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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Choosing A Career in Radiology

I highly recommend the healthcare field to anyone seeking a career. If you don't know what you want to do, check out the numerous possibilities of working in healthcare. Why am I such a big proponent? Let me count the ways:

Need. Everyone needs healthcare at some point. From birth to death, healthcare is a necessity. Vaccine shots are needed for kids to go to school. Physical exams are needed for sports and insurance. Everyone eventually needs to visit a medical facility at some point in their life.

Pay. Check the salary tool at Monster.com. Look up the pay wages of healthcare workers. There are not very many jobs that are low paying and on top of salary is all the benefits.

Benefits. Retirement packages of matched funds, variety in work schedules, scrubs, and countless others. I particularly like working in hospitals.

Hospitals. Everything you need is right next to you. Dirty clothes? Grab some scrubs. Hungry? Go to the cafeteria, which is discounted to you as an employee. Headache? Visit your in-house pharmacy. Car broke down? Every hospital has a bus stop nearby. Want to go back to school? Hospitals general reimburse all tuition fees up to a set amount as long as it improves your ability at work.

Which career in the healthcare field do I recommend? Definitely Radiology. Compare all the two-year programs out there. Mechanical repair, Computer Aided Drawing, Air Conditioning Repair and see which pays you the most for the least amount of tuition. I paid $20K for Xray school. Granted, I paid a little much. I could have gone to the local community college and paid $6K but I didn't want to sit on the waiting list for two years.

Radiology, here in Arizona, pays roughly $20 per hour right after graduation. Accompany that with all the ways to optimize you paycheck and you can easily make $60K your first year. I am also encouraged by Radiology because of the upward movement potential. After you graduate as an Xray Tech, you can learn other skills on the job. Computed Tomography (CT) or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) are OJT skills. You do not have to go to school to learn them or be certified (although this will change some day.) Each new skill or modality earns you a bigger paycheck.

Xray training can also be a springboard to other programs such as Sonography (Ultrasound), Radiation Therapy, or Nuclear Medicine. These require an additional two years of schooling but afford you a nice pay jump. I am currently in Sonography school at Gateway Community College. The cost is around $6K and my hospital is reimbursing me for the entire thing.

I have utilized my training to land a nice job on a night shift. This allows me to be home with my children and work when they sleep. I can usually find time to squeeze homework in when business is slow and nights are generally much slower than day shifts.

Originally posted on Helium here.

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