Career Path Forecast
of radiologic technologists is expected to increase by about 17 percent
from 2008 to 2018, faster than the average for all occupations. As the
population grows and ages, there will be an increasing demand for
diagnostic imaging. With age comes increased incidence of illness and
injury, which often requires diagnostic imaging for diagnosis. In
addition to diagnosis, diagnostic imaging is used to monitor the
progress of disease treatment. With the increasing success of medical
technologies in treating disease, diagnostic imaging will increasingly
be needed to monitor progress of treatment.
The extent to which
diagnostic imaging procedures are performed depends largely on cost and
reimbursement considerations. However, accurate early disease detection
allows for lower cost of treatment in the long run, which many
third-party payers find favorable.
will remain the principal employer of radiologic technologists, a number
of new jobs will be found in offices of physicians and diagnostic
imaging centers. As technology advances many imaging modalities are
becoming less expensive and more feasible to have in a physician’s
addition to job growth, job openings also will arise from the need to
replace technologists who leave the occupation. Those with knowledge of
more than one diagnostic imaging procedure -- such as CT, MR, and
mammography -- will have the best employment opportunities as employers
seek to control costs by using multi-credentialed employees.
Demand for radiologic
technologists and technicians can tend to be regional with some areas
having large demand, while other areas are saturated. Technologists and
technicians willing to relocate may have better job prospects.
CT is continuing to
become a frontline diagnosis tool. Instead of taking x rays to decide
whether a CT is needed, as was the practice before, it is often the
first choice for imaging because of its accuracy. MR also is
increasingly used. Technologists with credentialing in either of these
specialties will be very marketable to employers.
Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US Department
of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.