6 Tips for Starting a Career in Radiology

The job market for careers in radiology is promising, and it’s perfect for people who want to help others while operating sophisticated technical machinery. Salaries in the industry start at around $45,000 and can go as high as almost $300,000 for diagnostic radiologists. If you’re strong in social skills, math skills and are detail-oriented, you might be able to go far in this field. Here are six tips for people who are considering radiology as their life path.

1. Choose a specific career

There are different career paths you can choose in the field of radiology. All of the jobs involve imaging technology, which includes operating scanning devices like MRIs, CT scans, ultrasound machines and others. These devices are able to provide images inside the human body for the purpose of diagnosing potential illnesses or other health problems. Depending on which job you are aiming for in the field, there will be different education requirements that range from a 2-year associate’s degree to a doctorate degree in medicine.

2. Find the right education program

When you determine which job you’re interested in specifically, the next step is to find the educational program that is right for you and your circumstances. If you want to be a technician or assistant, community colleges offer adequate programs to enable you to enter the career. You would typically only need a high school diploma or GED in order to be accepted at these institutions. Community colleges also have scheduling that allows students to work at a full-time job and schedule classes on their off-hours. When it comes to education in the medical field, you can always start your education at a community college and then transfer to a university if you decide to pursue a medical degree.

3. Apply yourself in school

Look at your classes with the same level of seriousness that you would when in a work environment. Be punctual and pay attention in class. Be disciplined in your study schedule. School is not a party even though some students might have that attitude. Don’t emulate the behavior of those people. Working hard in your classwork will earn you a higher grade-point average, and that improves your resume when applying for the job that you want. Being a good student with the right attitude will also make professors more likely to write good recommendations for you when you’re ready to apply for internships, jobs and other educational programs.

4. Broaden your experiences during training

When you are undergoing training in the clinical environment, try to observe and learn about a variety of clinical settings and situations that you might encounter in hospitals and clinics. Get experience with a variety of equipment, examinations and procedures. If possible, get experience in different types of environments such as slow rural clinics and bustling metropolitan hospitals. Take these observations and choose the career path that is right for you.

5. Licensing

When your education is complete, it is usually required that you acquire a license to practice the type of radiology that your prospective job entails. You should understand the licensing requirements and the procedures involved before you even commit to starting on your career path. It would be tragic to spend years of time and money to find there is some kind of barrier for your entry into the field due to licensing restrictions. Learn the regulations in your state well ahead of time.

6. Job search

If you have done the other steps correctly, finding a job in the field should be relatively easy because the demand in medical fields is high if you’re qualified. Some steps toward being a good job candidate are to acquire experience during education with internships or residencies. If you are a good employee at these appointments, then you’re likely to have good recommendations or even have a job lined up for you when these assignments are complete

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About the author: Wifred Murray

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