What Do You Need to Become a Radiology Tech?

A radiology technologist is a health care professional who uses imaging to diagnose and treat patients. If you’re interested in becoming a radiology technologist, read on to learn about the education and training requirements, as well as the job outlook and salary information for this career.

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Becoming a radiologic technologist (RT) requires completing an accredited radiology tech program and earning a license or certificate in most states. Although RT programs generally last 2 years, some schools offer 1-year certificate programs and 4-year bachelor’s degree programs in radiologic technology. A few schools also offer online radiology tech programs, which may appeal to working professionals who want to earn their degree while continuing to work.

What is Radiology?

Radiology is the branch of medicine that uses medical imaging to diagnose and treat diseases within the human body. A variety of imaging techniques such as X-ray radiography, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine including positron emission tomography (PET), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are used to diagnose or treat diseases.

Interventional radiology is the performance of medical procedures with the aid of imaging guidance. The procedure itself is performed using fluoroscopy or another form of medical imaging instead of using direct vision as in other surgical specialties.

The term “radiology” was coined in 1898 by the German radiologist Wilhelm Röntgen (1845–1923), who discovered and made his name famous with X-rays.

What Does a Radiology Technician Do?

A radiologic technologist, also called a radiographer, is a healthcare professional who uses ionizing radiation to produce images of the human body. These images are used by physicians to diagnose and treat injuries and diseases.

Radiologic technologists must be licensed in most states. Education requirements vary by state, but most programs take two to four years to complete and lead to an associate’s degree or certificate.

Upon completion of an accredited program, graduates must pass a national examination administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Some states have additional licensure requirements.

What are the Educational Requirements to Become a Radiology Technician?

Pursuing a career in radiology will require completing an accredited educational program and passing a certification exam.

The type of radiology program you choose to enter will depend on the state in which you plan to work, as some states have specific requirements for licensure. In general, there are two types of educational programs available to those interested in becoming a radiologic technologist:

Associate degree programs typically take two years to complete and prepare students for entry-level positions in the field. These programs combine classroom instruction with clinical rotations, providing students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with patients.

Bachelor’s degree programs take four years to complete and prepare students for more advanced positions in the field, such as management or education roles. These programs typically include more liberal arts coursework than associate degree programs, allowing students to develop strong communication and critical thinking skills.

What are the Certification Requirements to Become a Radiology Technician?

There are no nationally-recognized certification or licensure requirements to become a radiology technician. However, most employers prefer to hire technicians who are certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). The ARRT certification process requires that candidates have completed an accredited educational program and passed a national certification exam. Once certified, technologists must fulfill continuing education requirements to maintain their registration.

Some states have licensure requirements for radiologic technologists. In these states, technologists may need to complete an accredited educational program and pass a state-specific exam in order to earn a license. Once licensed, technologists usually need to complete continuing education credits to renew their license.

Radiologic technician certification and licensure requirements vary by state. It is important to check the requirements in your state before beginning your educational program.

What are the Job Prospects for Radiology Technicians?

Radiology technicians are in high demand and the job prospects are expected to be very good in the coming years. The median salary for radiology techs is $62,280 per year, and the top 10% earn more than $90,000 per year.

What is the Salary Range for Radiology Technicians?

The salary for a radiology tech can vary depending on experience, education, geographical location, and type of employer. The median annual salary for a radiology tech was $60,070 in 2017, with the top 10% earning more than $82,410 per year and the bottom 10% earning less than $43,540 per year.


In conclusion, if you want to become a radiology tech, you need to have at least an Associate’s Degree in radiologic technology. Many employers also prefer certification, and you will need to be licensed in most states. There are many programs available to help you meet these requirements, so if you are interested in this field, don’t hesitate to look into them.

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