Radiologist Technician Education Requirements and Career Info

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

Radiologist technicians work in hospitals and medical centers performing X-ray scanning. They work with patients during the procedure, keep records, and maintain the machines.

Essential Information

Radiologist technicians, also known as radiologic technologists, use X-ray scanning machines to generate images of bones and internal organs for diagnostic purposes. Hospitals are their primary employer, but they may also work at diagnostic imaging centers and physicians' offices. Prospective techs should enroll in an accredited certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree program. They may also need to seek state licensure or certification if required by their state.

Required Education Associate's degree most common; certificate and bachelor's degree programs also available
Other Requirements State licensure or certification may be required
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 9% for radiologic technologists
Median Salary (2015)* $56,670 for radiologic technologists

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements for Radiologist Technicians

Accredited radiologist technician programs are offered at the certificate, associate's degree and bachelor's degree program levels. Associate's degrees are the most common for this position and begin with classroom study exclusively. Courses may cover radiologic physics, imaging and procedures. Once students finish core requirements, they may gradually advance into clinical practice, allowing them to work with doctors and patients within a healthcare facility.

Career Information for Radiologist Technicians

Radiologist technicians begin working with new patients by explaining to them the X-ray procedure and asking them to remove metal items that can block X-rays. They then position patients for optimal imaging and drape them with lead blankets to protect against needless exposure. After adjusting the X-ray machine's control for proper detail and contrast, they shoot images. They also keep records and perform light maintenance; depending on seniority and experience, radiology technicians may even prepare work schedules or evaluate equipment purchases.

Licensing and Certification of Radiologist Technicians

Most states mandate radiologist technicians to be licensed. Requirements vary, but generally include completing an accredited radiography program and passing a state board licensing exam. States may accept the results of a voluntary certification exam offered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) in place of the state exam; however, applicants may wish to contact their respective state boards to find out for sure (www.arrt.org).

Certification from ARRT requires completing an ethics assessment and passing a qualifying exam. The exam is computer-based and must be taken at an approved testing center. Those who pass are required to complete 24 continuing education credits every two years or successfully complete an additional ARRT-approved examination.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that job opportunities for radiologic technologists are expected to grow 9% for the years 2014-2024, which is faster than the national average for all occupations. The BLS reported in May 2015 that radiologic technologists earned $56,670 as a median annual wage.

Radiologist technicians complete an accredited associate's degree, bachelor's degree or certificate program in a related field of study. They are required to be licensed by most states, which usually includes completing the education requirements and passing an exam. The job growth in this field is faster than the job market as a whole, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


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