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Career and Education Opportunities for Radiology Technologists in Chicago, Illinois

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for radiology technologists in the Chicago, Illinois area. The national trend for radiology technologists sees this job pool growing by about 17.2% over the next eight years. In general, radiology technologists take x-rays and Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT or CT) scans or administer nonradioactive materials into patient's blood stream for diagnostic purposes.

A person working as a radiology technologist can expect to earn about $27 per hour or $56,180 per year on average in Illinois and about $25 hourly or $52,210 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Radiology, people working as radiology technologists in Illinois earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Radiology nationally. People working as radiology technologists can fill a number of jobs, such as: ct/mri technologist , staff technologist, and magnetic resonance imaging special procedures technologist .

There are fifteen schools within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can study to be a radiology technologist, among 180 schools of higher education total in the Chicago area. Radiology technologists usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so you can expect to spend about two years studying to be a radiology technologist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Radiology Technologist

In general, radiology technologists take x-rays and Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT or CT) scans or administer nonradioactive materials into patient's blood stream for diagnostic purposes. They also includes technologists who specialize in other modalities, such as computed tomography, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance.

Radiology technologists inspect and evaluate developed x-rays or computer generated data to establish if images are satisfactory for diagnostic purposes. They also position and immobilize patients on examining tables. Equally important, radiology technologists have to prepare examination rooms, ensuring that all needed apparatus is ready. They are often called upon to explain procedures and observe patients to insure safety and comfort during scan. They are expected to direct work with clerical personnel or other technologists. Finally, radiology technologists position imaging apparatus and adjust controls to set exposure time and distance, in line with specification of examination.

Every day, radiology technologists are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for radiology technologists to remove and process film. They are often called upon to operate or oversee operation of radiologic and magnetic imaging apparatus to produce images of the body for diagnostic purposes. They also key commands and data into computer to document and specify scan sequences, adjust transmitters and receivers, or photograph certain images. They are sometimes expected to monitor patients' conditions and reactions, reporting abnormal signs to physician. Somewhat less frequently, radiology technologists are also expected to assign duties to radiologic staff to maintain patient flows and achieve production goals.

They also have to be able to take thorough and accurate patient medical histories and demonstrate new apparatus and techniques to staff, and furnish technical assistance. And finally, they sometimes have to operate fluoroscope to assist physician to view and guide wire or catheter through blood vessels to area of interest.

Like many other jobs, radiology technologists must have a strong concern for others and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Cardiac Technician. Conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic purposes. May conduct or assist in electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary-functions, lung capacity, and similar tests.
  • Dental Hygienist. Clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. May educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop X-rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.
  • Nuclear Medical Technologist. Prepare, administer, and measure radioactive isotopes in therapeutic, diagnostic, and tracer studies utilizing a variety of radioisotope equipment. Prepare stock solutions of radioactive materials and calculate doses to be administered by radiologists. Subject patients to radiation. Execute blood volume, red cell survival, and fat absorption studies following standard laboratory techniques.
  • Radiation Therapist. Provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist according to established practices and standards. Duties may include reviewing prescription and diagnosis; acting as liaison with physician and supportive care personnel; preparing equipment, such as immobilization, treatment, and protection devices; and maintaining records, reports, and files. May assist in dosimetry procedures and tumor localization.
  • Radiological Technician. Maintain and use equipment and supplies necessary to demonstrate portions of the human body on x-ray film or fluoroscopic screen for diagnostic purposes.
  • Respiratory Therapist. Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, and operate equipment.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Radiology Technologist Training

Indiana University-Northwest - Gary, IN

Indiana University-Northwest, 3400 Broadway, Gary, IN 46408-1197. Indiana University-Northwest is a small university located in Gary, Indiana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,794 students and an admission rate of 80%. Indiana University-Northwest has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiographer which graduated thirty-nine and seventeen students respectively in 2008.

College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn, IL

College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599. College of DuPage is a large college located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,668 students. College of DuPage has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated fifteen, thirteen, and thirty-three students respectively in 2008.

City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College - Chicago, IL

City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College, 1900 W Van Buren, Chicago, IL 60612-3197. City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College is a medium sized college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,202 students. City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College has an associate's degree program in Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiographer which graduated twenty-five students in 2008.

Roosevelt University - Chicago, IL

Roosevelt University, 430 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605-1394. Roosevelt University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,708 students and an admission rate of 43%. Roosevelt University has a bachelor's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist.

University of St Francis - Joliet, IL

University of St Francis, 500 N Wilcox St, Joliet, IL 60435-6188. University of St Francis is a small university located in Joliet, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,334 students and an admission rate of 60%. University of St Francis has 2 areas of study related to Radiology Technologist. They are:

  • Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist, bachelor's degree.
  • Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiographer, bachelor's degree.

North Central College - Naperville, IL

North Central College, 30 N Brainard St, Naperville, IL 60540. North Central College is a small college located in Naperville, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,726 students and an admission rate of 69%. North Central College has a bachelor's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has an associate's degree program in Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiographer which graduated seventeen students in 2008.

National-Louis University - Chicago, IL

National-Louis University, 122 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603. National-Louis University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,874 students and an admission rate of 56%. National-Louis University has a bachelor's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist.

Moraine Valley Community College - Palos Hills, IL

Moraine Valley Community College, 9000 W. College Parkway, Palos Hills, IL 60465-0937. Moraine Valley Community College is a large college located in Palos Hills, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,477 students. Moraine Valley Community College has an associate's degree program in Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiographer which graduated forty-five students in 2008.

Lewis University - Romeoville, IL

Lewis University, One University Parkway, Romeoville, IL 60446-2200. Lewis University is a medium sized university located in Romeoville, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,536 students and an admission rate of 71%. Lewis University has a bachelor's degree program in Allied Health Diagnostic, Intervention, & Treatment Professions, Other Specialties.

South Suburban College - South Holland, IL

South Suburban College, 15800 South State Street, South Holland, IL 60473-1200. South Suburban College is a medium sized college located in South Holland, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,105 students. South Suburban College has 2 areas of study related to Radiology Technologist. They are:

  • Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist, less than one year which graduated 10 students in 2008.
  • Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiographer, associate's degree which graduated 29 students in 2008.

Advocate Trinity Hospital School of Radiologic Technology - Chicago, IL

Advocate Trinity Hospital School of Radiologic Technology, 2320 E 93rd St, Chicago, IL 60617-9984. Advocate Trinity Hospital School of Radiologic Technology is a small school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 30 students and an admission rate of 11%. Advocate Trinity Hospital School of Radiologic Technology has a two to four year program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated twelve students in 2008.

Joliet Junior College - Joliet, IL

Joliet Junior College, 1215 Houbolt Rd, Joliet, IL 60431-8938. Joliet Junior College is a large college located in Joliet, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,088 students. Joliet Junior College has an associate's degree program in Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiographer which graduated one student in 2008.

City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College - Chicago, IL

City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College, 4300 N Narragansett, Chicago, IL 60634-1500. City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College is a large college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,677 students. City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College has an associate's degree program in Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiographer which graduated twenty students in 2008.

Triton College - River Grove, IL

Triton College, 2000 5th Ave, River Grove, IL 60171-1995. Triton College is a large college located in River Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,547 students. Triton College has an associate's degree program in Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiographer which graduated twenty-five students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist: The mission of the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT) is to recognize individuals qualified as specialists in the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technology which employs non-ionizing radiation to promote high standards of patient care and safety in the diagnostic medical imaging modality of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technology including interventional MRI, cardiovascular MRI, functional MRI, and MRI breast imaging.

For more information, see the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists website.

Registered Technologist - Quality Management: The purpose of the ARRT Examination in Quality Management is to assess the knowledge and cognitive skills underlying the performance of the tasks typically required of staff technologists practicing in this specialized area.

For more information, see the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists website.

Registered Technologist - Sonography: The purpose of the ARRT Examination in Sonography is to assess the knowledge and cognitive skills underlying the intelligent performance of the tasks typically required of staff sonographers at entry into the profession.

For more information, see the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists website.

Cardiac-Interventional Technology: The purpose of the ARRT Examination in Cardiac-Interventional Radiography is to assess the knowledge and cognitive skills underlying the intelligent performance of the tasks typically required of technologists employed in this specialized area.

For more information, see the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists website.

Vascular-Interventional Technology: The purpose of the ARRT Examination in Vascular-Interventional Radiography is to assess the knowledge and cognitive skills underlying the intelligent performance of the tasks typically required of technologists employed in this specialized area.

For more information, see the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists website.

Registered Radiologist Assistant: The ARRT's radiologist assistant program incorporates the education, ethics, and exam standards that add up to the ARRT's Equation for Excellence.

For more information, see the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists website.

Biomedical Electronics Technician: Biomedical electronics technicians are expected to obtain knowledge of the principles of modern biomedical techniques, the proper procedure in the care, handling and maintenance of biomedical equipment and to display an attitude/behavior expected of an electronics technician who works in a hospital or healthcare environment.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Registered Ophthalmic Ultrasound Biometrist: Registered Ophthalmic Ultrasound Biometrist (ROUB) includes: Keratometry, Physics, Biometry Instrumentation, Instrument Settings for Biometry, Examination Techniques for Biometry, Sources of Error in Biometry, and Intraocular Lens Power Calculations.

For more information, see the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology website.

Nuclear Cardiology Technologist: Professional certification is a vital component of a successful career.

For more information, see the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board website.

LICENSES

RADIOGRAPHER, INDUSTRIAL

Licensing agency: Illinois Emergency Management Agency
Address: 110 East Adams Street, Springfield, IL 62701

Phone: (217) 785-0229
Website: Illinois Emergency Management Agency

RADIOGRAPHER, MEDICAL

Licensing agency: Illinois Emergency Management Agency
Address: 110 East Adams Street, Springfield, IL 62701

Phone: (217) 785-0229
Website: Illinois Emergency Management Agency

RADIOGRAPHER, MEDICAL (LIMITED)

Licensing agency: Illinois Emergency Management Agency
Address: 110 East Adams Street, Springfield, IL 62701

Phone: (217) 785-0229
Website: Illinois Emergency Management Agency

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.