Medical practitioners depend on X-rays and other radiographic imaging technologies to examine areas of human anatomy otherwise inaccessible to the naked eye. X-rays provide a clear image of the skeletal system, aiding in diagnosis of broken bones and other medical conditions. X-ray technicians (also called radiographic technicians) are responsible for safely operating X-ray machinery and producing clear images that meet a doctor's requirements. For more information on how to become an X-ray technician, check out the helpful guidelines below.
Radiologic technologists are trained to operate the powerful radiographic technology used in medical diagnosis and radiation therapy. A basic X-ray procedure follows these steps:
In practice, the radiographer's role is much broader and more technologically complex.
An X-ray technician may specialize in various diagnostic imaging types such as:
There's no single prescription for how to become an X-ray technician, but all career paths start with formal training in radiography. There are hundreds of training programs at hospitals, colleges, and universities. The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology accredits training programs leading to a certificate (21 to 24 months), associate's degree (two years), or bachelor's degree (four years). Steps for how to become a radiography technician include:
This information can help answer your questions on how to become an X-ray technician or radiographer. With training and licensure, you should have a strong foundation on which to develop your career.
Once you've achieved the first step of entry into the field, you can put your mind to becoming a great radiographer. The following strategies help you advance in the field by extending your expertise and your job responsibilities.