Ok, i am a rad tech and have been for the past 6 years and i am in nursing school. first i would say it depends on what state you work in and how much you are willing to work that determines ur salary....someone on here said you have to be a rad tech to be a nuclear med tech and thats not true, at least not in Alabama where i live. The university i graduated from had their own seperate nuclear medicine program. Some of our classes overlapped, meaning we were all in there together, like cross sectional anatomy and radiation physics...other than that, their classes were completley seperate from ours. They are higher paid than a radiologic technologist.
I don't know where you live, but if you live in a licensed (ARRT) state than you will get paid more. Alabama is not a licensed state therefore i get paid less than i would if i lived in Georgia or Texas...starting here in a hospital you may get like $18-20/hr. If you specialize in CT, or MRI you would start higher. i know CT techs that make $80-000-90,000 a year bc they take call, they work overtime, they LIVE at the hospital pretty much. Their base pay is not 80k tho, so if hustling is not in you and you don't like working holidays or weekends, than 80k may not happen for you if you live in an unlicensed state. A Cardiovascular tech is just a rad tech that works in the cath lab using a C-arm. They assist the doctors with putting stents and caths in. At my hospital they make $60,000-70,000 i believe. They also take call and would have to work overtime.
There isn't a demand for it here in Alabama bc there are too many schools and they let too many students in their programs knowing good and well more than half of those kids won't be able to find jobs...its robbery. I would look in ur local paper and job market and research if there are a lot of openings in ur area and find out if ur state is licensed. That alone can really change the amount of money you will bring home. X-ray is definitley a less involved job as far as patient care is concerend when compared to nursing, however i wouldn't say that bc of that is easy and all we do is "press buttons" i can't stand that mentality. At my facility we are very busy and not every patient is a "walkie-talkie", we get quadrapalegics, amputees, morbidly obese, people with PTSD that have to have their dogs with them to function...all kinds of people. you have to know how to work with these people and figure out how to get an optimal diagnostic image regardless of the patients condition. it's not always just pushing a button...u have to think and do whats best for ur patient. we do just as much lifting and tugging and pulling and manuerving as nurses, and if its portable work, u can almost bank on the fact that most nurses (in my experience) are not gonna run over there and help u even if they see u struggling. The job is monotonous also...let me know if u have other questions.