Thinking about becoming a radiology technologist? Awesome! It's ranked #15 of Best Health Care Jobs in U.S. News, which makes it a fantastic gig. After you earn your degree you can venture out into the real world and work as a traveling radiology technologist. Who wouldn’t want to have a great gig while traveling the country?
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. Becoming a radiology technologist is hard work, rewarding, but hard nonetheless. Hard work doesn’t scare you? Perfect! Take this quick quiz for a little more insight: Traveling Radiology Professional Quiz
How’d you do? Were all your answers yes? If so, then exploring radiology technologist options may be a really great fit for you!
When it comes to the education for a radiologic technologist, programs typically offer an Associate’s Degree and it can be completed in about 2 years. For many programs, though, before applying there are prerequisites that must be completed in order to even be considered. And they certainly don’t let just anyone in. Some programs only have 15 openings per semester and others have 100. Here are some tips to wow the admissions committee:
1. Keep your grades up (waayyyy up)
Most programs prefer applicants to have an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale), as well as a science and math GPA of 3.0 or higher.
2. Apply for all the right reasons
When you’re filling out the application and committing to 2 years of school and clinicals, make sure it’s for the right reasons like your dire need to help others. It should not be because the salary you Googled looks appealing.
3. Hone your interview skills
Many programs require applicants to interview with faculty members in order to admit the right candidates to the program. Some questions may include what you would do in specific situations regarding stress or how you might handle unprofessional coworkers.
Make sure to do your research before even stepping foot into the school. Research the specifics of the program, their placement rate and even the faculty members themselves. Be sure to have questions ready for your interviewers that will better your understanding of the program and solidify if it’s the right place for you.
4. Job-shadow or volunteer
Reach out to local hospitals and find out if you can come observe their radiology department for a day. You can also apply for volunteer opportunities through local hospitals that will help you with patient care skills. Try the career center at your school for more volunteer opportunities!
5. Always apply to more than one program
Like your mother told you, never put your eggs all in one basket because that basket could end up sending you a letter that starts with, “We regret to inform you…” Three to five schools should be on your list of places to apply so you aren’t depending on just that one basket.
Radiology technologists are unlike most medical professions because they are responsible for knowing not only anatomy & physiology, chemistry and patient care but they must also retain physics, radiographic procedures, advanced anatomy, pathology, and all the radiology theories ever. While in school and going through clinicals, studying for the national registry exam will be what’s next up on your plate.
After passing the exam, though, (with a 75% or higher) it’s time to take on the real world. Joining the workforce is the most influential time for many radiology technologists as they get to really learn their way around an x-ray machine and how to take a great picture. Many say you’ll learn more in your first year out of school than you did in your two years in it.
How could you learn even more once you’re out of school? Traveling, of course. Taking on traveling assignments as a radiology technologist can increase your knowledge and experience faster than almost any stationary position. Are you excited to become a radiology technologist? Check out our available positions!