Some jobs seem to be recession proof. One of those is the field of medical X-ray technicians. These medical professionals are in high demand and command an excellent starting salary for a minimal amount of training. Certified X-ray technicians provide a much-needed service in the medical field and have the respect of their peers and superiors.
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X-Ray Technician Explained
Anyone who has suffered from a broken bone or fracture has likely met an X-ray technician. Sometimes called radiology technicians, these trained medical professionals are skilled in administering X-rays or diagnostic imaging tests on patients. As an X-ray technician, you will work under the guidance of a licensed radiologist, who uses the medical images to diagnose broken bones, diseases or other medical conditions. X-ray technicians work directly with patients, helping them to be correctly positioned for the tests and carefully angling the X-ray equipment near the correct places on the patient's body.
Starting Salary and Beyond
Salary ranges may vary from one geographic region to another and often depend on your employer. A survey completed in August 2009 by Payscale.com states that the median starting salary for X-ray technicians is between $10.68 an hour, or $22,214 annually, to $17.69 an hour, or $36,795 a year. After only 12 months of job experience, certified X-ray technicians are reporting median income of between $13.66 an hour to $20.40 an hour, or up to $42,432 annually.
Geography and Pay
As an X-ray technician, where you live and work may also play a part in how much you can make. Certified X-ray technicians working in Texas can expect to start out making at least $13.27 an hour and top out around $21.36 an hour. Their counterparts in Florida can expect to make a little less, starting out at a minimum of $11 an hour and ultimately moving up to $17.31 an hour with more experience. X-ray technicians working in California fare better than many others, with a minimum starting salary of at least $16.61, going up to $25.43 an hour.
Females working as X-ray technicians report earning a median salary of between $14.83 on the low end to $20.34 an hour on the high end, or about $42,300 a year for full-time work. Their male counterparts, however, are reporting earnings of between $15.13 an hour to $25.93 an hour on the upper end, or $53,934 a year.
Training and Job Outlook
Training programs for X-ray technicians can be found at community colleges where you will earn a two-year associate's degree. Some allied health schools and technical schools may also offer the program. After completion of all course requirements, you will take a national examination to obtain certification, which is required for employment in most states. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for X-ray technicians from 2006 to 2016 is expected to be good.