The radiologic technologist profession continues to grow, driven by an aging American population that requires more health services and the retirement of Baby Boomer rad techs. It’s a healthcare profession that is expected to add more than 20,000 jobs every year between now and 2030.
A radiologic technologist works in an important position that plays a part in achieving better patient outcomes. They collaborate with radiologists, taking images of patients and determining the suitability of the images for diagnostic purposes. They manage the equipment used in this process, providing a critical service that allows radiologists to use imaging results in consulting with clinicians on the best treatment plan for patients.
Marian University offers an on-campus Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology that includes two final years at clinical agency sites in Appleton, Oshkosh, Fond du Lac, and Waupun. Students receive training in performing venipuncture, taking x-rays, and managing computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines.
Program graduates have a 100 percent job placement rate and a 100 percent pass rate on the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) license exam.
“There’s a high demand for well-trained, front-line health workers with expertise in radiologic technology. Students leave our program with all the skills they need for success in rad tech leadership roles,” said Brian Jochin, Program Chair for the Marian University Radiologic Technology program. “We’re proud of what our students have achieved. They’ve moved on post-graduation into jobs in management and administration, education and training, sales, and as application specialists.”
What Does a Radiologic Technologist Do?
Radiologic technologists perform diagnostic imaging procedures. The most well-known include X-rays, MRI scans, and CT scans. Some who enter the field specialize in specific areas such as cardiovascular-interventional radiography, mammography, or sonography.
Depending on the test, radiologic technologists assist with preparation enabling diagnostic imaging of soft tissue. They position patients correctly for each test. They also maintain equipment, take patient information before testing, keep patient records and work with radiologists to evaluate images.
Radiologic technologists work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, physician offices, mobile imaging companies, research centers, and government agencies.
The career requires a unique blend of knowledge in innovative technology and human compassion, according to American Healthcare Radiology Administrators. That includes both technical skills and “a dependable personality with a mature and caring nature.”
Job titles and specialties within the field include radiographer, computed tomography technologist, diagnostic medical sonographer, mammographer, and nuclear medicine technology.
The Demand For Radiologic Technologists
Demand for radiologic technologists is expected to remain high in the coming years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 9% increase in the number of radiologic technologists between 2020 and 2030.
Salaries also are increasing. In Wisconsin, the average annual salary for a rad tech reached $63,330 in May 2021. The top 25% in Wisconsin made more than $74,980.
The Marian University Rad Tech Program
A career as a rad tech typically attracts two kinds of students. Marian University has designed programs to serve both.
One group consists of students with no prior experience who want to enter a traditional, on-campus BS in Radiologic Technology program. Students spend the first two years on campus. They continue courses in their junior and senior years, but also work with Marian faculty and gain clinical experience at clinical sites in Wisconsin. Students train in a variety of radiologic areas.
- Experiential learning focuses on diagnostic radiographic examinations and fluoroscopic procedures
- Students also develop skills in specialized areas in surgical and portable procedures, pain management procedures, interventional radiology and cardiology procedures, and the use of CT and MRI scans
- Students can also arrange for observational experiences in ultrasound, nuclear medicine, and radiation therapy
Marian University also offers an online BS in Radiologic Technology program designed to give those certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists a convenient way to complete their bachelor’s degree in less than two years.