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There are a variety of careers available in the field of radiology. For the most part, the radiography qualifications that are required vary by profession; there also are often regional and local qualifications as well. Education and specific instruction also are necessary to qualify for a career in radiology. Some type of hands-on training and clinical experience are also common types of radiography qualifications.
Depending on education and experience, there are various career paths that are related to radiology. At the entry level, there are careers as radiology technologists. Advanced education and training might lead to a career as a radiologist assistant. Graduate studies can lead to a career as a radiologist, also called a doctor of radiology.
Generally speaking, radiology qualifications differ by profession. Individuals who want to become radiology technologists will often need to complete at least a beginning level of education in radiology. In some instances, the radiography qualifications for becoming a technologist are obtaining a minimum of a diploma from an approved hospital program or an associate’s degree in radiographic studies from an accredited community or junior college.
Obtaining technologist certifications typically are considered voluntary radiography qualifications. Often, certification can be earned by passing an examination that tests knowledge and skills in the field. Although not technically required, many employers prefer job candidates to be certified as radiology technologists in addition to meeting the educational requirements.
Continuing education in radiology combined with additional training and experience might prepare individuals for careers as radiologist assistants. Many radiologist assistants have completed a bachelor’s degree in a subject area related to radiology. Radiologist assistants often gain critical experience by working as radiology technologists as they continue their education. A radiologist assistant is a more advanced profession in the field, so the radiography qualifications are more advanced as well. Employers typically look for job candidates who have completed the necessary schooling and who have become certified as radiologist assistants by passing a certification exam.
A radiologist is a physician who specializes in operating and interpreting radiographic tests and studies. In most countries, a radiologist will need to complete a doctoral radiology program at a medical school and finish an internship and residency program to be qualified to practice. Some of the other radiography qualifications for becoming a radiologist might include obtaining licensing or credentials at the regional or local levels. Graduates of radiology doctoral programs are often required to pass written and oral medical board examinations that are administered at the regional level.
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