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Career and Education Opportunities for Radiology Technologists in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

If you want to be a radiology technologist, the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. The national trend for radiology technologists sees this job pool growing by about 17.2% over the next eight years. Radiology technologists generally take x-rays and Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT or CT) scans or administer nonradioactive materials into patient's blood stream for diagnostic purposes.

The income of a radiology technologist is about $22 hourly or $47,810 yearly on average in Pennsylvania. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $25 per hour or $52,210 yearly on average. Earnings for radiology technologists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Radiology in Pennsylvania and not quite as good as general Radiology category earnings nationally. Radiology technologists work in a variety of jobs, including: magnetic resonance imaging technician , imaging specialist, and computed tomography technician .

There are eighty-three schools of higher education in the Pittsburgh area, including eight within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree to start your career as a radiology technologist. Given that the most common education level for radiology technologists is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, 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 Pittsburgh include:

  • 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

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State New Kensington - Upper Burrell, PA

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State New Kensington, 3550 7th Street Road Rte 780, Upper Burrell, PA 15068-1765. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State New Kensington is a small university located in Upper Burrell, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 912 students and an admission rate of 86%. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State New Kensington has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

Community College of Beaver County - Monaca, PA

Community College of Beaver County, One Campus Drive, Monaca, PA 15061-2588. Community College of Beaver County is a small college located in Monaca, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,695 students. Community College of Beaver County has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist.

Washington Hospital School of Radiography - Washington, PA

Washington Hospital School of Radiography, 155 Wilson Ave, Washington, PA 15301. Washington Hospital School of Radiography is a small school located in Washington, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 25 students and an admission rate of 38%. Washington Hospital School of Radiography has a two to four year program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

Community College of Allegheny County - Pittsburgh, PA

Community College of Allegheny County, 800 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233-1895. Community College of Allegheny County is a large college located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,366 students. Community College of Allegheny County has 2 areas of study related to Radiology Technologist. They are:

  • Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated ten and ten students respectively in 2008.
  • Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiographer, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated fourteen and forty-two students respectively in 2008.

Sanford-Brown Institute - Pittsburgh, PA

Sanford-Brown Institute, 421 Seventh Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1907. Sanford-Brown Institute is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 838 students. Sanford-Brown Institute has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated twenty-three students in 2008.

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-Health System - Pittsburgh, PA

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-Health System, 200 Lothrop St, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2582. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-Health System is a small university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 58 students and an admission rate of 13%. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-Health System has a two to four year program in Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiographer which graduated thirty-one students in 2008.

La Roche College - Pittsburgh, PA

La Roche College, 9000 Babcock Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15237-5898. La Roche College is a small college located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,425 students and an admission rate of 57%. La Roche College has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated five and seven students respectively in 2008.

West Virginia Northern Community College - Wheeling, WV

West Virginia Northern Community College, 1704 Market St., Wheeling, WV 26003-3699. West Virginia Northern Community College is a small college located in Wheeling, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,924 students. West Virginia Northern Community College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated four 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.