All you need to know but were afraid to ask about why you became an RT

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Radiologic technologists become RTs out of a desire to help people, and to do interesting work, according to a new survey by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists and Health Careers Futures which set out to define why people make that particular career choice.

The survey called Career Pathways Taken by Radiologic Technologists looked at myriad elements that go towards an individual making the choice to become an RT. Interestingly, most people by the age of 21 decide they want to explore the field and often find themselves entering an educational program by 23.

Concerning the top-ranked factors in their decision, following are highlights. Most RTs:

  • Wanted a profession that was interesting (97 percent of respondents);
  • Wanted to help people (92 percent);
  • Sought a profession with plenty of job availability (88 percent);
  • Opportunities for career advancement (87 percent);
  • Good pay (73 percent);
  • Received advice from a friend or relative (71 percent);
  • Required less than four years of training (55 percent); and
  • Previously was a patient or had a family member who was a patient (51 percent).

Other survey findings included:

  • About 40 percent of respondents had no prior experience in a healthcare profession before pursuing radiology;
  • Approximately 47 percent of respondents received their education as a radiologic technologist in a hospital-based program, while 43 percent attended a community college and 25 percent attended a four-year college or university; and
  • Nearly 80 percent of respondents said they would recommend their current profession to a friend or relative, with about 16 percent responding that they might recommend their profession and 4 percent saying they would not.

More than 2,300 radiologic technologists responded to the survey which was a joint effort between the ASRT and Health Careers Futures, a supporting organization of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation of Pittsburgh, Pa.

Complete survey results are available here: www.asrt.org/media/pdf/research/careerpathways.pdf