The Education & Certification You Need to Become a Radiology Technician

Find out about radiologic technologist education requirements, careers and salary.

technicians reading brain scan

The Basics

What you’ll do: Also known as X-ray technicians, radiologic technologists use X-ray and other technologies to provide images that help physicians and health care workers diagnose and treat health concerns. To obtain the images, you’ll place and process X-ray film and position shields to protect patients from radiation. You’ll play a key role in helping to identify conditions such as cancer, ulcers, or broken bones.

Where you’ll work: Hospitals, physician’s offices, laboratories, diagnostic imaging centers, outpatient care centers.

Degree you’ll need to practice: Associate’s degree

Median annual salary: $63,120*

Radiologic Tech Education

There are formal education programs in radiography that lead to a certificate, an associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s degree. The associate’s degree program is the most common. These certification programs typically last from six to twelve months, and include both classroom and clinical training.

You’ll study courses such as:

  • Anatomy
  • Pathology
  • Patient care
  • Medical ethics
  • Radiation physics and protection
  • Image evaluation

Why not make sure your program is accredited? It’s a requirement for licensure in some states. The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) accredits educational and training programs in radiography.

Licensing and Certification

In addition to graduating from an accredited program, to become licensed, you must pass a certification exam from the state or from The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). For specific state requirements, contact your state’s health board.

To maintain their certification, radiologic technologists must complete 24 hours of continuing education every two years.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics, Radiologic Technologists and Technicians.

*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

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