Are you pondering over pursuing a career in radiography? The radiology field is expected to grow faster than the average rates for other occupations. So yes, your choice is going to be rewarding. But even in just radiology alone, there are many options. Which ones are worth considering? What educational requirements are necessary? Let’s take a look at some of the most popular career paths in the field of radiology.
A radiologist is a term used for some of the most competent professionals in this field who have developed advanced skills of studying and diagnosing medical images. Their primary role is to view x-ray, MRI, fluoroscopy, CT scan and mammography to indentify the disease and evaluate its progression. Some radiologists, also referred to as nuclear medicine specialist or oncologists, use radiation as a means to treat cancer.
Radiologists are found in a number of radiology subfields such as cardiovascular radiology, musculoskeletal radiology, neurobiology and breast imaging. They are often assisted by technicians in their day to day jobs. Inside Radiology has employed top-notch radiologists who offer quality services.
Radiographer or Radiology Technologist
A radiology technologist or a rad tech creates medical images through various procedures such as X-ray, ultrasound and mammography. These images are then read by radiologists and a complete doctor’s panel depending on the disease’s severity.
Compared to a radiologist, a radiology technologist requires lower qualifications and experience. Generally, most of the professionals on this career path have a two year associate degree, and in some cases, a four years bachelors degree. Radiology technologists also acquire additional licences for honing their skills and improving their prospects of growth.
A radiologist technician, also known as x-ray technician or limited scope technician, does this practice in a limited scope as the name implies. Generally, these professionals are employed in a doctor’s office and urgent care centre, but not at a hospital. Most of them do this as part of their educational training, after which they are awarded an associate’s degree if they complete it successfully. The total training program spans between 6 months and 2 years.
Ultrasound technician or a diagnostic medical sonographer is involved with diagnostic imaging devices that use sound waves to locate the position and progress of the foetus, the baby’s progress, cardiac sonagraphy, neurosonography and other soft tissue procedures. Ultrasound technicians are usually employed at hospitals, but there are frequent openings in medical laboratories, diagnostic centres and physician offices.
Though bachelors programs are offered, the students can get rewarding jobs even with a two years associate program.
An MRI technician operates a magnetic resonance scanner, which creates 2D and 3D maps of different tissues in the bodies. These are then used for diagnosing and treating pathologies. The images are initially obtained on a disk, and then transferred to other media or developed as a film for the purpose of analysis.
MRI technicians earn really good salaries, and usually have a bachelor’s degree with an additional two years experience in a relevant field.