Finding the Right Foundation for your X-Ray Tech Career
X-Ray Technicians are a special breed. X-Ray Techs who live and practice in California are even more unique, due to different job requirements for most healthcare employers. If you’re thinking about becoming an x-ray tech in California, you’re not alone. In fact, the x-ray tech career has been a popular career choice for many over the last few years. This is also partly due to the fact that we’ve seen a boom in small clinics and urgent cares over the last few years here in SoCal. That said, we’ve seen a lot of x-ray technician students come and go over the last 5 years and are always as excited to learn from our students as they are from us.
While speaking to many prospective students, we learned that many newcomers to radiology & x-ray weren’t aware of all of their career options. Furthermore, some didn’t know what made one x-ray tech school a better choice for them, versus one may have been closer to home. We met students who were confused about why an x-ray tech career co-mingles with medical assisting. Finally, we had opportunity to discuss futures with many of our incoming x-ray technician students.
Some expressed that they originally wanted to become radiologic technologists but later learned of the long wait at community colleges. Let’s explore some of the ins and outs of the x-ray tech career in California.
An X-Ray Tech Career Can Lead to Different Opportunities in Healthcare
Some of the students we spoke to told us of their dreams to become rad-techs. However, due to the long 5-6 year waiting list at most junior colleges, they decided to become x-ray technicians first. This is a smart choice for those who want to continue their radiology careers after becoming an x-ray tech. What most people don’t know is that the x-ray tech career has a lot of different pathways and options.
First, let’s break down where most x-ray technicians work in California:
- Urgent Care Centers
- Small Clinics
- Private Practice
- Doctor’s Offices
- Orthopedic Clinics
- Physical Therapy Offices
- Imaging Facilities
- Corporate Healthcare
- Sports Medicine Clinics + more!
Continuing Your Radiology Training after Completing an X-Ray Tech Program
As you can probably imagine, there are lots of different options within each of the healthcare employers listed above. However, while you have the option of finding work at different types of facilities, an x-ray technician’s job itself stays pretty consistent here in California. That said, there are opportunities for you to continue-on and to keep growing & learning. Take for example the students we mentioned earlier — those who wanted to become a radtech, but opted to start as x-ray technicians first.
After graduating from their 11 month x-ray tech program, they had the opportunity to skip the 5 year waitlist and go straight to a private radiology college where they could pursue becoming a radiologic technologist. Obviously, some chose to, and others were perfectly happy and in their element within the x-ray tech role. Others decided that the CRT/rad-tech role was not what they imagined. Working around high trauma, long hours in the ER, the seniority in large hospitals.
Some students were just extremely eager to get out there and start earning after 11 months of training. Many said they’d later return to a private radiology school later in their careers to pursue becoming a certified radiologic technologist. Whatever your dreams may be, remember that becoming an x-ray technician is a great start. Furthermore, take some time to speak to the Admissions Advisor or Program Director at your x-ray technician school in order to determine a clear pathway to your goals.
Tailor Your X-Ray Tech Career to Your Needs
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Adam Cooper, XT. Adam is an X-ray instructor and Radiation Safety Manager at Modern Technology School. During our conversation and interview, Adam talked a lot about how he personalized his x-ray tech career to meet his needs. Not only did he find x-ray technician jobs that fit his schedule, but his interests and goals as well. Adam also outlined how much the diagnostic healthcare industry has evolved and how x-ray technician schools like Modern Technology School have kept up with those changes. Furthermore, he speaks about several subject close to his heart. From truly wanting to help patients as an x-ray technician and medical assistant, to how he transitioned into x-ray education.
As a graduate of ROP’s Medical Assisting program and member of the ASRT, Adam stayed true to his roots when pursuing healthcare education. He is also responsible for coordinating with our school’s clinical internship sites. Adam ensures they are properly training our students during the latter portion of their program’s internship. Along with his career in x-ray, like most CA x-ray technicians, Adam has also worked as a medical assistant for years. He spent time within a private practice, working in 24hour clinics, and of course is now in education. You can read about “a Day in the Life of an X-Ray Technician in California” by clicking here.
As you can see, an x-ray tech career can lead down different paths within healthcare…
Medical Assisting is a Big Part of Your X-Ray Tech Career
Another thing you’ll notice once you start exploring a career as an x-ray technician in California, is that many employers want an x-ray tech who doubles as a medical assistant. Some x-ray tech schools don’t provide you with medical assisting training. However, Modern Technology School bases it’s foundations of professional patient care around medical assisting. As Adam mentions in his interview, you’ve got to be a good medical assistant in order to be a great x-ray technician. From learning the basics and fundamentals, creating a solid foundation for your future in healthcare, medical assistant training is vital to your future.
At first, some x-ray techs may not like that they have to become a medical assistant as well. But rather than turn a blind eye, consider the opportunities that open-up to you when you have more than one skill. Also, keep in mind that employers are looking for this hybrid employee. Furthermore, wouldn’t you love to stay on the clock, and have the opportunity to earn a better living? On the flip-side, many medical assistants are turning to an x-ray tech career. And it makes sense because they can take advantage of an X-Ray Only program like one at Modern Technology School.
For those Starting Fresh, or Considering Changing to an X-Ray Tech Career Consider the Following:
What other career or profession can you get your start with just a high school diploma, and complete after only 11 months? Of course, keep in mind that you’ll also have to pass the California State X-Ray Examination. Many careers take years to successfully train for. Most industries require extensive work to break into. But don’t get confused. We’re not saying that becoming an x-ray tech in California is easy. However the pathway is simple to navigate if you apply yourself and are determined.
You’ll also need to find a great X-Ray Technician Program. In Southern California, there are a few x-ray technician schools that may fit your needs. Some things to consider would be checking to ensure they’re an ACCSC accredited x-ray school. Next, find out if they teach you hands-on and in small class settings, so that you have a chance to learn. Does the x-ray tech school offer real labs and do the instructors & faculty care about students? If you feel like like you’re just another number, maybe consider your options.
Finally, think about getting the most value for your education. Some x-ray technician schools offer books & scrubs as part of your tuition. They should also have a solid clinical internship program for x-ray technician students in place. Moreover, check to see if the x-ray technician school will cover the cost of your first X-Ray Exam. Ask Admissions questions and take a tour of the school. Sometimes big things come in small packages.
Your X-Ray Tech Career Starts with Choosing the Right X-Ray School
A good x-ray tech program will cover the basics and give you enough to graduate and pursue a career. A great x-ray tech program will go above and beyond — including extra benefits and great built-in options for their students seeking an x-ray tech career. For instance, Modern Technology school offers financial aid to those that qualify. We have an in-house Job Placement Center. They assist students with everything from resumes & cover letters to interviews and meet-and-greets with prospective healthcare networks & employers. Furthermore, we have one of the best clinical internship programs in Southern California. Want easy parking and a compassionate faculty that won’t treat you like another number? You’ve got it here.
As a final note, remember that your choices today will affect your future. If you want a career as an x-ray technician, take your time to choose the best x-ray technician school for your needs. Ask plenty of questions and get a good feel for the accredited x-ray school. If you want to pursue becoming a CRT in California, ask about becoming an x-ray technician first and what the benefits are. You can also read this article for more information on the subject.
Get Your Start in Radiology & Diagnostic Healthcare at Modern Technology School
Modern Technology School has been training future x-ray technicians for a career in radiology since 1981. We’ve been a leader as an Orange County x-ray tech school that delivers on its promises. We’re an ACCSC accredited x-ray tech school and our 11 month x-ray technician program is offered both days and evenings. We cross-train our x-ray technicians as medical assistants. We also offer an x-ray only program for current medical assistants who want to transition their careers into x-ray.
Our Admissions Advisor is friendly, helpful and loves to answer questions. We’re not pushy with the students we meet. We believe that students will choose the right x-ray tech school based on their needs. If you’d like to get a start within diagnostic healthcare or learn about an x-ray tech career, give us a call. We’ll be glad to walk you through our programs and tuition. We can also set up a time to meet in-person if you like. We offer tours of our Orange County x-ray technician school and would love to learn about your goals.
Our x-ray technician classes start every other month by design, but we teach in small class settings. This is so more students can work hands-on, and so you absorb the material quickly. Due to the popularity of our Orange County X-Ray Tech Program, classes fill-up fast!
Call Modern Technology School at (714) 418-9100
If you’d like more info, simply give us a call and ask for admissions.
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