Medically minded individuals now eyeing a fulfilling career in radiologic technology are moving in the right direction, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A projected 21-percent jump in coming years in the number of available positions is being cultivated by a senior population that will require imaging to better pinpoint age-related problems. In Los Angeles, many radiologic technologists with a two-year educational degree earn an annual salary of more than $55,000.
“There’s something for everybody, whether your interest is in MRI, ultrasound or CT scan,” said Richard Kilgore, lead technologist for interventional radiology at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center. “We are now doing so much more in a minimally invasive manner.”
The Los Angeles City College alumnus has worked in this challenging vocation for more than three decades. He said opportunities for qualified technologists are well-abounding.
“With health care reform, there is an ever-growing need for imaging in Los Angeles, said Kilgore, who is certified by The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. “Imaging has become the backbone of the hospital, as most patients who go to see their doctor receive some form of imaging to help their physician make a diagnosis.”
In what way will a technologist’s role change by 2024?
“Radiologic technologists will have to become increasingly computer savvy and take on more responsibilities. New technologists now have to retake the board exams every 10 years, whereas before you only had to pass it once.”
How are radiologic technologists maintaining a competitive edge?
“One has to be able to adapt to change easily and always stay at the forefront of technology.”
What defines a successful radiologic technologist?
“It’s important to be able to work with all kinds of people, from patients and their family to hospital staff. It’s also crucial to be independent, prompt and organized.”
What is your advice to aspiring radiologic technologists?
“I encourage prospective radiologic technologists to study hard, learn the fundamentals, find what interests you and just keep working toward your goals. I go home every night knowing I have helped people and that I am in an honorable profession.”
Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.