Careers in the health care industry can be extremely rewarding and the pay structure is such that you can have that little house with a white picket fence, a summer cottage and go on winter getaways. While you may not want to become a specialist or doctor, you can still enjoy these perks with other career paths – namely radiologists and ultrasound technicians. These are incredibly rewarding careers that will keep you well compensated and personally satisfied.
Radiology is one of the fastest growing health industry fields, and is expected to grow by more than 28% in the next five years. Radiologists assist physicians by reading images and diagnosing injury and illness. Radiation technologists can work in a variety of settings including hospitals, urgent care facilities, equipment sales, private offices and clinics.
Education and Training
In order to stand out from this growing field of professionals, students are strongly encouraged to complete a two year radiology degree and gaining as much hands-on training as possible. The competition is expected to be tough, so having experience and high grades will definitely help. After the two-year program is completed, students will need to pass a certification exam.
Radiology technicians enjoy a salary in the range of $45,000 – $56,000. Those just starting out will obviously be at the lower end of the scale and move up as you gain more experience. Salary will also depend upon the location and setting of the job.
An ultrasound technician, or sonographer, plays an important role in the lives of patients. They help moms-to-be hear their baby’s heartbeats for the first time; they also help physicians diagnose and treat illness and disease. And you support patients during what can be emotional circumstances. It’s important to have a passion for people and good communication skills, along with technical skills.
Education and Training
Most colleges offer ultrasound technology programs for a length of one year. There will also be placement and hands-on training, lab work, simulations and seminars. Many students look at radiology as an add-on to their existing health-care training. The total cost of the program can vary from college to college, but on average expect to pay $5000. Once a certificate is achieved, there are several courses that will need to be taken in order to keep up-to-date with technology and current trends. These added courses can usually be taken at night school or via distance education.
Ultrasound technicians can enjoy salaries in the range of $40,000 – $50,000, depending on location and experience. Private clinics may pay less than larger hospitals or urgent care centers. Some schools are more highly regarded than others, so do your research and choose one that specializes in the field you’re looking to get into.
Both radiology and sonography are important aspects of health care, and without them, patients would not get the diagnosis and care they need. It’s a great feeling, knowing that you are helping someone who is ill, or is ready to bring a new life into the world.