Job Prospects for Rad Techs

Want to find out why becoming a Radiologic Technologist now makes more sense than ever?

Here’s some good news for you, potential Rad Tech student: demand for your future qualification is likely to rise by 12% from 2016 to 2026. That’s an extra 25,300 jobs becoming available nationwide.

(This isn’t according to me; I got this titbit from the Occupational Outlook Handbook)

This is even more than for health technologists generally – who are enjoying the burgeoning job prospects caused by a rapidly aging population – and a lot more than the average for all occupations.

That means that the likely projected employment for Rad Tech’s in 2026 will be over 230,000.

Radiation therapists can also expect to see some solid growth in demand over the same period of about 13%. You need to note however that there aren’t so many people with this specialty. So that 13% only represents the creation of about 2,400 more jobs.

Why is demand likely to rise so much?

An older population generally means more broken bones, more cancers and more internal complications that are going to require your skills.

Care for this demographic group means rising costs for insurers and federal government. A way of reducing cost is to prevent rather than to treat. This evolution requires better monitoring of patient health and earlier diagnosis of disease. For that task, people like you are going to be in big demand.

Where is this demand likely to be created?

Demand will remain primarily from hospitals, but there is an increasing shift to specialized imaging centers that are located externally.

(Last time I broke my leg snowboarding, there was just such a center located very conveniently near the bottom of the lifts. As I also had concussion, I was sent for an MRI there and then. That was my insurance company thinking smartly – early investigation saves greater costs down the road.)

There are also new job openings in larger physicians’ offices.

As the cost of medical imaging equipment drops, we’re going to see more outpatient care, and more spaces for early diagnosis. And someone, just like you, will be required to run that equipment.

In terms of geography, look for demand to continue growing strongly in those states where demand is already strong:

  1. Our nation’s most populous states: California, Texas, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania
  2. Those states with older populations. A quarter of Americans live in one of three states: California, Florida and New York. There are also significant elderly populations in Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas. This doesn’t mean that these states have the oldest population age profiles, however. (California is a relatively young state.) The proportion of the population of over 65s is highest in Florida (19%), Maine, and West Virginia.

So where do the stars align for tomorrow’s Rad Techs? In California, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania and New York.