TechCareers

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Radiation Protection Technology In the News

TSTC Publishing is adding several new books to its TechCareers Series, including Radiation Protection Technology through Midpoint Book Distributors at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or directly from TSTC Publishing. The book will be available May 1, 2012, for $14.95 (softback). Here’s a summary of the book.

From scientists to doctors to pharmacologists, the science industry is discovering more and exciting uses for radiation to help improve lives – although sometimes, radiation may cause problems. The March 2011 earthquake in Japan resulted in a tsunami leveling large swaths of land and a nuclear facility crisis that had governmental officials and workers around the world worried they might have another Chernobyl on their hands. Because of radiation protection specialists, however, the government took swift action. Radiation protection specialists took strategic actions to prevent a nuclear meltdown at the plant and organized testing for radiation poisoning among the population. Then, just last week, an earthquake shook the eastern coast of the United States. The jolt shifted huge concrete containers holding spent nuclear fuel at the North Anna power plant in Virginia. These are only two examples of why the world needs radiation protection technology.

The radiation field is constantly changing as better equipment is designed and technological advances create new devices to save lives and progress science. As new discoveries of radiation use are made in areas such as nuclear power, X-rays and MRIs, Radiation Protection Technologists (RPTs), or health physicists, ensure that no harm is done to the environment or the public.

The Atom

Long before there were nuclear power plants or X-ray machines, there was the atom. In 500 B.C., Democritus claimed the world was made up of tiny particles, called “atomos,” meaning indivisible. Leaping ahead in time to 1895, Wilhelm Roentgen of Germany first used radiation to X-ray a human hand, his wife’s. With more and more uses for radiation, Americans adopted Britain’s rules for radiation protection in the early 20th century, increasing the need for RPTs.

On Demand and In Demand

RPTs are trained to know and understand radiation standards, solve challenging problems, use critical thinking to advise management and handle radiation emergencies.

Between 2008 and 2018, the demand for RPTs is expected to increase 14 percent, a faster average than most other occupations. Top industries using RPTs are:

  • Federal government
  • Government contractors
  • Nuclear power utilities
  • Medical facilities
  • National laboratories
  • Universities

It Pays to Like Science

The salary outlook is good for those interested in a career in health and safety. Hourly wages average $30.86 an hour or $64,200 a year, but this figure changes depending on where one works. Those who get jobs in the federal government are paid considerably more than those working for the local government. Education also comes into play. The higher the level of education, the higher pay one will receive.

Here are a few job titles:

  • Radiation protection technologist
  • Certified health physicist
  • Radiation safety officer
  • Power reactor physicist
  • Medical physicist

As a radiation technologist, you get to do the following:

  • Support the development of radiation protection instrumentation calibration procedures and instructions
  • Make sure plant workers limit the amount of radiation they’re around, as well as the time exposed
  • Research inspection standards, radiation exposure limits, safe work methods and decontamination procedures
  • Direct testing and monitoring of equipment of the plant

TechCareers: Radiation Protection Technology serves as a valuable overview of the growing industry of radiation protection technology. The book features essential information for anyone considering a career in the industry, including education requirements and employment opportunities.

About the author

Shayla Crane graduated from Baylor University in May 2010 with a bachelor of Arts degree in English and a minor in Creative Writing. She currently works as the Senior Technical Writer at Nuclear Logistics, Inc., where she assists the engineers in writing reports, plans and manuals to distribute to their nuclear clients.

-Kristine

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