Basic X-Ray Technician Certificate: Program Overview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, ''www.bls.gov''), certificate programs are a common training option for x-ray technicians. X-ray technician certificate programs are generally offered in the field of radiologic technology.

Essential Information

These programs offer individuals the training needed to understand how radiographic equipment works and how it's used. Students are trained in safety procedures, patient care, and medical ethics. They typically take 12-24 months to complete. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or its equivalent in addition to meeting minimum coursework requirements in applicable fields, such as math, medical terminology, and anatomy.

  • Program Levels in Radiologic Technology: Certificate programs
  • Program Length: 1-2 years
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma, completion of college-level coursework in medical terminology, anatomy, math and fundamental radiologic technology, CPR certification, submission of background check and drug screening, immunizations
  • Experiential Learning: Clinical coursework
  • Other Requirements: State licensure

Master's Degree Programs in Radiologic Technology

These programs are divided into classroom and clinical portions. The classroom portion covers the basics of working with radiographic equipment and ensures that students have the medical knowledge to work in the field. The clinical portion allows students to put everything they have learned in the classroom to practical use. Topics covered in a program may include:

  • Radiology terminology
  • Radiation safety
  • Radiographic exposure
  • Patient positioning
  • Types of imaging technologies

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The BLS reported that about 193,400 jobs were held by radiologic technologists in 2012. A large number of the jobs were in hospitals. Jobs in the field were projected to grow 21% from 2012-2022. This faster-than-average growth was attributed to an increase in the need for diagnostic imaging. The BLS reported that the mean annual salary for radiologic technologists was $57,510, as of May 2014.

Licensing and Certification Info

Radiologic technologists usually must be licensed through the state. Though states are responsible for regulating licensure, federal law sets training requirements for operators of medical and dental radiologic equipment. Individuals typically need to complete an approved radiologic technology training program and pass licensing exams to legally practice imaging using radiation.

Certification is generally voluntary, but some states accept the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam in lieu of state testing. According to the BLS, employers often prefer to hire those who are certified.

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