How to Become a Radiology Technician

A radiology technician is a medical professional who uses imaging equipment to diagnose and treat patients. Find out how to become a radiology technician.

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Radiology technicians are medical professionals who use specialized equipment to create images of the human body. These images, also known as radiographs, are used by doctors to diagnose and treat injuries and diseases. In order to become a radiology technician, one must complete a accredited training program and obtain certification.

There are two types of radiology programs: certificate and associate degree. Certificate programs typically take one year or less to complete, while an associate degree program takes two years. It is important to choose a program that is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiology Technology (JRCERT).

Upon completion of an accredited program, students must then sit for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) exam. Once the ARRT exam is successfully passed, individuals will be credentialed as Registered Technologists (RTs). RTs must then complete continuing education credits every two years in order to maintain their certification.

There is growing demand for radiology technicians as the population ages and require more diagnostic imaging. Job prospects are especially good for those who have completed an accredited associate degree program. In addition, many employers offer tuition reimbursement for those who wish to continue their education and obtain a bachelor’s degree in radiology.

What is a Radiology Technician?

Radiology technicians are health care professionals who provide diagnostic imaging examinations using medical imaging technologies. They work in collaboration with radiologists, who are physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disease and injury using medical imaging technologies. Radiology technicians typically work in hospital radiology departments, but may also work in outpatient imaging centers, physicians’ offices, and other health care settings.

Job Description

Radiology techs are healthcare professionals who use imaging equipment to create diagnostic images of the human body. These images are used by physicians to diagnose and treat injuries and diseases.

Radiology techs typically work in hospitals, but may also work in clinics, private practices, or other healthcare facilities. They may be employed by a single facility or may travel to different locations to provide services.

Radiology techs typically work full time, but some may work part time or on an as-needed basis. They may work evenings, weekends, or holidays as needed. Some radiology techs may be on call, which means they must be available to work at any time.

Radiology techs typically complete a 2-year associate’s degree in radiologic technology. Some 4-year colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degree programs in radiologic technology, but these programs are not as common. Radiology techs must be licensed or certified in most states.


The average salary for a Radiology Technician is $48,590 per year. Pay for radiologic technologists varies based on experience, location, and employer. The highest 10 percent of earners make more than $68,490 per year, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $33,470 per year.

Education and Training

Radiologic technologists typically need an associate’s degree from an accredited program. However, many hospitals and other medical facilities require radiologic technologists to have a bachelor’s degree.

All states regulate radiologic technologists. Most states require radiologic technologists to be licensed or registered. Some states have additional requirements, such as passing an examination or completing continuing education credits.

Radiologic technologists can earn voluntary certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Certification demonstrates a higher level of competency than licensure and may give access to greater responsibilities and higher pay. To be eligible for ARRT certification, candidates must graduate from an accredited radiography program and pass the ARRT certification examination. Candidates must also comply with ethical standards and complete continuing education credits to maintain certification.

How to Become a Radiology Technician

Earning a degree or certificate in radiologic technology is the first step to becoming a radiology technician. Once you have completed an accredited program, you will then need to obtain a state license in order to practice. After you have obtained your license, you will then be able to find a job in a hospital or other medical facility.

Step 1: Research the Field of Radiology

If you want to become a radiology technician, the first step is to learn about the field of radiology. Radiology is the medical specialty that uses medical imaging technologies to diagnose and treat injuries and diseases. Medical imaging refers to the techniques and process used to create images of the human body, including X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, and ultrasound.

Radiology technicians are specially trained to operate medical imaging equipment and work closely with radiologists, who are doctors who specialize in interpreting medical images. Radiology technicians must be able to follow instructions carefully and pay close attention to detail in order to produce high-quality images that can be used for diagnosis and treatment purposes. They must also be able to maintain a calm demeanor in stressful situations.

Step 2: Complete an Accredited Radiography Program
After researching the field of radiology, the next step on your path to becoming a radiology technician is to complete an accredited radiography program. Radiography programs are typically offered at the associate’s degree level, though some schools offer bachelor’s or master’s degree programs in radiography as well.

Most radiography programs will include both classroom instruction and clinical experience components. Classroom instruction will cover topics such as radiation physics, patient care, ethics, and anatomy. Clinical experience will give you the opportunity to practice operating medical imaging equipment and working with patients under the supervision of licensed radiographers.

It is important to make sure that your chosen program is accredited by either the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Graduating from an accredited program is necessary in order to be eligible for licensure in most states.

Step 3: Become Licensed or Registered as a Radiologic Technician
Once you have completed an accredited radiography program, you will need to become licensed or registered as a radiologic technician in order to practice legally in most states. Licensure requirements vary by state but usually involve passing an exam administered by either the American Registry of Radiologic Technicians (ARRT) or The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS). Some states also require continuing education credits in order to maintain licensure.

While licensure is not required in all states, many employers prefer or require employees to be licensed or registered. In addition, some states only issue licenses/registrations to those who have graduated from accredited programs. Therefore, it is generally advisable to obtain licensure/registration even if it is not required in your state

Step 2: Obtain a high school diploma or GED

A high school diploma or GED is required to become a radiology technician. While many radiology schools may prefer applicants who have completed some college coursework, it is not always a requirement. Those who have completed a certificate or associate’s degree program in radiologic technology will often have an advantage over those who have not.

Step 3: Enroll in an accredited Radiology Technician program

After you have completed your prerequisite coursework and earned a certificate or degree, the next step is to enroll in an accredited Radiology Technician program.

Radiology Technician programs are generally two-year associate’s degree programs, but there are also certificate and bachelor’s degree programs available. During your program, you will take classes such as Radiographic Procedures, Radiographic Physics, Patient Care, and Ethical Issues in Healthcare. You will also complete clinical rotations, which will give you the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with patients and operating imaging equipment.

Step 4: Obtain Certification

Although certification is not required in all states, radiology technicians may choose to become certified through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). To qualify for the ARRT examination, candidates must have completed an accredited radiology technology program and completed an ethics training course. Once certified, radiologic technologists must complete continuing education credits every two years to maintain their certification.

Step 5: Find a Job

The final step to becoming a radiology technician is finding a job. Once you have completed the necessary education and received your certification, you are ready to start your career. You can find jobs in hospitals, clinics, private practices, and diagnostic centers. You may also find work in other medical facilities or in research laboratories. Many radiology technicians also find jobs as traveling techs, working in multiple facilities as needed. Wherever you work, you will be using your skills and training to help patients and doctors alike.


Radiology technicians play an important role in the healthcare field by providing diagnostic imaging services. If you are interested in becoming a radiology technician, you will need to complete an accredited training program and pass a national certification exam. Although state licensure is not required, it may help you find employment. Once you are certified and licensed, you will be able to find entry-level positions in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities. With experience, you may advance to supervisory or management positions.

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