective job search skills. Our Resume-building handout will explain how to describe your qualifications even when your radiography experience is limited to the work you did during your practicum.
Ready to take the next step to enter this high-growth profession? Learn more in our video:
Would you like to talk to one of our admissions counselors or a member of our faculty? We love to hear from future students! Please call our Director of Admissions, Joe Marrone, at 203-576-5515 or email us at [email protected]. We will be happy to help guide you through the admissions process. Or begin the application process here.