Bone Density Technologist: Job Description, Salary and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a bone density technologist. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and licensing to find out if this is the career for you.

Bone density technologists work in physician's offices and hospitals to help determine the overall bone health of patients. Educational requirements for this position vary based on state and employer. However, an associate's degree in radiologic technology is a popular option for those seeking work in this field.

Essential Information

Bone density technologists, more commonly known as bone densitometry technologists, are radiology professionals who are responsible for measuring patients' bone mass to determine bone health, especially for the purpose of diagnosing osteoporosis and other bone diseases. They make sure the equipment is operating properly, utilize appropriate safety procedures, position patients, follow physicians' orders to complete scans, and record and report results. Most individuals in this field hold associate's degrees in radiologic technology, and licensing requirements vary by state.

Required Education Associate's degree in radiologic technology most common; requirements vary by employer and state
Other Requirements Some states require licensing, but requirements vary
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 9% for radiologic technologists *
Median Salary (2016) $47,000 for bone densitometry technicians**

Sources: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **PayScale.com

Bone Density Technologist Salary Information

As of January 2016, the total pay for the majority of bone density technologists ranged from $27,750 to $53,586 per year, or $13.28 to $25.48 per hour, according to PayScale.com. These bone density technologists may work in many different settings, such as physicians' offices, medical services agencies, or hospitals.

Education and Career Requirements for Bone Density Technologists

Education and career requirements vary by state and by individual employer, but bone densitometry technologists must usually comply with licensing requirements for general radiologic technologists. This may include holding an associate's degree in radiologic technology or a related health field. Training in bone densitometry is often offered as an advanced specialty for students who have already completed general radiologic technologist training.

A few states offer limited licenses for bone densitometry technologists that allow licensed individuals to perform bone density scans, but not other radiologic procedures. In states with limited licensing policies, short education programs are often available that take only a few days or weeks to complete. They cover basic scientific and technical information, operation of bone densitometry equipment and radiation safety techniques.

Individuals wishing to become bone density technologists should consider earning an associate's degree in radiologic technology. They should also be aware of the licensing policies in the state where they intend to work and meet any requirements needed to begin work. The median salary for this occupation was $47,000 in 2016.


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