South Dakota Radiology Tech Careers and Degrees
Receiving your Radiologic Technologist Training in South Dakota
Radiologic technologists prepare patients for radiologic procedures, set up and maintain imaging equipment and assist radiologists with operating the equipment and reading the images. The most common educational path to become a radiologic technician or technologist is to complete a 2-year associate degree program in radiologic technology. South Dakota has several accredited radiologic technologist schools. To successfully complete the training, you may complete 10 to 15 hours per week in the classroom and 25 to 30 hours per week of clinical education in area hospitals to obtain hands-on training. You must complete both didactic and clinical assignments, and pass all written exams to be successful in the program.
Courses, which may include both classroom and lab, include medical terminology, image critique, anatomy and pathology, introduction to mammography, digital radiography and radiographic exposure.If you are interested you may also participate in a shadow program, which allows you as the aspiring radiology tech to follow a technologist as he or she performs their duties.
Radiology Technician Licensing in South Dakota
While some states require their radiology technicians be licensed, South Dakota has no licensing requirements. Any student who completes at least 24 hours of orientation and training working with radiographic equipment under the supervision of a qualified trainer can work as a radiologic technologist in South Dakota, according to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists. The state also does not require continuing education. Many employers, however, do require that their radiology techs obtain certification through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologist (ARRT). Before students can be ARRT-certified, they must meet the following requirements:
- Provide proof that they’ve completed an ARRT-approved training program
- Meet the ethics requirements set by the ARRT
- Demonstrate competency in performing a specific number of radiologic and health care procedures. The procedures are determined by the ARRT.
The certification exam is not included as part of the training program; however, the training the student receives prepares them to take the certification exam. Most programs include a review course during the final semester to help prepare the student for the examination.
South Dakota Radiologic Technology Association
Career Outlook for Radiology Tech Jobs in South Dakota
The employment outlook looks excellent for radiologic technicians in South Dakota, as well as other states. A 2012 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected a 28% growth in employment for these medical professionals between 2010 and 2020. As of May, South Dakota employed about 920 radiologic technologists, and their mean annual wage for that year was $46,130. This amount was substantially less than $56,450 earned by radiologic technicians across the nation. Obtaining more than one certification can enhance a resume and increase earning potential.
For some students, becoming a radiology tech is a stepping-stone for advanced careers in areas such as diagnostic medical sonography, mammography or nuclear medicine technology. Because they’ve already earned an associate degree, they may be able complete a 1-year certificate program or complete on-the-job training to qualify for these advanced careers. The ARRT offers various levels of certification for the different areas radiology. This in turn enhances the individual’s employment opportunities and earning potential. All things considered, radiologic technology appears to offer excellent career options for individuals interested in a challenging and rewarding job in the medical field.