Mayo Clinic Radiography Program students with patient

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Field description

Radiographers use ionizing radiation (X-rays) to create images of body parts and organ systems for medical diagnostic purposes. Using their highly developed skills in human anatomy and patient care, radiographers prepare patients for X-rays, explain the examination and position the patients for the procedure.

Radiographers perform X-ray examinations on patients in a variety of clinical settings. These examinations can vary from a simple hand X-ray to an examination of the kidneys after contrast media is injected. Radiographers work in outpatient clinical settings, perform complex procedures in surgery and work in hospitals performing examinations on patients of all ages.

Career opportunities

Radiographers are in high demand throughout the U.S., and career opportunities in radiography are excellent. Radiographers work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, doctors' offices and industry. Nationwide, there are more than 180,000 radiographers.

Career mobility for radiographers is excellent. With further education or experience, opportunities exist for advancement in education, management and additional imaging modalities.

Earnings potential

Nationwide, the mean salary for radiologic technologists is $59,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Senior radiographers and those in specialty areas, such as computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and special procedures, can expect to earn upward of $95,000. Salary is dependent upon location and employer.

Professional organizations

Nov. 21, 2017