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A director of imaging services is in charge of a medical facility’s diagnostic imaging team. Typically reporting to a senior management leader, these professionals may work directly with patients to perform X-ray and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. The bulk of their time, however, is spent carrying out the administrative duties of the department.
Although an associate degree is the only formal education required to become an imaging technologist, if you're interested in joining the management ranks, you must return to school and hit the books. Candidates for director of imaging services positions are typically required to have at least a bachelor’s degree, though many employers give preference to those with a master’s degree. Formal educational programs usually offer students both in-class and clinical training experience. Coursework encompasses various life sciences, including biology and anatomy, as well as practical training, such as patient care and image evaluation.
Although requirements vary by state, many jurisdictions stipulate that imaging technologists of all experience levels must be licensed or certified in order to practice the profession. To get these credentials, you must must graduate from an accredited educational program, then successfully pass an examination administered by either the state or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Find specific requirements for licensing and certification by contacting your state’s health board.
Do the Time
Once educated and certified, you can gain employment as an entry-level technologist. At this career stage, you perform all of the basic tasks required to provide imaging scans to patients: maintain and adjust the equipment, closely following the orders of physicians; walk patients through the imaging process, creating and maintaining medical documents along the way; and also partner with doctors to evaluate the images. Over time, through promotions or strategic job changes, you can gain exposure to addition skills, such as supervising others and managing departmental budgets. Once you've acquired additional experience and a role becomes available, you can apply or be promoted into the position of director of imaging services.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, radiologic technologists -- a group that encompasses directors of imaging services -- earned a median annual salary of $54,620 in 2012. The highest earners, which include those at the director level, earned incomes in excess of $77,160. Employment opportunities in this field are anticipated to expand at a rate of 21 percent from 2012 to 2022. This growth is expected due to an increase in medical conditions resulting from an aging population. In addition, a growing number of patients will have access to health insurance and medical care due to changes in federal health legislation.