X-ray technicians are gaining demand year by year as are many para-medicine positions. The individuals who support primary care medicine are an important part of the healthcare team. X-ray technicians provide auxiliary diagnostic information that physicians and other primary care providers use to diagnose and treat patients. X-ray technicians can boost their career assets by obtaining a degree from an accredited institution that prepares them for credentialing and the workplace.
X-Ray Technician Overview
According to the FDA, radiography is the collection of medical tests designed to look inside the body using X-ray technologies. The job of the X-ray technician is to produce the images used by physicians to diagnose and guide treatments for some illnesses and injuries, and it is used to monitor ongoing medical conditions.
X-ray technicians work face-to-face with patients, providing comfort, technical skill, education, and assistance. The X-ray technician and patient work together to create high-quality images for the patient’s primary care team.
X-ray technicians are essential in the para-medicine community. They provide all the imaging needed for primary care physicians to diagnose and treat patients. Radiography is used across all medical fields including dental, orthopedic, oncology, emergency, chiropractic, and surgery. X-ray technicians must interpret referrals and orders from practitioners in all of these fields.
X-ray technicians work in a variety of settings including hospitals, community clinics, emergency rooms, doctors offices, and radiography clinics. X-ray technicians also understand the technologies they work with and are often in charge of inspection and monitoring of the machines they use.
X-Ray Technicians’ Tasks May Include:
Expected X-Ray Technician Salary
X-ray technicians, once certified, should expect to earn a good salary plus benefits in the U.S. They can expect to gain steady employment directly out of school. Salaries for beginning X-ray technicians start at $34,000 annually or $15 hourly, and they can go up to $66,000 per year or $30 per hour with time and experience. X-ray technicians average $59,000 to $63,000 annually or $28 hourly.
X-ray technicians who obtain higher levels of education, certifications, or specialty training make more. Specialty training includes training in fields such as mammography, cardiovascular-interventional radiography, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and sonography.
Seventy-five percent (75%) of X-ray technicians report that they receive fair, competitive bonuses and benefits packages. Health insurance, vision, and dental coverage, sick pay, vacation pay, paid time off, education stipends, and retirement plan contributions are common benefits.
The job outlook for X-ray technicians is promising. X-ray technician careers are expected to have a 13% job growth in the next decade. X-ray technicians also find it easy to advance beyond entry-level jobs into supervision roles with experience and time. They enjoy their jobs; they value their patient interactions, and they know they are a valuable part of the healthcare team.
X-Ray Technician Educational Requirements
Education requirements for becoming an X-ray technician include at least two years of formalized education in an accredited program, either at a hospital or an academic institution. Radiography technologists must also pass a national certification exam through the American Registry of Radiography Technologists (ARRT) and earn ongoing continuing education units. Legal education requirements vary by location, so we recommend double-checking with the state health board for state-specific education requirements.
Northern Arizona Radiology X-Ray Technician Programs
Three Northern Arizona Radiology X-ray technician degree programs were found that will lead to a career as an X-ray technician. These degrees prepare the student for nationally recognized certification and demonstrates a didactic education and clinical training. Northern Arizona Radiology X-ray technician programs are offered at Northern Arizona University, Mohave Community College, and Yavapai College. Below, we explore these three programs and give some details about each.
Northern Arizona University
Northern Arizona University offers a Bachelor of Science Diagnostic Medical Imaging and Therapy Degree for those who already hold another degree in diagnostic medical imaging or are enrolled in another program. This is a 4-year degree offered completely online. It seeks to prepare students for careers in nuclear medicine, radiation therapy, radiography, or sonography/ultrasound.
In addition to X-ray technician coursework, health science courses, medical care ethics, and pathology, the Northern Arizona University Bachelor of Science Diagnostic Medical Imaging and Therapy Degree requires 120 units of credit and a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0. They do allow for a significant number of applicable transfer credits from accredited schools. Although specialized, this degree is worth mentioning because of its flexibility.
Tuition for the Northern Arizona University Bachelor of Science Diagnostic Medical Imaging and Therapy Degree is $11,060 in state and $24,842 out-of-state. As this is a 4-year degree, total tuition costs will be about $44,000 for in-state students and $100,000 for out-of-state students if they are completing all credits at Northern Arizona University. These estimates are for tuition only and do not include books, fees, or cost-of-living expenses.
Mohave Community College
Mohave Community College offers another Northern Arizona Radiology X-ray technician degree, the AAS Degree: Radiologic Technology. This program is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). The majority of students entering this program (75-100 percent) will graduate, obtain national certification, and gain employment in their field.
The program’s mission statement is: “Building upon the mission of Mohave Community College, the mission statement of the Radiologic Technology Program is to provide the students with the highest quality education and to prepare students to demonstrate competence at the entry-level as they perform radiologic procedures safely, ethically, and compassionately.”
Mohave has stringent requirements for applicants, and this is a competitive program. They accept less than 14 candidates per cohort and expect full-time didactic and clinical commitments. The following are some admission requirements:
Mohave Community College has specific goals for program graduates including:
The program involves didactic (class time) and clinical hours that run between 5 am and 12 am Monday through Saturdays. They do not accept transfer credits from other X-ray technician programs. Students commit to 40 hours per week in class and internships plus their study time. There are no part-time options and the program is designed to be completed in six semesters.
Tuition for the AAS Degree at Mohave Community College is $81 per credit hour for in-state students and $284 per credit hour for out-of-state students. This is an 80-credit degree, so total tuition costs are estimated at $6,450 for in-state students and $23,000 for out-of-state students. These estimates are for tuition only and do not include books, fees, or cost-of-living expenses.
Yavapai College Radiography Tech
Yavapai College offers a Northern Arizona Radiology X-ray technician degree as well, the AAS in Radiographic Technology. Like the Mohave Community College program, it is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) and will prepare students for the American Registry of Radiographic Technologists examination (ARRT). It is also certified by the American Society of Radiographic Technologists (ASRT).
The mission of the Yavapai College AAS in Radiologic Technology degree is: “to provide quality education that will develop competent, caring, and ethical entry-level X-ray technicians who value lifelong learning and adapt to continuous changes in the healthcare system.”
Incoming student requirements include:
Goals for the program are:
This is a full-time program that involves 1800 clinical hours in addition to classroom time. Clinical placements are made from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and may require up to 1.5 hours travel one way. It is not recommended that students work in addition to attending the program. The success rates of this Northern Arizona Radiology program reflect students’ dedication: 80% graduation rate, 98% certification rate for graduates, and 100% employment rate for graduates.
Tuition rates for the Yavapai College Radiography Tech program vary according to the type of course and whether students are in state or out of state. In-state students can expect to pay about $2,280 per year and out-of-state students can expect to pay about $9,100 per year. This two-year program will cost a total tuition of $4,500 for in-state students and $18,000 for out-of-state students. These estimates are for tuition only and do not include books, fees, or cost-of-living expenses.
Holding a degree as an X-ray technician means being ready for a career where job security, job satisfaction, good pay, and benefits are ensured. Patient care is rewarding and dynamic, and these job aspects are among the many reasons that radiography is a sought-after career. Obtaining a Northern Arizona Radiology X-ray technician degree from Mohave Community College or Yavapai College is quick and a cost-effective way to get into this dynamic and growing job field.