I have been a registered radiographer for now 40 years. Wow I can't believe it has been that long. If I had to go back and choose a profession knowing what I know now I would choose x-ray again. I have never had trouble getting a job. I have worked in Los Angeles, Santa Monica Cal, Washington DC, Fairfax VA, Petoskey Mich, Matoon IL, Rapid City South Dakota. I like to travel.
You can go to a hospital based program or a college one. You must then take the national registry. I did a college one and can see no difference in my employment/salary from others that chose a hospital program.
There are a few states such as SD that anyone off the street can do an x-ray/CT.
We are required to complete continuing education for x-ray, mammography and ultrasound. It varies between every 24 to 36 months.
Most states have state registries as well. Only California requires you to take an exam after you have passed the national registry. The others you pay your money and get your state licence. You must first have passed the national exam.
Right now the jobs are out there but not as much a shortage as there was. This comes and goes.
However people like me are retiring and the demand will go up. X-ray is wide open to choose what field you want, MRI, CT,Diagnostic, Mammo,Ultrasound,Nuclear Medicine (not really x-ray).
If you are in a hospital you may need to take call or work different shifts and holidays. It is usually a very fast pace. The equipment change in the last 40 years has been incredible. I remember wet processing in OR and now we have digital x-rays with no processor and film.
One more thing. My daughter is registered x-ray, registered sonographer in Wyoming. She made $92,000. in 2007.
I on the other hand working for a radiologist group doing mobile mammography in SD made $55,000.
If I can answer any questions please ask.
So is getting a job as a new grad hard to find? I am interested in Radiology tech. and I wanted to find out the availability of jobs when I would graduated. Would I have to get extra certifications in MRI, CT, or Sonography in order to get a good job? Do hospitals usually OTJ train for this?
Any info is appreciated thanks!
If you are interested in x-ray or any modality in imaging I suggest you go for it now. I will explain my reason for saying that later.
Jobs for Rad Techs are still out there. You may have to move somewhere else to find one depending on your location. It depends on where you are. Some places would like to hire new grads as they are cheaper. Sometimes the hospital you do your rotation with will offer jobs to the best students.
As far as certifications for CT, MRI, Diagnostic x-ray, you must FIRST pass the National Certification test given by ARRT. There are exceptions:
1). If you work in a state that has no state license anyone can do a CT, MRI, Diagnostic x-ray, or ultrasound.
2). Sonography can be a separate registration. That test is by the ARDMS.
3). Texas does have a state license.
I do not think at this time it is mandatory to be certified in CT or MR. Some places may require it for their facility.
I have not been in an area with students for 15 years and things may have changed. However when you are going through your clinical rotations you will be in all modalities including NucMed.
In the past hospitals did do on the job training for CT and MRI. Some also did that for ultrasound.
Now I think most hospitals send their people off to ultrasound school and in turn that person is required to work a year or whatever time to pay the hospital back.
If you are good in math check out NucMed.
The following is why I say don't wait to get into Imaging if that is what you want.
Things are changing rapidly in imaging. As it is now we must do continuing education (24 ceu's in 24 months).
I do not know if additional ceu's are required at this time for CT or MRI.
Additional ceu's are required for Mammography and Sonography.
If you pass the National Registry in 2011 or after every 10years you will need to retake a written test to be recertified nationally and also for each modality. This is new and as of now there is no decision on what the national recertification test will be. It could be a repeat of the original test and that would suck! You will also have to maintain your ceu's in between those 10 years.
When this happens I can foresee fewer people coming into this field.
If you have your RT license before 2011 you will not need to retake the test. You only need to continue the ceu's.
If you check with schools be sure to ask what percentage of their students pass the national certification the first time. If they can't tell you do not go there.
I have probably really confused you by now. If you have any more questions please ask.
I need someone to break down the education requirements for ultrasound techs. I have checked into Diagnostic Ultrasound Sonography School and met with one school. They required me to obtain my Medical Assistant Certification (that would take 9 months full time including the clinicals) then go on to the DMS school which is another 18-20 month program (full time including clinicals). They are accredited but this will require three years full time and it was going to cost 48,000.00! I have three kids and have to go during the day- this just seems outrageous to me! We live in GA.
I have no idea why the school would want you to have a Medical Assistant Certification. Different schools have different requirements. Keep in mind even when you have done all the requirements it doesn't mean they will take you in their program. They pick and choose who they want and sometimes it makes no sense how the decide.
I cannot post the link to schools on this forum as it is not allowed.
If I were you I would go to the nearest hospital, stop in their ultrasound department and ask if you could make an appointment to talk with a tech or the director of ultrasound. They maybe to busy when you come in but hopefully they can make time to see you later.
I am sorry I can't be more help.
My daughter was first a Diagnostic Radiographer then went to a short course on Sonography. I think it was 6 weeks but it has been so long I am not positive. She then had to work a year and have a Radiologist sign off that she could take the registery exam. In sonography it is not just one exam. She first took physics, then all the others as time went by.
I am a radiology director in a hospital in the SE United States. I would NOT recommend going into imaging if you live in this part of the country. Go to any of the job searching sites and look for imaging jobs. They are few and far between and usually have numerous applicants for each one. Most new grads are going to have accept PRN (on-call, part-time, as-needed) type jobs until a FT position opens up. I have several applications for any future openings, which aren't likely any time soon. If you're really interested in healthcare, I'd highly recommend nursing. It pains me to be so negative about my chosen career filed which I greatly love; but I feel the need to be honest. The field is really flooded and the pay scales have dropped accordingly. There are jobs out there, but if you go into imaging, there is a very good chance that you are going to have to relocate for a job. Some facilities may offer relocation assistance, but I wouldn't count on it. Like I said, I LOVE this field, and I'm excited at the new technology and what we bring to the table in medicine. I just think that anyone considering this field should do their homework before investing the time and resources into school. I'm sure that the job market will rebound, those of us who have been in the field for a while have seen this before, but it usually takes a few years.