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A radiographer (also known by radiologic technologist) is a highly trained professional who is capable of performing imaging diagnostics and radiologic procedures requested by a doctor. The chief role of the radiographer is to make certain that the patient and other staff members are always safe and experience as little as possible exposure to the x-ray and imaging equipment. In the field of radiology, specialties diverge onto many different paths including the Diagnostic Medical Sonographer who uses ultrasonic waves to make images of the internal organs, Computed Tomography Technologist who produces cross-sectioned images for diagnosing illness and injury, among others.
According to the AMA, those who have recently completed a radiography program can expect to make $41,612 annually, on average. However, with the wide variety of specialties available, like CT Tech and mammography, salaries can soar to nearly $62,000. Also, those who become certified MRI technologist will be paid more than those who are not certified through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), like x-ray technicians. If you'll be looking for work in an urban or metropolitan area, you can expect to make more than those in a more rural setting. And, as with most professions, the more experience you gain the more you can expect to make in your chosen profession.
When you are ready to learn how to become a radiographer and what radiographer programs are available in Pennsylvania, you should begin with understand the amount of time and training that must be put into your education. Courses you can expect to be included in a radiography program include radiologic anatomy, patient care and assessment steps, computerized imaging, pathology, medical ethics, and radiation safety. As you advance in your study, you'll begin to take part in clinic practice, internships, and lab work. The majority of programs last up to 24 months and culminate, in most cases, with an associate's degree.
There are quite a few top-notch radiography programs available in Pennsylvania, so chances are if this is where you will be going to school, you will find a program that is more tailored to your needs, including tuition costs, program length, location, and degree type. You can find listings of schools providing radiography programs on the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology's (JRCERT) website. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) may also prove useful in your school search. Once your education and hands on training are complete you will be able to obtain your license, required by most states, and pursue all certifications and continuing education that you desire.