How Long Does It Take to Become a Radiology Technician?

If you’re considering becoming a radiology technician, you’re probably wondering how long it will take to complete the training and become certified. The answer depends on a few factors, but in general, you can expect to spend about two years in school and another year or two in an internship or residency program.

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How long does it take to become a radiology technician? The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the level of education you wish to achieve and the specific requirements of your chosen field. However, in most cases, it takes between two and four years to become a radiology technician.

Radiology technicians are highly trained professionals who use x-ray machines and other imaging technology to diagnose and treat medical conditions. To become a radiology technician, you must first complete an accredited radiology program. These programs are typically offered at the associate’s or bachelor’s degree level, although some technicians may choose to complete a certificate program instead.

After completing a radiology program, you must then obtain state licensure or certification in order to practice. The requirements for licensure or certification vary from state to state, but they usually include passing an exam and completing a certain number of hours of clinical training. Once certified or licensed, you will be able to find employment as a radiology technician in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Radiology Technician?

Radiology technicians typically complete a two-year associate’s degree program in radiologic technology. Some techs, however, may enter the field with a certificate or bachelor’s degree in another medical field.

Associate’s Degree

While there are a few Expanded Programs in Radiologic Technology (EPRT), which allow students to complete their training in as little as 12 months, most students complete an associate’s degree in radiologic technology, which takes about two years. Students interested in becoming radiologic technologists should enroll in a program accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).

Bachelor’s Degree

A radiology technician typically needs at least a bachelor’s degree to enter the field, although some employers may hire workers with an associate’s degree. Programs in radiologic technology typically last 4 years and include classroom, laboratory, and clinical work.


Radiologic technologists must be licensed in most states. Certification is voluntary, but most employers prefer or require it. Certification is available from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), which offers several certification exams, including exams for general radiographers, nuclear medicine technologists, and radiation therapists. The ARRT also offers a post-primary certification exam for technologists who want to specialize in computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or quality management.

The job outlook for Radiology Technicians

Radiology technicians are in high demand due to the aging population. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the job outlook for radiology technicians will grow by 14% from 2019 to 2029. This is much faster than the average for all occupations. Let’s take a look at what radiology technicians do and how long it takes to become one.

Radiologic Technologist

Radiologic technologists (RTs) are health care professionals who provide diagnostic imaging exams, such as x-rays, for patients. Radiology is the science that uses medical imaging to diagnose and sometimes treat diseases within the human body.

Becoming a radiologic technologist requires completing an accredited radiology program, which typically takes 2 years. Some RT programs offer certificate, diploma, or associate degree options, while others may lead to a bachelor’s or even a master’s degree. Once you have completed an accredited RT program, you will need to pass a national registration exam to become licensed or certified in most states. Some states have additional requirements, such as passing a state exam or completing a certain amount of continuing education credits.

The job outlook for RTs is promising, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting 11% growth in employment from 2019 to 2029—faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is due in part to an aging population and advances in medical technology that require more imaging exams. Radiologic technologists earned a median salary of $62,280 in 2019.

Radiation Therapist

Radiation therapists treat cancer and other diseases in patients by administering radiation treatments.

Most radiation therapists complete an accredited associate’s degree in radiation therapy, although some may have a bachelor’s degree. Completing an accredited program is necessary to qualify for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists’ (ARRT) certification examination. Associate’s degree programs typically take about 2 years to complete, while bachelor’s degree programs may take 4 years.

In addition to completing formal education, most states regulate radiation therapists and require them to be licensed or certified. To be eligible for licensure, candidates must usually graduate from an accredited program and pass a state-approved examination. Some states have additional requirements, such as passing a criminal background check. Professionals who are certified by the ARRT must meet continuing education requirements to maintain their certification.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

A diagnostic medical sonographer is a trained professional who performs diagnostic ultrasounds. Ultrasound, also called sonography, uses sound waves to produce images of structures inside the body. Diagnostic medical sonographers operate special imaging equipment to create and record images and videos of these structures.

Medical sonographers usually specialize in obstetric and gynecologic ultrasound, abdominal ultrasound, or neurosonography. They may also be trained in echocardiography, which is the use of ultrasound to study the heart.

Most diagnostic medical sonographers work in hospitals, but some work in clinics, private physician offices, or outpatient care centers. Some diagnostic medical sonographers may travel to patient’s homes to perform ultrasounds if the patient is unable to travel to a medical facility.

Most diagnostic medical sonographers have at least an associate degree from an accreditedprogram in diagnostic medical sonography. Some positions may require certification by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). Many states regulate the use of ultrasound equipment, and some states require certification or registration of diagnostic medical sonographers.

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Nuclear medicine technologists prepare radioactive drugs and administer them to patients for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. They also operate scanners and other imaging equipment to track the distribution of the drugs in the patient’s body and create images that assist physicians in diagnosing or treating disease.

Most nuclear medicine technologists have at least an associate’s degree in nuclear medicine technology, although some have bachelor’s degrees. All states regulate the practice of nuclear medicine technology, and most require certification or licensure.


Becoming a radiology technician usually takes around two years, though some programs may take longer. After completing an accredited program, you’ll need to obtain state licensure or certification. Once you have your license or certification, you can begin working as a radiology technician.

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