ARRT Technician: Job Description & Career Requirements

Learn about a career as an ARRT technician. Read the job description, duties, education requirements, salary and employment outlook to decide if this is the right career for you.

Career Definition for an ARRT Technician

American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) technicians, also known as certified radiologic technologists or radiographers, assist doctors by taking X-rays of patients. Before beginning an X-ray, ARRT technicians prepare patients for the procedure by removing any items, such as metals, that could interfere with the X-ray. Since X-ray machines are powerful and can be dangerous, ARRT technicians must follow established procedures to protect themselves, patients and other staff from radiation. Certified radiologic technologists also maintain patients' records, oversee equipment and monitor levels of X-ray supplies.

Education Associate degree as a minimum, bachelor's recommended
License Requirements vary by state, but most accept certification through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists
Job Skills Bedside manner, staying on feet for hours, math skills, attention to detail
Median Salary (2017) $58,440 for radiologic technologists
Job Growth (2016-2026) 12% for radiologic technologists

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements

Many ARRT technicians can find jobs with associate's degrees, but some choose to obtain a bachelor's degree in radiologic technologies. Associate's degree programs include both classroom-based instruction and clinical training. Common classes in radiologic technology degree programs include computer technology, biology, chemistry and X-ray technology. Students are encouraged to choose educational institutions that hold accreditations from the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) for their training.

Licensing Requirements

Licensing or certification is required in almost all regions of the U.S. for radiologic technicians. Many state licensing requirements mandate that students complete an approved training program and pass a certification exam, administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists or the state. Once certified, radiologic technologists must meet continuing education standards to keep their certification current.

Required Skills

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that ARRT technicians must have the following traits:

  • Pleasant bedside manner and clear communication skills when working with patients who may be nervous and uncomfortable
  • Ability to operate X-ray machines and other medical equipment
  • Attention to detail when using large, powerful machinery such as X-rays
  • Technical, math and science skills
  • Ability to work on their feet for very long hours, physically assisting patients who need help

Employment and Salary Outlook

According to the BLS, the median annual salary for radiologic technologists was $58,440 in May 2017. A faster-than-average growth in relation to other careers was predicted for the field of ARRT technology; the BLS reported that radiologic technologist jobs were expected to increase 12% between 2016 and 2026.

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