Basic X-Ray Technician Certificate: Program Overview

Certificate programs are a common training option for x-ray technicians and are generally offered in the field of radiologic technology. Learn about the program requirements, coursework and job outlook.

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Essential Information

These certificate 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, as well as clinical coursework. They typically take 12-24 months to complete.

Applicants must hold a high school diploma or its equivalent in addition to meeting minimum college-level coursework requirements in applicable fields, such as math, medical terminology, anatomy, and fundamental radiologic technology. Students may also need CPR certification, immunizations and drug screening. A background check might also be required. Graduates will need to obtain state licensure.

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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 197,000 jobs were held by radiologic technologists in 2014. A large number of the jobs were in hospitals. Jobs in the field were projected to grow 9% from 2014-2024. 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 $58,520, as of May 2015.

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.

Students interested in working as radiologic technologists can enroll in a certificate program to learn about the equipment and participate in clinical coursework. Graduates can expect positive job growth and will need to obtain state licensure.

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