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There is a certain thrill and excitement that comes with becoming a certified X-ray technician. Once that degree is in your hands, it is up to you to steer your career and maximize your job potential. However, there is a harsh reality that many X-ray technicians suffer from: a burnout phase within 10 years of earning their degree.
To avoid suffering from burnout, many certified X-ray technicians pursue other career paths that are still in the medical field but allow them to have a little flexibility in terms of what jobs are available for them. One of those career paths that they can pursue is the nurse practitioner career. Here’s a look at the top three reasons X-ray technicians pursue a career as a nurse practitioner.
Similar Career Paths
X-ray technicians are trained and educated on how to read X-rays and diagnose problems. A nurse practitioner is trained to diagnose and treat patients who do not suffer from life threatening conditions. The similarities of being able to diagnose and work with patients attract X-ray techs to a career as a nurse practitioner.
A Higher Salary Potential
X-ray techs on average make around $55,000 a year. It is not uncommon for these people to feel burned-out or want to earn more money after a couple of years doing their jobs. A career as a nurse practitioner allows them to earn more money while still working in the medical field. Nurse practitioners make an average of $83,000 with a potential to earn up to $130,000.
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More Job Flexibility
When a person earns a degree as an X-ray tech, he or she is trained to read X-rays and give a diagnosis based on the findings. While this field is considerably stable, the problem is that there is very little job flexibility, because X-ray techs are doing the same things over and over again. Pursuing a career as a nurse practitioner allows you to have extreme job flexibility as there are many different career paths you can choose. Skilled nurse practitioners can work in hospitals, at private practices, as a teacher, or in medical research. This flexibility is extremely appealing to X-ray techs that often feel as if they have hit the wall and have no opportunities to advance.
There is a lot of work involved with pursuing a career as a nurse practitioner. You must earn a master’s degree — which on average can take six years to earn — and receive the necessary training to become one. X-ray technicians who feel as if they may suffer from burnout can plan accordingly and gain the necessary training and education while working as an X-ray tech.