Careers in medicine are some of the most exciting, fulfilling, and lucrative career options in the entire world. To wake up every day and go to work in the industry of healing the sick and making people feel better is among the most noble paths one could possibly take through life. X-Ray technicians have one of the most interesting jobs in the whole health care industry. Of course, in this complicated and always advancing field, there are important educational requirements for all workers. A single false step could put a patient in danger rather than promote healing, so hospitals need to make sure their employees are all well-trained and qualified.

The requirements for work as an x-ray technician are sometimes difficult to understand because of industry terminology. For example, in the medical world there are two similar sounding specialists that are often mixed up; radiologists and radiologic technologists, also sometimes known as medical radiation technologists, radiographers, or x-ray technicians. Radiologists specialize in the reading of x-rays and other imaging techniques as a means of diagnosis. Radiologic technologists, whom we will refer to as x-ray technicians, are those who actually administer the x-rays and other imaging for the doctors to interpret.

Due to the diagnostic nature of radiology, professionals in this field are required to attend medical school to obtain their credentials. In the field of radiography, on the other hand, have a range of possible programs available that can give them the necessary qualifications for work as x-ray technicians. Radiography is, in many ways, a simpler job than radiology. To be able to interpret medical imaging is a skill that requires a great deal of training, expertise, experience and intuition. Administering the x-rays and other scans is a comparatively simple matter requiring proficient knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and the operations of medical imaging machinery.

X-Ray technicians have the option of attending a hospital based program or attending a university for a 2 or 4 year degree to obtain their credentials. Hospital programs are typically less expensive, and often give better educational training, but they are typically oriented towards working medical professionals. University education is a valid option as well, of course, and may be particularly attractive to students eligible for scholarships and study grants. All programs will give a good overview of medical ethics, patient treatment procedures, radiation safety practices, and the basic principles of diagnostic medical imaging. The student will learn much more than x-raying bones, as this line of work often involves other things like mammography, magnetic resonance imaging, CT scans and much more.

After receiving a certificate or degree in an accredited x-ray technician training program, the student will be required to pass a registry exam to be approved for work in the field at most institutions. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists offers certification that is highly regarded in the industry, and requires students to continue educating themselves throughout their careers, ensuring that you will be the best x-ray technician you can possibly be.