How to Land Your Dream Job in Radiology
One of the best and most promising ways to break into the radiography field is to participate in an internship program during your schooling. Internships can be invaluable career development tools. In this setting, you will receive supervised training from a professional, and you will gain practical, hands-on experience that will help you to land that first radiology job.
Formal clinical internships in radiography are offered as components of associate's and bachelor's degree programs. Typically, an internship in radiography combines classroom instruction with clinical practice. The student takes between five and seven credit hours per semester or quarter of clinical rotation within a hospital or clinical setting. Upon completion of an academic degree in radiography, the student may then receive a clinical internship completion certificate, such as the one issued by the Mayo Clinic/School of Health Sciences. On the other hand, some internships are stand-alone programs. They may be outside of the traditional academic world and are instead entirely hospital- or clinic-based.
Whatever the situation, whether it be an internship within an academic program or solely hospital-based work, interns are exposed to all of the specialty areas within the diagnostic radiography profession. This is invaluable for students who aren't sure what area they want to specialize in. Additionally, interns get experience with frontline diagnostic tools. Technology advances daily, so having experience with a variety of imaging modalities, such as CT scanning, mammography, and MRIs gives students a competitive edge in today's job market. After graduation, those who can perform multiple imaging procedures will be more marketable to employers, who are inevitably looking to hire as few people as possible.
Most educational institutions maintain affiliations with nearby clinics and hospitals in order to assist students in gaining internships in the radiology field. Hospitals and clinics are eager to serve in this capacity because internships often serve as potential recruitment sources, offering the hospitals and clinics access to quality talent. By using interns, employers can preview and test these students for the skills they are looking for in a permanent employee.
Radiology Job Boards
There are multiple job boards that relate specifically to radiography and healthcare jobs:
Additionally, this dynamic profession is in demand on most general employment websites, such as:
Stand Out Resumes and Cover Letters
The field experience of a successfully completed internship is an excellent accomplishment, which should be touted on your resume. Oftentimes, employers look for more than a degree as proof of your potential responsibility and reliability. According to Marquette General Hospital, internships have become a “necessary part of a student's professional development before entering the full-time workforce.”
Once you have found a job that you would like to apply to, visit some of these websites to review samples of excellent resumes and cover letters:
Positions in the radiography field should be plentiful in the coming years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics, this field is expected to grow faster than average and to increase by 17 percent between 2008 and 2018. The Bureau states that about 61 percent of all radiography jobs are in hospitals, while others worked in physician offices, medical and diagnostic laboratories (including diagnostic imaging centers), and outpatient care centers.
If you're a well-trained, experienced, registered radiographer, you can look beyond hospitals to clinics, diagnostic imaging centers, temporary staffing agencies, mobile units, teaching positions, and government agencies. You can also investigate the armed services, such as the U.S. Navy, which believes radiography is “one of the most respected professions in Navy Medicine” and an “extremely marketable” profession in later civilian life.
U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics
Gateway Community College
Southwest Virginia Community College
Mayo Clinic/School of Health Sciences
Marquette General Hospital
North Dakota State University
Pueblo Community College
Community College of Denver
Red Rocks Community College