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How to Begin a Career in Medical Imaging


If you’re interested in a career that allows you to work in the healthcare industry and play a role in the diagnosis and treatment of sick individuals, a medical imaging career may be an ideal fit for you. Medical imaging involves taking imaging of the inside of the body using technology such as x-rays, CT scans and different types of ultrasound. If this appeals to you, continue reading and learn how to begin a career in medical imaging.

Determine Your Career Goals

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Although you may have decided that medical imaging is the field you want, there are many types of careers within this field. Do you want an associate degree? A bachelor’s degree or a certificate? Determining this can help narrow down your choices and give you an idea of what type of medical imaging programs to research. It’s also a good idea to decide what type of job you want, as this may affect any areas of specialization you may need. You can learn more about the possibilities open to you by checking out the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.

Career Outlook for Medical Imagers

Knowing the potential wages often plays a role in choosing a career or an area of specialization. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that diagnostic medical sonographers earned an average annual wage of $60,350 as of May 2013 and radiologic technologists earned about $55,200. The BLS predicted that diagnostic medical sonographers and radiologic technologists would see employment growths of 39% and 21%, respectively between 2012 and 2022.

Find an Accredited School

This is an important step in starting your medical imaging career. Whether you choose to work as a diagnostic medical sonographer, an ultrasound technician, an MRI technician or a radiologic technician, you’re going to want to become certified; most employers require certification of their technicians, according to the BLS. One of the eligible requirements for certification is that the student must complete a formal training program from an accredited school.

What About Online Medical Imaging Programs?

Online programs have become very popular in recent years because they allow students to earn a degree while continuing to work and meet other obligations. Some medical imaging programs require internships, but many of the courses are offered through distance learning. As an example, Advent University of Health Sciences offers a bachelor's degree in radiology online. This program, for instance, is accredited and can be completed in anywhere from 2 to 5 years. This is one of many online programs.
If you’ve decided that medical imaging is a career you’d enjoy, don’t wait another to find a school and get on the road towards reaching your career goals.

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