X-Ray Technician vs Radiologic Technician: What’s the Difference?

Many people think an X-Ray Technician and a Radiologic Technologist do the same jobs. The diagnostic imaging field may grow by 9 percent by the year 2030. 

If you’ve considered a career in the radiology field, you need to know some key differences. These may seem subtle at first, but knowing them could help you decide the best career path. Keep reading to learn the differences between these two roles. 

What Is an X-Ray Technician?

An X-Ray Technician uses diagnostic machines to help produce medical images. These images are specific to the chest and limbs of the body. X-Ray Technician training teaches students the correct ways to position people on the machines. 

X-Ray Technician training takes anywhere from nine months to two years. Part of X-Ray Technician training is working in the field. They may also get simulation-based experience to equip them for their careers. 

The training teaches an X-Ray Technician to help catch emergency problems. Some injuries need immediate attention. Physicians may rely on them to help diagnose specific conditions.

Radiologic Technologist Jobs

While an X-Ray Technician has limited scope, a Radiologic Technologist has farther reach. A Radiologic Technologist can do any diagnostic procedure. That means they can go wherever needed in the radiology areas of an organization. 

Radiologic Technologist jobs get found in many hospitals because of their advanced skills. They can work in MRI departments, perform CT scans, and do routine x-rays. 

Getting a Radiologic Technologist certification takes two years in most cases. Part of that will include clinical hours. 

Safety Training

An X-Ray Technician and Radiologic Technologist will need safety training. They get taught proper body mechanics for themselves and their patients. Not all of them will be mobile, so not harming the patient in the imaging process is crucial. 

Part of working in radiology is the requirement to get exposed to radiation. That exposure can grow dangerous, so the workers need to know how to handle any problems. Getting radiation safety training online can help any professional that works near radiation. 

Salary Outlook

The X-Ray Technician’s salary can vary by state. The average wage is around $26 an hour in the U.S. That will go up with experience.

The salary range also can depend on where you work. A large organization may be able to offer more competitive wages. 

Since Radiologic Technologist jobs have a broader scope, they may pay more. The average salary for these jobs in the U.S. is around $30 an hour. That amount could change depending on the area of radiology and level of expertise. 

Job Growth

If you decide to become an X-Ray Technician or want a career in radiologic technology, the demand is there. Since these roles are similar, the job growth will be about the same. Healthcare institutions will always need radiology experts to help with diagnostic issues. 

If you want a thriving career that deals with the anatomy and working with people, radiology could be a great fit. If you liked this article, check out the rest of our site for more healthcare-related guides like this.

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