Becoming a Radiology Technologist in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania does not license radiology technologists, but employers are held accountable for hiring qualified staff. Generally, the requirement is that you be certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
In order to be certified, you will need to complete a program in radiology technology that is approved by the ARRT. Pennsylvania has programs at the certificate, associate, and bachelor’s levels. You should be aware, though, that beginning in January of 2015, the ARRT will only grant initial certification to radiology technology graduates who have at least an associate degree. The degree does not necessarily have to be granted at the same time as the radiology certificate, however; nor does it have to be in the radiography field. Certificates will still be a viable option for those who already hold a degree.
Nationwide, the most common entry point into the profession is the associate degree.
Admission to an associate level radiology technology program is a slightly more involved process than community college admission. You can prepare in advance by getting your CPR certification, having a physical, and making sure you are current on vaccines. Some programs require you to put in observation hours. Program decisions are generally made at least partly on the basis of GPA and test scores. Schools will look for evidence that you have what it takes to make it through the program and be certified. You may be asked to furnish references and/ or attend an interview.
Radiologic Tech Resources – Pennsylvania
In the early stages of the program, you take courses in radiologic positioning, radiation safety, and patient care. You typically begin supervised clinical work during your first year. Your program director will eventually need to sign that you have completed all the ARRT required procedures and performed at least the minimum number of repetitions.
Another ARRT certification requirement is maintenance of ethics standards. Once the ARRT approves you, you will have a three month window in which to schedule your certification examination.
You may want to join the Pennsylvania Society of Radiologic Technologists while you are still enrolled in school. This is not a prerequisite for certification, but you will find leadership and networking opportunities. Membership can also help you stay current.
You have the option of pursuing certification in specialty areas later. At this point, there is no requirement for structured coursework beyond the initial radiology technology program. The requirement for performing and documenting procedures in the specialty area can seem pretty steep, though. Many radiology technologists find enrolling in a formal program to be the most feasible way to meet those requirements. It also is good preparation for the certification exam. Beginning in 2016, there will be a requirement for a small amount of structured education in the specialty area.
The mean salary for radiologic technologists in Pennsylvania was $53,870 in 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average approaches 60K in the Philadelphia area and tops it in some metropolitan areas on the New Jersey border. Some parts of the state have a much higher concentration of workers than others. They are mostly big cities, but there are exceptions. The greatest concentration of workers is in the Scanton–Wilkes Barr area. There are a lot of jobs in the Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Reading, and tri-city metropolitan areas. Statewide, the radiology technology field is projected to see 9% growth between 2008 and 2018.
Radiology Technology Licensing and Professional Organizations in Pennsylvania – Contact Information
- Credentialing Agency:
American Registry of Radiologic Technologists
Click Here to visit their website.
- Professional Organization: Pennsylvania Society of Radiologic Technologists
Click Here to visit the website