Radiologic Technologists Explore Career Options
By Jennifer LeClaire | Monster Contributing Writer
While the paths in rad tech careers hasn’t been as clearly marked as in other healthcare professions, radiologic technologists (RTs) can still pursue a variety of career options within and outside healthcare.
In the clinical environment, RTs can branch out into one of the imaging specialties. In industry, RTs can develop rewarding – and lucrative – vocations in sales, training, consulting and education.
Among various rad tech careers, wages fluctuate fairly dramatically. For example, pay for a hospital staff technologist averages about $47,500 a year, according to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists’ (ASRT) 2004 Wage and Salary Survey. Corporate technologists, such as those in sales or training, earn about $72,000, educators around $53,000, and hospital or outpatient radiologic technology department administrators make about $81,000.
While information from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that RTs work primarily in healthcare settings, technologists still have many other career options.
“Computer technology has really opened up the avenues in this field,” says Jim Sutton, director of radiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “Rad techs are making a good living selling and repairing X-ray equipment, and going out into the field to train employees at healthcare facilities how to use it.” RTs can look for such opportunities at X-ray equipment vendors like Del Medical Systems Group, Summit Industries and Tingle X-Ray Systems.
As healthcare consultants, RTs can work with radiology department managers, administrators and educators on strategies and methods for achieving desired outcomes. They can also be marketers who develop long-range strategic plans for institutions. Much like company nurses, RTs can also work at industrial medical clinics, mobile-imaging companies, research centers and government agencies.
As educators, practicing RTs can teach at X-ray schools or hospital in-house training programs. Hospital or X-ray school program directors earn about $62,000 a year, according to the ASRT. Landing a faculty post at a university requires a master’s degree or doctorate.