How to Become a Radiology Technician

How to Become a Radiology Technician

Are looking to start a new career in healthcare, why not become a radiology technician

Trained in x-ray and imagining technology, radiology technicians assist physicians in identifying and diagnosing illnesses. The images that radiology technicians print help healthcare providers find, prevent, or treat patients’ ailments, i.e., bone cancer, fractured knees. Radiology technicians are always in demand, whether they’re working in interventional radiology and assisting vascular diseases or working as a sonograph technician to help monitor pregnant patients’ health. 

First, here are three basic pieces of information about being a Radiology Technician.

Where do radiology technicians work?

A radiology technician can work anywhere radiology and imaging work is needed. They can work in hospitals, physician offices, diagnostic imaging centers, and outpatient and inpatient care facilities. 

What do radiology technicians do?

A radiology technician’s responsibility often depends on their specialization, location, and facility needs. These are some primary responsibilities:

  • Monitoring and explaining procedures to patients
  • Positioning patients and equipment for imaging
  • Preparing patients for X-rays and other procedures
  • Working with a radiologist to diagnose and treat patients, i.e., logging and interpreting radiographic results
  • Maintaining and operating radiologic equipment i.e., sterilizing equipment and rooms
  • Coordinating with the radiology department to schedule and complete procedures

How much do technicians make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a technician’s median annual salary is $60,510.

4 Highest Paying Radiology Technician Specialty
  • Nuclear Medicine-$77, 950
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonographer-74, 950
  • MRI/Radiologic Technologist-$62,280
  • Cardiovascular Technologist-$57,720

How to Become a Radiology Technician?

Step 1: Get Your Diploma 

To become a radiology technician, you must have a high school diploma or the equivalent (GED). 

Advice: The field is known to use medical and scientific terminology, so focus on and take science and math courses while in school. 

You can also gain experience while in school. There are some hospitals and facilities with radiologic tech shadowing or volunteer opportunities for high school. 

Step 2: Appy for an accredited Radiology Technician Program

When deciding to take the next step, there are three choices: choosing a certification or vocational program, associate or bachelor degree. There certification programs that typically last six to twelve months and include clinical training. You also have hands-on associate and bachelor programs that include externships and clinical practice, each lasting two to four years.  Courses for all three often include imaging techniques, anatomy, pathology, medical ethics, radiation biology and protection, and patient care training. 

Check out Radiology Technician Programs (Online Options included)

Note: Before enrolling in a program, check to see if the program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).

Step Three: Become Certified

To become a certified or licensed radiology technician, you must pass the certification exam given by your state or the ARRT.  The ARRT supports 15 credentials in various specialties including, Nuclear Medical Technology. Radiation Therapy, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and Sonography.  24 hours of continuing education is necessary when recertifying, which happens every two years.  You will need to comply with specific state regulation and protection laws.  Most radiology technicians shadow in the department or specific area of interest once they enter the field, i.e., mammography, sonography. 

Are you a radiology technician looking for a job or have experience in the field? Create an account here, and we will match your profile when the best job offers in your area.


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About the author

Joycelyn Ghansah

Joycelyn Ghansah is a former Healthcare Organizer with a background public health, include reproductive and sexual health. When she's not freelance writing, she's transcribing interviews and researching ways to strengthen healthcare labor laws.

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