What are the Different Computed Tomography Jobs?

Terrie Brockmann

There are many different computed tomography jobs that a person can do, depending upon the certifications, schooling, and training that he or she has. Some people prefer to work in a hospital-like setting, while others prefer to not work with patients, instead working in laboratories or at other jobs. In 2008 in the United States, about 60 percent of computed tomography jobs were in hospitals and 40 percent were in other sectors of the medical business. With a degree in computed tomography, a person usually has a wide range of options for employment.

Computer tomography is a method to provide medical imaging.
Computer tomography is a method to provide medical imaging.

Originally, computerized tomography (CT) was called computerized axial tomography (CAT) because the first scanners only did axial-scan images. Newer versions, however, are able to do other planes, such as saggital- or coronal-plane imaging. Although it is seldom that modern job descriptions refer to CAT scans, a job applicant generally needs to understand what each means.

A degree in computed tomography can lead to a range of careers.
A degree in computed tomography can lead to a range of careers.

Usually, the job title for people holding computed tomography jobs is radiologic technologist. A technician generally uses only x-ray scans and equipment, whereas a technologist has more training and uses a wide variety of equipment, including CT machines. In some hospitals, the technologist is also the department supervisor.

Most CT technologists need a license and requirements vary from region to region. Technical colleges, universities, and even some hospitals may offer various training programs in radiography. Typically, these result in a certificate, an associate's degree, or a bachelor's degree.

People who have computed tomography jobs usually can advance to other jobs if they take extra training. This training depends upon the job the person wants. CT technologists may become supervisors, department administrators or directors, or other management personnel if they add management training to their CT training. Some choose to specialize and take training in that specific area. Others may increase their CT certificate into a full degree to become chief radiologic technologist.

Outside of the hospital setting, computed tomography jobs may be located in physician offices, clinics, outpatient facilities, and diagnostic imaging centers. Medical and diagnostic laboratories usually need CT technologists to process the scans taken at hospitals and other patient facilities. In the laboratory setting, computed tomography jobs typically do not involve direct contact with the patients.

Another branch of the medical field that usually employs CT technologists is equipment manufacturers. These companies may hire experienced CT technologists as sales representatives to sell scanning machinery to hospitals, clinics, and other facilities that use scanning equipment. Sometimes people with computed tomography jobs become instructors for equipment manufacturers. They might go into the field and train CT technologists in how to use the equipment.

People with computed tomography jobs who want to teach others may increase their education and become instructors. There generally are numerous opportunities in the education field. A person may become an instructor of CT technologists, an educator of instructors, or a director of a radiologic technology program or institution.

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