What job makes more, paralegal or x-ray technician? Which one is more in demand?
I hoping to become a lawyer, but my mom says that during my undergrad years, being an x-ray technician would be better because it makes more money. I don't know how much more, but when i weight out the pros and cons of each job, it seems to become more confusing. For instance, being a x-ray technician could be more money, but it moves me farther away from being a lawyer because i have to go for 2 years of studying material that is not applicable to becoming a lawyer. Being an x-ray technician does not as much time for schooling as would becoming a paralegal, but you're exposed to radiation which could hurt my longevity. Being a paralegal would give me experience in law and would benefit my resume, but it doesn't make as much money as an x-ray technician. Paralegals are not in as much demand as x-ray technicians. I'm confused. Also could you tell me what the difference between getting an associate degree for being a paralegal differs from getting a bachelors?
Asked By: 11yrsold - 9/24/2006
I can answer your questions about x-ray. I have been a technologist for 10 years. The amount of money you make is going to depend on a few things. First, it will depend on where you are. If you are in a pretty good sized city, you will probably make fairly good money. Secondly, it will depend on what sized hospital your work in or whether you work in a doctors office. I have worked in both areas and find a hospital will make more money plus, you have the ability to work different shifts to work with your schedule for school. I am in Ky in probably what I would consider a medium sized city. The hospital I work at is a major facility in the area. We are not considered a trauma center but we are the major heart care facility in the area. We have an x-ray program in our hospital. The new techs usually start out at about $16.00 per hour plus change. Also to consider is that there will be shift differentials. Evening shift will generally get anywhere from $0.75 to $1.00 per hour more if you work from 3pm to 11pm. Midnights will generally get $1.00 per hour from 11pm to 6am. Those figures will vary from place to place. Also if you work weekends, you will generally get additional money per hour on top of shift differentials.
Actually, studying this might put you closer to your law studies than you think. We are bound by all sorts of legal issues. For instance, patient confidentiality, we have to make sure every film is marked correctly with a left or a right marker and that we are radiographing the correct part on the correct patient. Some of us have been called to testify in court on cases in which a patient has filed a suit against a doctor. We are legally required to attend school and pass a national registry. We are legally required to obtain state licensing as well as the national license and maintain those licenses through continuing education. We have to think every time we do an exam. We have to check patients arm band for correct patient, check order from doctor or chart from floor, place correct size film under or behind patient, and mark film correctly with right or left marker, and when the patient identification is stamped on film, we have to make sure that the correct patient ID is on the correct film. We deal with legal issues every day. If we do one thing wrong in this process, a patient can be misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all. That leads to lawsuits........ You see where I'm going.
As for the radiation, we wear monitoring devices that tell us how much radiation we receive in a one month period. We wear them at all times. When we are doing exams where we have to stay in the room, an upper GI for example, we wear lead aprons that cover from the shoulders to the knees. We also wear thyroid shields that are made of lead and wrap around our neck. The amount of radiation you receive from one exposure to an x-ray is less radiation that you receive spending the day in the sun. Radiation is everywhere. Your microwave emits radiation, the sun for a few examples. The rules for radiation exposure are very strict. You can only receive so much per year. By the way, I have NEVER even come close to that. During my 10 year career, I have had 3 children and worked from the day of conception to the day I was put in the hospital for delivery.
My sister in law is a paralegal and she seems to like her work. I imagine she makes fairly good money. She works for a local state representative. It seems to me like she does a lot of errands for the lawyer though (bank, post office, walmart, dry cleaners, pay her bills, etc.). I think she has her bachelors but I don't know the difference.
Being an x-ray tech is interesting. You will meet all kinds of people and see things you can't even imagine. I don't even know where to start telling you about what I have seen. Gun shot wounds, stabbings, car wrecks, falls, altercations, construction accidents, over doses, suicides (attempted and successful) and animal attacks are a few. You need to have a strong stomach, a kind heart and a calm disposition. You will encounter every kind of person in this job; nice, mean, combative, drunk, high, paranoid, uncaring, foul smelling, large, medium, and small.
I hope this helps you in your decision. Good luck!!
Answered By: country girl - 9/24/2006