Health technologists and technicians are involved in the diagnosis and treatment of patient's medical problems. The field has a variety of specialties and each specialty has specific training levels. Health technologists and technicians often work in collaboration with other health care providers. Health technicians, in some fields, focus primarily on administering medical therapy to patient's.

Health Technologist Schools, Certification and Licensing

The educational requirements vary for health technologist occupations. Some entry level assistant positions may require only a high school diploma, while most positions require certification or an associate degree or a bachelor's degree. Most health care workers need some type of licensure or certification related to their specialty. In specializations that do not require certifications, employers typically prefer certified health technicians. Health technologists that are employed in medical labs typically need to complete an appropriate two-year program.

Most cardiovascular technologists have completed a two-year program. Four year educational programs in the subject are becoming increasingly available. Some states require licensure for cardiovascular technologists. Certification is provided by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and the Cardiovascular Credentialing International.

Training for diagnostic medical sonographers is provided by hospitals and one-year certificate programs and associate and bachelor's degree programs. Currently, no state requires licensure. Sonographers that are registered by ARDMS are registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.

The American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists lists a small number of O&P technician associate degree programs that have received accreditation from the National Commission on Orthotic & Prosthetic Education.

Training programs for surgical technologists last from 9 months to two years. Certificates, diplomas and associate degree programs are available. Most employers seek candidates that are certified technologists. Voluntary certification is provided by the Liaison Council on Certification for the Certification for the Surgical Technologist. Candidates for certification need to graduate from a program accredited by the CAAHEP and pass a national certification examination.

Radiologic technologists and technicians education programs are provided by certificate and associate and bachelor's degree programs. The curriculums range in length from one to four years. Two-year associate degree programs are most common. The majority of the states require licensure for practicing radiologic technologists.

Training is provided for Nuclear medicine technologists in one-year certificate programs and associate and bachelor's degree programs. The certificate programs are usually only available to health professionals that have earned an associate degree in diagnostic medical sonography or radiologic technology. Education and licensure requirements vary by state. More than half of the states require certification or licensing.

Job Characteristics

The work hours vary by the specialty. Good communication and interpersonal skills are important for many health technologist and technician positions. Being detailed oriented is important for these occupations.

Some of the specialties for health technologists and technicians are:

  • Diagnostic medical sonographers utilize specialized equipment in order to create images of structures inside the human body. These images are used by doctors to make a medical diagnosis. Diagnostic medical sonographers perform diagnostic procedures, analyze technical information and provide a summary of their technical findings to doctors.
  • Medical appliance technicians construct, fit, repair and maintain artificial limbs, braces, arch supports, joints and other types of medical and surgical appliances. Some medical appliance technicians are involved with medical appliances that are utilized to correct other medical problems such as hearing aids.
  • Cardiovascular technologists and technicians perform cardiovascular procedures under the supervision of a doctor. They perform tasks such as monitoring heart rates, explaining testing procedures and results to patients and reviewing patient files.
  • Surgical technologists are members of operating room teams and work under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses and other surgical personnel. They also help prepare the operating room for surgeries. Surgical technologists may also help transport patients to recovery rooms and clean and restock the operating room.
  • Radiologic technologists and technicians, also known as radiographers, take x-rays and administer nonradioactive materials into their patent's bloodstream for diagnostic testing.
  • Nuclear medicine technologists administer radiopharmacueticals to their patients by injection, by mouth, inhalation or other techniques in order to measure the functions and characteristics of the organs and tissues in which the radiopharmaceuticals concentrate. They also sample serum or blood in order to determine the concentrations of drugs or hormones in the bloodstream.

Resources for Health Technologists and Technicians

Major Health Care Employers

The major employers for health technologists and technicians are hospitals and medical clinics.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Health Technologists and Technicians

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Health Technologists and Technicians jobs , as of 2016

Metro Area Total Employment Annual Mean Salary
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale 3,000 $45,110
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario 2,870 $42,410
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach 2,740 $39,510
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land 2,380 $49,850
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell 2,110 $42,560
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 2,070 $41,270
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward 1,900 $57,890
San Diego-Carlsbad 1,830 $47,650
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater 1,570 $37,270
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford 1,520 $38,500

Compare Total Employment & Salaries for Health Technologists And Technicians

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Total employment and salary for professions similar to health technologists and technicians

Source : 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

Most Popular Industries for
Health Technologists and Technicians

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

Industry Total Employment Percent Annual Median Salary
Hospital 36,130 48% $38,440
Medical Office 26,810 36% $35,320
Government 3,910 5% $47,910
Education 2,400 3% $37,100
Drug Stores 1,260 1% $42,410
Professional And Technical Services 900 1% $43,290
Office Services And Staffing 820 1% $38,580
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Health Technologists and Technicians.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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