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An X-ray technician, also known as a radiologic technologist, uses radiographic (X-ray) equipment, to prepare and create high-quality images of various parts of the body (bones, organs, tissues, and vessels) for the diagnosis and treatment of injuries and illness by a radiologist, physician, or other health care professional.

Radiologic Tech picture    Radiologic Tech image

X-ray Technician Schools and Radiology Schools

Because much of an X-ray technician's job requires operating powerful machinery, proper training is essential. X-ray technician training programs teach students both the theoretical and technical aspects of the job and prepare them for state licensing requirements.

Most formal radiography training programs, including those offered at the five radiology schools below, are accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology:

  • Canada College: This community college in the San Francisco Bay Area offers a radiologic technology program that gives students the skills to meet the needs of patients in the field.
  • Chaffey College: This community college in southern California provides an associate degree in radiologic technology, with concurrent training held at health facilities affiliated with the college.
  • Middlesex Community College: This college in Middletown, Connecticut offers an associate degree in radiologic technology that prepares students for entry-level employment in the field.
  • Midwestern State University: Located in Wichita Falls, Texas, this college offers an Associate of Applied Science in radiologic technology that prepares students for the national certification examination.
  • Southwestern Illinois College: The radiologic technology program offered by this college in Belleville, Illinois offers students both in-class and clinical experiences.

X-ray Technician Education Requirements

Formal training is required for this profession; radiologic schools range from one to four years (two year being the most common). Students can obtain training in a hospital and earn a certificate upon graduation, or in a technical school, college, or university where they would earn an associate's or bachelor's degree.

Typical radiology technician programs will include courses in:

  • Advanced Imaging Procedures
  • Clinical Radiography
  • Diagnostic Radiology
  • Human Anatomy and Structures
  • Human Physiology / Body Functions
  • Image Recording and Analysis
  • Imaging Techniques / Imaging Equipment
  • Medical Ethics
  • Medical Terminology
  • Patient Care
  • Patient Management
  • Radiation Safety and Protection

X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing

Training is not limited to the classroom. Clinical rotations are also a key part of the education process where students have the opportunity to hone their learned technical knowledge and apply patient care skills while they work closely with experienced Radiologic Technologists, nurses, and physicians in radiology departments.

It is of interest to note that a large number of employers look to hire certified radiographers, and as such, voluntary certifications are available through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Eligibility for certification generally requires a technologist to graduate from an accredited training program and pass an examination. Recertification requires the completion of 24 hours of continuing education every two years.

X-Ray Technician Resources

Sources:

  1. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Radiologic and MRI Technologists, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/radiologic-technologists.htm
  2. Canada College, http://www.canadacollege.edu/radtech/index.php
  3. Chaffey College, http://www.chaffey.edu/healthsciences/radtec/index.shtml
  4. Middlesex Community College, http://mxcc.edu/degrees/radtech/
  5. Midwestern State University, http://mwsu.edu/academics/hs2/radsci/index
  6. Southwestern Illinois College, http://www.swic.edu/RT-FAQ/

Radiologic Technologist Skills

Below are the skills needed to be radiologic technologist according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Skill NameImportanceCompetence
Active Listening3.753.75
Speaking3.753.62
Reading Comprehension3.53.88
Critical Thinking3.383.12
Operation and Control3.383.25

Radiologic Technologist Abilities

Below are the abilities needed to be radiologic technologist according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Ability NameImportanceCompetence
Oral Comprehension44
Oral Expression44
Near Vision3.753.75
Problem Sensitivity3.753.62
Written Comprehension3.753.75

Radiologic Technologist Knowledge

Below are the knowledge areas needed to be radiologic technologist according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Knowledge AreaImportanceCompetence
Customer and Personal Service3.994.99
English Language3.713.88
Medicine and Dentistry3.653.97
Education and Training3.433.65
Computers and Electronics3.13.52

Radiologic Technologist Work activities

Below are the work activities involved in being radiologic technologist according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work ActivityImportanceCompetence
Assisting and Caring for Others4.65.33
Getting Information4.543.66
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events4.334.39
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public4.214.85
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates4.174.35

Radiologic Technologist Work styles

Below are the work styles involved in being radiologic technologist according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work StyleImportance
Integrity4.59
Concern for Others4.55
Attention to Detail4.41
Dependability4.39
Adaptability/Flexibility4.35

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Radiologic Technologist

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Radiologic Technologist jobs , as of 2017

   
Metro AreaTotal EmploymentAnnual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim6,280 $71,680
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington4,340 $59,260
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach3,740 $58,490
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land3,660 $61,760
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn3,050 $54,260
Pittsburgh2,700 $49,050
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell2,650 $58,550
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward2,420 $90,440
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale2,290 $65,220
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson2,200 $65,820

Compare Total Employment & Salaries for Radiologic Tech

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Total employment and salary for professions similar to radiologic tech

Source : 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; O*NET® 23.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org

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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Radiologic Technologist.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.