What Do You Need to Become a Radiology Tech?

If you’re interested in becoming a radiology technologist, you might be wondering what exactly you need to do to get started. Here’s a quick overview of the steps you’ll need to take to pursue a career in radiology.

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You need to have at least an Associate’s Degree to become a Radiology Technician. But, most employers prefer technicians to have a Bachelor’s Degree. You can find many Radiology Technician programs at community colleges and universities. The program will usually take two to four years to complete.

Two-year degree from an accredited institution

Generally, you’ll need at least an associate’s degree from an accredited institution to be eligible for jobs in the field. You can find two-year radiologic technology programs at many community colleges, vocational schools and some four-year universities. These programs typically take two years to complete and include classroom, laboratory and clinical instruction. Students learn about topics such as anatomy, physiology and medical imaging procedures. Many programs also include courses in patient care and ethics, anatomy, principles of radiology and radiation physics.

Certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT)

All radiologic technologists—including MRIs, CTs, X-rays, and mammography technologists—must be certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). The ARRT is a credentialing organization that requires candidates to successfully complete an accredited educational program and pass a written and skills performance examination.


Radiology technicians need to have strong interpersonal skills to be able to interact with patients. They must also have excellent communication skills to be able to relay information to the radiologist. They need to be able to work well under pressure and have good problem-solving skills. They should also be detail-oriented and have good organizational skills.


Radiologic technologists must be able to explain procedures to patients and answer their questions. They must also be able to work closely with other members of the healthcare team, such as doctors, nurses and therapists.


Radiology techs need to be compassionate in order to provide patients with the best possible care. They must be able to deal with sick and injured patients on a daily basis, and must be able to comfort them during their procedures.

Critical thinking

One of the most important skills that a radiologic technologist must possess is the ability to think critically. CT studies, for example, require the technologist to be able to identify and correct for anatomical positioning errors. In addition, when working with contrast material, it is essential that the technologist be able to recognize when a patient is having an adverse reaction and take appropriate action.

Detail oriented

If you want to become a radiology tech, you need to be detail oriented. This means that you need to be able to pay attention to small details and be able to remember them. You will also need to be able to follow instructions carefully.

Work Environment

Radiologic technologists work in hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices, and imaging centers. They usually work full time, and some technologists work evenings, weekends, or on call. Most radiologic technologists work in clean, well-lit, and ventilated areas.


The most common work environment for radiology techs is in a hospital setting. They may work in the imaging department or in a specific clinic within the hospital, such as cardiology or oncology. Radiology techs who work in hospitals typically have more opportunities to learn and advance their careers than those who work in other settings. They also tend to earn higher salaries and benefits.


Clinics are outpatient-care facilities. They provide a variety of health services, such as X-rays, physical therapy, and vaccinations. Many clinics have on-site laboratories for blood work and other diagnostic tests. You may work in a clinic that specializes in one area of care, such as podiatry or optometry.

Radiologic technologists who work in clinics typically have more contact with patients than those who work in hospitals. You may explain the procedure to patients, position them for their X-ray, and answer their questions.

Imaging centers

Imaging centers are outpatient diagnostic facilities that provide a wide range of imaging services, including X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans. These centers are usually staffed by radiologic technologists and may also employ other health care professionals, such as receptionists, nurses, and scheduling coordinators. Many imaging centers are open 24 hours a day to accommodate patients with busy schedules.

Salary and Job Outlook

Radiology techs are in high demand due to the aging Baby Boomer population. The median salary for a radiology tech is $52,210 per year, and the job outlook is expected to grow 14% from 2018-2028. If you’re thinking about becoming a radiology tech, here’s what you need to know.

$61,540 per year

The median annual wage for diagnostic medical sonographers was $61,540 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $39,780, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $93,950.

10% growth from 2019-2029

The radiology field is expected to grow by 10% from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations. The growing demand for medical imaging will result in new positions for radiologic technologists. An aging population and the need for diagnostic imaging procedures to detect diseases and injuries are expected to spur demand for radiology services. In addition, as technology advances, there is an increasing demand for CT scans, MRIs, and other types of diagnostic imaging.

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