How To Become A Radiographer

Becoming a radiographer can open up an accessible, well-paid and interesting career in healthcare. However, for many wannabe radiographers, it can be a long journey to their first job and many may be put off. I hope to shed some light on the realities of becoming a radiographer and share some tips along the way to help you become successful in securing a place on a course and also on gaining a first post. I will explain what radiographers do, show why we are an important part of the healthcare community, outline the academic and clinical requirements for becoming a radiographer and give some hints and tips on getting some relevant experience. I will also offer some advice and suggestions for navigating the UCAS system and the clearing process, as well as talking about interview techniques and the writing of personal statements for an application. Later on this series of blogs, I will post in more detail about some of the topics that I raise in the overview and also share the experiences that I have had so far on my course and on placements. I am confident that this will be beneficial not only for those exploring the profession but also for the more curious patients or family members – as I am frequently asked what it is I do and what my degree involves! And so, the journey begins!

1. Education and Training

After high school, attending an accredited university is necessary to become a radiographer. An associate’s degree is required, but some may choose a bachelor’s degree. Experience in a health-related field is usually needed before applying to a radiographer program. Obtaining a 2-year degree in healthcare or health sciences first can help with job opportunities. These degrees offer necessary knowledge and skills for a career in healthcare. Programs must be accredited by JRCERT for certification as a radiographer. National certification is recommended for better job prospects and pay. A minimum of five years of education and training is typically required to become a radiographer.

2. Licensing and Certification

Professional licensure in the field of radiologic technology is required in most states, with varying requirements. Technologists must graduate from an accredited program and pass a certification exam, often from the ARRT. Many states require continuing education to renew licenses. Consulting regularly with the ARRT and state licensing bodies ensures compliance with requirements for continued licensure and operation.

3. Specialization Options

– Magnetic resonance imaging, which is a type of medical imaging that is used to produce detailed images of the inside of the body. – Conventional radiography, using x-ray machines to produce images used to diagnose injuries and diseases. This is the most common type of area to specialize in. – Nuclear medicine, which is a specialist area in which diagnostic imaging tests are used to look at how the body is functioning and to help establish initial diagnoses for a range of different conditions. – Ultrasound, which uses high frequency sound waves to generate images and is used to look at various organs and structures within the body. – Some other areas within radiography including areas like computerized tomography, sometimes referred to as a CT scan, fluoroscopy and interventional radiology. These areas of specialization all involve using slightly different techniques and equipment to create and analyze the images produced from imaging the human body and most of these concerns in patients of different ages and when have particular types of medical conditions. So there are various options for the direction and progress you can make within a career in radiography. You can decide to specialize in an area- for example, working mainly with patients who have suffered an injury which is typically assessed using x-ray equipment, or you might choose to work in a role which covers several different areas of radiography practice. This is a career where your job role and daily tasks can vary a lot, depending on what kind of specialization an area you work in.

When it comes to this line of work, you could become a general radiographer, or you might choose to specialize in one particular area. This is something that many people in this profession choose to do and there are a lot of different areas of specialization that you could move into if you decided to do this. For example, you might choose to specialize in areas such as:

4. Job Outlook and Salary

The job outlook for radiographers is excellent! According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field will grow by 9% between 2014 and 2024, faster than average. Staff shortages in the UK, high demand in Australia and New Zealand, and an aging population mean more radiographers are needed worldwide. Salaries are competitive, with median annual salaries in the U.S. at $58,440 in 2015. Starting salaries in the UK are around £20,000 to £24,000, increasing to over £37,000 in senior positions. Radiographers in Australia and New Zealand can earn similar or higher salaries compared to the UK. Overall, the job outlook for radiographers is positive due to high demand, competitive salaries, and the aging population’s need for medical imaging.

5. Continuing Education and Career Development

To maintain ARRT certification, radiographers must complete 24 hours of continuing education every two years. This can be done through coursework from accredited organizations, attending conferences, or presenting at conferences. Researching professors and staying updated on technology trends is beneficial for career advancement in radiography. The field is in high demand due to the aging population and increased prevalence of chronic diseases. Continuing education is essential to keep up with technological advancements. Personal development is also important for career growth.

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