Radiological technologists and technicians can look forward to employment growth nationally between 2010 and 2020, with career opportunities depending on factors such as location, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov, 2012). Compared to other U.S. states, California welcomed radiological technologists with the second-highest wages in the nation in 2011; only Massachusetts paid higher wages for this occupation (BLS.gov, 2012). In the Golden State, radiological technologists earned a median hourly wage of $32.94 in 2011, compared to the median hourly wage of $18.52 for all occupations in the state (BLS.gov, 2012).
For qualified radiology technologists, employment growth should exceed the average for all U.S. occupations, which is forecast at 14 percent between 2010 and 2020 (BLS.gov, 2012). In that time period, the projected 28 percent growth rate for radiological technologists could add 61,000 new positions nationally (BLS.gov, 2012). According to the State of California Employment Development Department, radiologic technologists and technicians in California should see up to 23.8 percent job growth between 2010 and 2020.
As of 2011, most of the nation's radiological technologists -- including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologists -- worked in hospitals, doctors' offices, medical and diagnostic laboratories or outpatient care centers (BLS.gov, 2012). Hospitals should continue to employ the most radiologic technologists, but new jobs are expected in physicians' offices and imaging centers as the health care industry moves in the direction of outpatient care (BLS.gov, 2012).
Options for graduates of California radiology schools
California was home to the highest number of radiological technologists and technicians in 2011, ahead of other states like Texas, Florida and New York. Of the 220,540 jobs counted nationwide in this field as of May 2011, California was home to 17,170. Looking at urban population centers, the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale area employed 4,460 radiologic techs in 2011, making it third in the nation among the metropolitan areas with high employment levels for this occupation (BLS.gov, 2012).
The BLS expects a rising need for radiology technicians as the U.S. population of seniors increases, and the elderly may have more medical conditions that call for diagnostic imaging and treatment (BLS.gov, 2012). The 2010-2020 period is expected to see longer life expectancies and the aging of the baby boomer generation. The group aged 55 and older is forecast to increase more than any other age group, growing by 29 percent (BLS.gov, 2012). Health and education services in general have added jobs in California, growing by 3.5 percent from October 2011 to October 2012, the BLS reports (BLS.gov, 2012).
Radiology programs in California
Radiology students can seek a certificate or an associate or bachelor's degree; the BLS describes the associate degree as the most common path for aspiring technologists. Basic course work typically examines topics like these:
Training programs show students how to use equipment for x-rays, and classes may also cover computed tomography (CT), MRI or mammography (BLS.gov, 2012). Between 2010 and 2020, the strongest opportunities are likely for radiology graduates with multiple certifications who can operate more than one type of medical equipment (BLS.gov, 2012).
Requirements for radiology schools in California
Licensing and educational requirements vary by state. The Radiologic Technology Act of California mandates certification of technologists and technicians who use x-ray machines and radioactive materials on human beings. For students interested in radiology career education in California, the Radiologic Health Branch, a division of the California Department of Public Health (DPH), offers details on certification.
The DPH lists training programs for diagnostic and therapeutic radiologic technicians as well as specializations in bone densitometry and fluoroscopy. The DPH also posts requirements for allied health services professionals such as operators of imaging devices using single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) or positron emission tomography (PET).
Some professionals seek a national certification, such as those from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). The AART explains its certification eligibility requirements and lists ARRT-recognized educational programs in radiography, nuclear medicine technology, radiation therapy, sonography and MRI techniques. The AART also publishes information about continuing education (CE) requirements and the use of online CE credits.
Economy at a Glance: California, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012
May 2011 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates - California, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012
Occupational Employment Statistics: Radiologic Technologists and Technicians, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012
Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012
Occupational Outlook Handbook: Radiologic Technologists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012
Radiologic Health Branch, California Department of Public Health
If you are thinking of attending radiology school in LA, you're sure to find an endless array of activites to fill your time on the weekends and evenings when you're not hitting the books. From the iconic Disneyland, Universal Studios, and the endless beaches and sunshine that span the coast of this lively and sun soaked part of the country. Attending radiology school in Los Angeles is sure to be a stimulating experience, not to mention the greater than average supply of radiology and medical imaging jobs available in this sprawling metro area. Los Angeles, being the second largest city in the United States, offers the best of all worlds for the aspiring radiology professional.
One Capitol Mall, Suite 320
Sacramento, California 95814
Tel: (916) 446-2028
Fax: (916) 444-7462
E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.calrad.org/
California Department of Public Health
5555 Ferguson Dr., Suite 320
Commerce, California 90022
Radiologic Technologist (RT) Forms
Limited Permit X-ray Technician (XT) Forms
Licentiate Forms (i.e. MD, DO, DC, DPM)
School Forms (RT & XT)
Nuclear Medicine Technologist (NMT) Forms
Change of Address Form: RT, XT, NMT, & Licentiate