Radiology Technician | Degree, Certification & Salary Facts (2023)

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By: Andrew Colucci, MD

Last Updated: Jun 29, 2021

What Does a Radiology Technician Do?

Radiology Technician | Degree, Certification & Salary Facts (2)

Radiology technicians produce clear and accurate images of the body, enabling physicians to diagnose and treat medical conditions that would otherwise be difficult to document. Technicians operate sophisticated equipment that includes X-ray, mammography, computerized axial tomography (CAT), and positron emission tomography (PET) scan devices. By guiding patients through each step of their medical imaging procedures, these specialists ensure the production of high quality images.

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Technicians prepare patients by explaining each step of the medical imaging process. They also play an important role in assuaging the anxieties of patients who may be concerned about the procedure. After instructing patients to remove jewelry, clothing, or other items that could interfere with the equipment, radiology technicians position them correctly and protect them from overexposure. For example, they cover parts of the body not being filmed with lead aprons. Occasionally they inject barium- and iodine-based contrast agents to improve image quality.

After focusing the equipment and capturing the images on digital file or film, radiology technicians review the results of their work with radiologists, and take additional views when necessary. A radiology technician may also be responsible for updating patient records and maintaining the imaging equipment itself.

Radiologic technologists are radiology technicians who have progressed through continued education and training or those who acquired additional training and education before entering the field. Many radiology technologists specialize in a particular diagnostic test, such as mammography, and those with more than one specialty are considered highly desirable by employers. Regardless of the level of training - technician or technologist - or specialization, the precision work of these professionals enables physicians to diagnose and treat a wide variety of health concerns with accuracy and confidence.

Workplace Details

Radiology technicians work in hospitals, clinics, imaging centers, private physician offices or even mobile imaging service centers. While hospitals remain the leading job providers, they also tend to be much busier than outpatient settings. A radiology technician typically works a standard 40-hour week, but some positions require on-call night or weekend work.

Salary and Job Outlook

State

Average Wage

California

$95010

Texas

$60680

New York

$73150

Florida

$57600

Pennsylvania

$56440

Hover over any state to explore local income and job growth data.

ALABAMA
Median Salary:
$46,400
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$32,100
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$62,900

2014-2024 Job Growth:9%
Projected Annual Job Openings:100

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Birmingham$36,200$50,370$67,050
Huntsville$23,650$47,020$72,320

ALASKA
Median Salary:
$70,100
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$52,200
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$91,400

2014-2024 Job Growth:13%
Projected Annual Job Openings:10

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Anchorage$51,610$71,920$93,510
Fairbanks$51,840$67,480$76,620

ARIZONA
Median Salary:
$60,900
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$40,700
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$85,100

2014-2024 Job Growth:15%
Projected Annual Job Openings:170

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Phoenix$40,130$63,380$88,510
Tuscon$39,630$56,020$73,990

ARKANSAS
Median Salary:
$46,100
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$32,900
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$68,200

2014-2024 Job Growth:10%
Projected Annual Job Openings:50

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Little Rock$33,660$49,600$74,790
Fort Smith$29,400$43,520$60,450

CALIFORNIA
Median Salary:
$75,000
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$41,200
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$115,700

2014-2024 Job Growth:14%
Projected Annual Job Openings:540

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Los Angeles$38,620$70,050$101,940
San Francisco Bay$44,650$95,520$127,830
San Diego$38,570$69,410$98,900
Sacramento$52,820$90,720$116,920

COLORADO
Median Salary:
$60,800
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$42,700
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$87,700

2014-2024 Job Growth:33%
Projected Annual Job Openings:140

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Denver$43,420$63,450$90,620
Colorado Springs$42,530$57,690$77,910

CONNECTICUT
Median Salary:
$63,100
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$44,900
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$89,200

2014-2024 Job Growth:-1%
Projected Annual Job Openings:40

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Hartford$49,700$65,090$88,400
Bridgeport$44,880$63,120$91,480
New Haven$43,350$61,780$89,700

DELAWARE
Median Salary:
$58,700
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$43,700
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$79,200

2014-2024 Job Growth:8%
Projected Annual Job Openings:20

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Wilmington$44,010$59,560$78,480
Dover$50,060$60,890$76,750
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DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Median Salary:
$75,400
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$53,800
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$98,200

2014-2024 Job Growth:3%
Projected Annual Job Openings:10

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Washington DC$49,370$68,120$95,100

FLORIDA
Median Salary:
$51,300
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$34,000
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$72,100

2014-2024 Job Growth:20%
Projected Annual Job Openings:500

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Miami$33,760$50,970$74,750
Orlando$32,600$47,370$63,540
Tampa$33,790$53,920$71,590
Jacksonville$32,180$50,550$73,570

GEORGIA
Median Salary:
$50,400
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$36,000
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$71,200

2014-2024 Job Growth:15%
Projected Annual Job Openings:170

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Atlanta$39,370$53,660$73,300
Augusta$39,040$51,730$65,630

HAWAII
Median Salary:
$69,900
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$49,600
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$91,200

2014-2024 Job Growth:3%
Projected Annual Job Openings:20

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Honolulu$53,330$72,210$92,870

IDAHO
Median Salary:
$50,900
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$39,300
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$69,300

2014-2024 Job Growth:10%
Projected Annual Job Openings:220

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Boise$39,630$50,510$69,430

ILLINOIS
Median Salary:
$59,500
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$37,100
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$85,400

2014-2024 Job Growth:2%
Projected Annual Job Openings:150

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Chicago$38,960$62,770$88,140
Rockford$36,030$54,480$81,490

INDIANA
Median Salary:
$53,100
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$39,500
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$74,600

2014-2024 Job Growth:10%
Projected Annual Job Openings:130

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Indianapolis$42,360$57,310$77,580
South Bend$41,010$48,960$64,950
Fort Wayne$36,990$52,050$71,670

IOWA
Median Salary:
$48,800
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$35,100
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$66,100

2014-2024 Job Growth:7%
Projected Annual Job Openings:70

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Des Moines$41,180$53,480$73,900
Cedar Rapids$19,840$42,970$61,230

KANSAS
Median Salary:
$49,900
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$37,100
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$66,400

2014-2024 Job Growth:8%
Projected Annual Job Openings:50

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Wichita$36,300$47,640$61,660
Kansas City$40,550$54,180$73,770

KENTUCKY
Median Salary:
$49,200
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$34,600
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$65,800

2014-2024 Job Growth:21%
Projected Annual Job Openings:210

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Louisville$34,960$51,820$67,320
Lexington$34,370$48,620$65,590

LOUISIANA
Median Salary:
$46,900
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$32,500
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$62,900

2014-2024 Job Growth:7%
Projected Annual Job Openings:80

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
New Orleans$39,470$52,430$68,200
Baton Rouge$35,430$47,820$68,100
Lafayette$31,940$43,600$58,500

MAINE
Median Salary:
$55,600
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$41,800
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$74,400

2014-2024 Job Growth:3%
Projected Annual Job Openings:20

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Portland$40,890$55,210$75,460
Lewiston$39,390$55,850$71,290

MARYLAND
Median Salary:
$63,500
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$43,600
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$86,500

2014-2024 Job Growth:18%
Projected Annual Job Openings:200

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Baltimore$42,240$63,200$82,000
Frederick$44,320$66,510$97,960

MASSACHUSETTS
Median Salary:
$70,700
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$49,400
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$98,700

2014-2024 Job Growth:8%
Projected Annual Job Openings:130

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Boston$50,820$73,480$100,000
Worcester$54,160$80,280$111,930
Springfield$38,230$57,670$78,250

MICHIGAN
Median Salary:
$52,500
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$39,200
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$70,500

2014-2024 Job Growth:4%
Projected Annual Job Openings:150

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Detroit$40,490$54,130$72,240
Grand Rapids$39,930$48,200$62,250

MINNESOTA
Median Salary:
$62,900
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$45,500
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$79,400

2014-2024 Job Growth:11%
Projected Annual Job Openings:120

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Minneapolis - St. Paul$47,570$64,280$79,190
Rochester$51,650$68,610$92,200

MISSISSIPPI
Median Salary:
$46,000
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$32,600
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$62,300

2014-2024 Job Growth:5%
Projected Annual Job Openings:50

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Jackson$30,780$47,350$63,700
Gulfport$36,100$49,770$66,610

MISSOURI
Median Salary:
$50,300
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$36,800
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$70,300

2014-2024 Job Growth:5%
Projected Annual Job Openings:90

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
St. Louis$38,860$51,500$72,560
Kansas City$40,550$54,180$73,770

MONTANA
Median Salary:
$51,400
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$38,300
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$72,500

2014-2024 Job Growth:13%
Projected Annual Job Openings:30

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Billings$37,020$50,460$69,730
Missoula$40,400$53,590$73,270

NEBRASKA
Median Salary:
$52,500
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$36,900
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$70,700

(Video) Become a Radiologic Tech in 2021? Salary, Jobs, Forecast

2014-2024 Job Growth:11%
Projected Annual Job Openings:60

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Omaha$37,070$53,290$70,100
Lincoln$34,600$47,820$62,240

NEVADA
Median Salary:
$66,400
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$46,100
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$97,000

2014-2024 Job Growth:17%
Projected Annual Job Openings:50

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Las Vegas$45,790$65,710$100,020
Reno$43,720$65,190$79,730

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Median Salary:
$62,000
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$44,100
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$82,800

2014-2024 Job Growth:4%
Projected Annual Job Openings:20

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Manchester$45,070$63,420$80,810
Nashua$45,240$67,730$92,480

NEW JERSEY
Median Salary:
$65,000
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$47,500
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$84,400

2014-2024 Job Growth:5%
Projected Annual Job Openings:140

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Newark$50,610$66,780$86,010
Trenton$52,920$66,760$84,000

NEW MEXICO
Median Salary:
$57,600
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$42,300
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$77,200

2014-2024 Job Growth:8%
Projected Annual Job Openings:30

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Albuquerque$45,990$60,090$77,690
Las Cruces$22,730$50,740$75,510

NEW YORK
Median Salary:
$66,500
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$44,900
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$92,400

2014-2024 Job Growth:9%
Projected Annual Job Openings:400

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
New York City$48,180$69,940$95,630
Buffalo$40,860$57,120$74,720
Rochester$40,510$51,650$68,640
Albany$42,260$57,140$76,260

NORTH CAROLINA
Median Salary:
$54,500
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$40,200
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$74,300

2014-2024 Job Growth:16%
Projected Annual Job Openings:250

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Charlotte$40,770$54,710$73,310
Raleigh$39,640$56,070$74,860
Greensboro$41,990$56,650$75,760
Winston - Salem$42,430$55,770$74,680

NORTH DAKOTA
Median Salary:
$49,100
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$35,100
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$63,900

2014-2024 Job Growth:14%
Projected Annual Job Openings:10

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Fargo$37,770$49,630$62,930
Bismarck$34,320$48,500$71,250

OHIO
Median Salary:
$53,100
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$38,900
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$69,100

2014-2024 Job Growth:10%
Projected Annual Job Openings:260

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Cleveland$40,670$55,110$71,270
Columbus$41,830$55,520$75,110
Cincinnati$35,990$53,140$70,940
Dayton$37,130$53,930$63,920

OKLAHOMA
Median Salary:
$49,900
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$35,300
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$74,200

2014-2024 Job Growth:5%
Projected Annual Job Openings:60

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Oklahoma City$37,580$52,590$74,090
Tulsa$33,300$47,730$66,090

OREGON
Median Salary:
$66,400
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$48,100
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$89,300

2014-2024 Job Growth:12%
Projected Annual Job Openings:60

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Portland$51,060$68,750$92,180
Salem$41,860$60,030$82,950

PENNSYLVANIA
Median Salary:
$55,000
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$36,900
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$77,800

2014-2024 Job Growth:4%
Projected Annual Job Openings:230

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Philadelphia$40,300$62,950$80,770
Pittsburgh$34,970$48,790$67,310
Harrisburg$41,700$54,570$76,370
Allentown$44,310$58,990$88,440

RHODE ISLAND
Median Salary:
$67,100
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$46,700
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$89,900

2014-2024 Job Growth:5%
Projected Annual Job Openings:20

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Providence$47,530$68,380$91,980

SOUTH CAROLINA
Median Salary:
$48,700
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$33,500
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$68,200

2014-2024 Job Growth:8%
Projected Annual Job Openings:90

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Greenville$32,100$48,320$68,120
Columbia$31,060$47,430$66,460
Charleston$40,090$54,830$72,130

SOUTH DAKOTA
Median Salary:
$47,600
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$34,200
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$62,900

2014-2024 Job Growth:4%
Projected Annual Job Openings:20

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Rapid City$34,650$48,470$62,940

TENNESSEE
Median Salary:
$49,600
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$34,600
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$67,100

2014-2024 Job Growth:25%
Projected Annual Job Openings:220

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Nashville$36,380$51,840$70,430
Memphis$39,600$54,450$71,790
Knoxville$33,800$45,880$60,410
Chattanooga$38,760$54,430$73,020

TEXAS
Median Salary:
$55,400
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$37,100
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$76,200

2014-2024 Job Growth:25%
Projected Annual Job Openings:670

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Dallas - Ft. Worth$41,150$59,520$79,380
Houston$41,120$57,450$75,630
San Antonio$38,760$54,430$73,020
Austin$34,500$54,080$75,670

UTAH
Median Salary:
$53,000
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$40,100
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$74,800

2014-2024 Job Growth:23%
Projected Annual Job Openings:60

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Salt Lake City$40,910$52,620$74,460
Ogden$37,990$51,910$74,070

VERMONT
Median Salary:
$57,300
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$42,200
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$79,900

2014-2024 Job Growth:3%
Projected Annual Job Openings:10

VIRGINIA
Median Salary:
$55,800
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$38,400
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$79,100

2014-2024 Job Growth:12%
Projected Annual Job Openings:160

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Virginia Beach$41,370$54,050$74,580
Richmond$40,240$54,780$75,430

WASHINGTON
Median Salary:
$65,800
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$50,700
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$91,500

2014-2024 Job Growth:19%
Projected Annual Job Openings:160

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

(Video) Radiology Technician's Salary in Georgia

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Seattle$52,680$68,750$93,380
Spokane$44,930$63,920$87,310

WEST VIRGINIA
Median Salary:
$45,800
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$30,700
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$62,100

2014-2024 Job Growth:8%
Projected Annual Job Openings:40

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Huntington$35,270$49,610$69,800
Charleston$30,350$46,170$61,630

WISCONSIN
Median Salary:
$55,500
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$41,200
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$75,400

2014-2024 Job Growth:2%
Projected Annual Job Openings:90

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Milwaukee$41,990$57,850$78,740
Madison$31,450$55,940$74,180

WYOMING
Median Salary:
$50,100
Bottom 10% (Entry Level):$37,100
Top 10% (Lots of Experience):$69,400

2014-2024 Job Growth:12%
Projected Annual Job Openings:10

SALARY BY METRO AREA:

CityEntry LevelMedianLots of Experience
Cheyenne$35,910$49,270$64,420
Casper$23,800$44,170$65,780

The current median annual wage for radiologic technologists is $61,900, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries typically range from $42,180 (the median of the bottom 10% of earners) to $92,660 (the median of the top 10%).

Hospitals and diagnostic laboratories generally pay higher levels of compensation than physicians’ offices. Technicians with certification to handle more equipment and machines are paid more generously than those who do not have additional training and experience. Radiology tech salaries also vary depending on geographical location and employer type. For example, radiology tech jobs in metropolitan areas and medical diagnostic laboratories often pay higher salaries than radiology tech jobs in rural areas and physician’s offices.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for radiologic technologists will rise faster than average at 7% through 2029.

Compare Salaries by City

New York City NY Median Pay

$69940 Per Year

$33.62 Per Hour

Los Angeles CA Median Pay

$70050 Per Year

$33.67 Per Hour

Steps to Become a Radiology Technician

1

Earn an associate or bachelor's degree in radiologic technology.

In the past, one- or two-year certificate programs were available for radiology technicians, but today those certificate programs only provide a viable path for students who have already earned at least an associate degree in a different subject. Radiology techs are required to earn at minimum an associate degree, which takes two years to complete. This is the most popular path for aspiring radiology techs at this time. Programs are offered at almost all accredited community colleges and private (for-profit) institutions.

Some universities offer a bachelor’s degree in radiologic technology. Admission to one of these programs comes with its own criteria specific to the school. Common coursework includes radiation physics, anatomy, pathology and radiobiology.

Most schools require a portion of the curriculum to be hands-on to give students valuable patient contact experience. Many radiologic technology programs are now also requiring coding or medical office courses, as some jobs will require those skills to be utilized in practice.

The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) is the official accrediting body for radiography training programs. It is very important to take a JRCERT-accredited training program because it will later qualify you for certification.

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2

Get certified by ARRT.

Certification follows radiologic technology training and is awarded by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) after passing the certification exam. While certification isn’t mandatory for radiology technicians, it’s very difficult to get hired without it. Also, primary certification as a Registered Technologist, Radiography (RT(R)) is required for licensure in many states.

In addition to the educational requirements above, you’ll need to pass a background check and achieve a passing score on the certification exam in order to get your RT(R) credential from ARRT. To maintain ARRT-certified status, 24 hours of continuing education every two years is required.

3

Become licensed.

Most states require radiology technicians to secure a license. Requirements differ in each state. Some states use ARRT exams for licensing, but you should contact the relevant state’s health board for more information.

4

Consider opportunities to advance your career.

Radiology technicians are frequently “technologists-in-training.” A technologist candidate is eligible to seek certification after meeting experience and training requirements obtained as a technician. Certified radiology technologists may also be asked to train or manage entry-level technicians. Last but not least, numerous specializations within rad tech allow you to focus on a specialty of your choice and enhance your earning potential.

CERTIFICATE PROGRAM

2 years, not including prerequisites

If you already hold an associate degree or higher in any field, you can become a radiology technician by completing a radiography certificate program approved by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Once you graduate, you’ll be eligible to sit for your primary (entry-level) certification exam.

Most certificate programs have prerequisites. So if your degree is outside the medical field, you may need to take additional classes in anatomy and physiology, algebra, writing, medical terminology, and technology in order to qualify for admission.

Certificate coursework focuses on the skills you need to pass the certification exam and practice clinically as a radiology technician. A few subjects you’ll probably encounter:

Radiographic positioning

Practice positioning the body and extremities for diagnostic evaluation.

Radiographic physics

Study the properties and production of ionizing radiation through topics like energy, matter, atomic structure, and voltage.

Radiographic anatomy and physiology

Explore the body structures and functions most commonly studied on x-rays.

(Video) X-Ray Tech Salary | How Much Money does Radiologic Technologist Make?

Basic radiographic techniques

Learn the principles of basic patient care that you will use during imaging studies.

As a radiography certificate student, you’ll also rotate through a variety of clinical settings where you’ll practice your skills under supervision.

ASSOCIATE DEGREE

2 years

The most common way to enter the radiology technician profession is to earn an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in radiologic technology or radiography.

AAS programs can be found at community, technical, and career colleges and some 4-year colleges. To avoid certification hassles down the road, verify that the program you choose is approved by ARRT.

Show Me Schools »

Some AAS programs require you to meet prerequisites before admission. (These will be similar to the prereqs for a certificate program.) Others roll these classes into the first-year of the curriculum. To learn more, check the admissions requirements for each school you’re considering.

The AAS-level radiography curriculum combines classes with supervised clinical practice in hospitals and imaging labs. Some topics you can expect to cover:

Radiation protection and biology

Examine how radiation affects living tissue, plus measures to protect patients and healthcare workers.

Advanced imaging

Get an introduction to modalities like mammography, bone density scanning, and magnetic resonance imaging.

Pathology

Study how illness and injury change the body’s appearance and function.

Quality assurance

Learn processes that can help hospitals and labs improve and maintain their image quality.

BACHELOR'S DEGREE

4 years

Whether you’re already a practicing radiology technician or new to the field, there are several good reasons to consider getting a bachelor’s degree.

A 4-year degree provides a lot of advancement potential. With a bachelor’s, it’s much easier to become a lead technician, healthcare administrator, equipment sales manager, or clinical instructor.

A bachelor’s is also essential if you want to go onto graduate school. This is the typical pathway for techs who want to become college professors, conduct research, or train as radiologist assistants.

Bachelor’s-level students spend 2-3 years completing their radiology prerequisites and general education courses. (General education includes the humanities, physical education, foreign language, and other requirements common to all degrees.) They then spend 1-2 years taking radiology classes and rotating through clinical placements at hospitals and imaging laboratories.

The radiologic technology class sequence is similar to the certificate program curriculum. It covers:

Pharmacology

Learn to safely administer contrasting agents and medications.

Digital imaging

Study how modern x-ray machines convert ionizing radiation into on-screen pictures.

Magnetic resonance imaging

Gain a deeper understanding of the science behind MRI, plus explore scanning protocols and techniques.

Teaching strategies

Develop skills you need to become an effective clinical instructor of radiographic technology.

Keys to Success as a Radiology Technician

Necessary Skills and Qualities

Attention to detail

A focus on detail and ability to adhere to procedure are essential to success as a radiology technician.

Physical strength

You will need this in order to position patients and, at times, to lift them onto examination tables.

Interpersonal skills

As with health care professionals in general, empathy, cultural sensitivity, solid communication and high ethical standards are necessary.

Additional Credentials

This field presents many opportunities for advancement through specialization. In addition to primary RT(R) certification, ARRT offers 11 post-primary certifications for radiology technicians, listed below. Candidates must meet structured education and clinical experience requirements and pass an exam.

  • Mammography
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Quality Management
  • Bone Densitometry
  • Cardiac Interventional Radiography
  • Vascular Interventional Radiography
  • Sonography
  • Vascular Sonography
  • Breast Sonography
  • Radiologist Assistant

FAQs

What radiology technician makes the most money? ›

7 highest-paying radiology jobs
  • MRI technologist. National average salary: $61,370 per year. ...
  • Radiologic technologist. National average salary: $65,144 per year. ...
  • Cardiovascular technologist. National average salary: $77,740 per year. ...
  • Sonographer. ...
  • Radiation therapist. ...
  • Nuclear medicine technologist. ...
  • Ultrasonographer.

Which radiology course is best? ›

List of radiology courses after 12th
CoursesDuration
B.Sc. Radiology / Radiography, Radio Therapy3 - 4 years
B.Sc. Medical Laboratory Technology3.5 years - 4 years
B.Sc. Medical (Radio) Imaging Technology3 years + 1 year Internship
Diploma in Medical Lab Technology2 years - 2 years 6 months
2 more rows
22 Oct 2021

Can you become a radiographer without a degree? ›

Entry requirements

To become a diagnostic radiographer, you must first successfully complete an approved degree or masters in diagnostic radiography. Degree courses take three or four years full time, or up to six years part time. There are also some postgraduate courses that can take two years.

Is radiology tech hard? ›

The subject matter involved in an x-ray technician program can be challenging. You'll need a firm understanding of the human body and how to use imaging equipment. During your program, you'll dive deep into topics such as: Medical terminology.

Which state pays rad techs the most? ›

The states and districts that pay Radiologic Technologists the highest mean salary are California ($95,010), Hawaii ($82,990), District of Columbia ($82,270), Alaska ($79,330), and Massachusetts ($78,830). How Much Do Radiologic Technologists Make in Your City?

Is radiology hard to study? ›

Question 8: Is radiology easy to study? Answer: Becoming a radiologist is not easy. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work; medical students and residents often have difficulty coping with the pressure. That is why it's important to make sure becoming a doctor is what you really want before you commit.

How long is radiology course? ›

Radiography programs typically take four years to complete and lead to a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. During their studies, students take courses in anatomy, physiology, medical imaging, and radiation physics.

Is radiology a good career? ›

Radiology careers are also very well-paying. An average salary of a radiologist in India is around ₹1,799,737 annually. Radiologists also have the option to move abroad if they desire better opportunities.

What qualifications do you need for radiology? ›

Here are the steps for becoming a radiologist:
  • Complete a medical degree. Radiologists are medical doctors, so they must complete a medical degree. ...
  • Apply for provisional registration. ...
  • Pursue Foundation Training. ...
  • Participate in speciality training. ...
  • Pass the examination for The Royal College of Radiologists.
25 Jun 2021

What subjects do I need to study radiology? ›

This is a Health Sciences field of study, therefore there are specific High School subjects that are required to study in this field.
...
The following subjects are needed and essential for the curriculum:
  • Physical Science,
  • Mathematics,
  • Life Sciences,
  • English Home Language,
  • or English First or Second Additional Language.

What do I need to study radiology? ›

After completing high school, on average it will take 13 years to become a Radiologist. This includes completing an undergraduate degree which usually takes four years, followed by four years of Medical school, then a one year internship, followed by four years of residency training in Diagnostic Radiology.

Is Rad Tech School harder than nursing school? ›

Rad tech is difficult as well, but not nearly like most RN programs. The scope of their practice is very narrow, I became bored FAST and now am an RN . benjamin said: rad tech is difficult as well, but not nearly like most RN programs.

Is becoming a RAD TECH worth it? ›

Once you know the inside story of a radiologic technologist's career, becoming one will likely interest you. The healthcare role rad techs have is vitally important and provides a high level of personal satisfaction. It's a top-20 healthcare job according to the U.S. News annual rankings.

Is radiology tech physically demanding? ›

A Physically Demanding Job

In addition to the intellectual demands of the job, being a radiologic technologist is physically demanding. In fact, programs in radiologic technology warn applicants in advance of the physical rigors they can expect to endure on the job before they sign up, and they are not negligible.

How much do medical assistants make? ›

The average Medical Assistant salary in the United States is $38,329 as of September 26, 2022, but the range typically falls between $35,336 and $41,389.

How much do Xray techs make an hour in California? ›

As of Sep 23, 2022, the average annual pay for a X Ray Technician in California is $49,667 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $23.88 an hour. This is the equivalent of $955/week or $4,138/month.

Is radiology a stressful job? ›

The stress scores in the survey population ranged from 6 to 46 with the higher scores reflecting higher stress levels. The mean score for radiologists was 24.7 compared with 19.6 for the general population.

Why is radiology difficult? ›

Radiology residencies are considered particularly challenging due to the large amounts of reading materials. Residents are expected to keep up with their reading after long workdays in order to preserve work-time for their patients.

Which field is better nursing or radiology? ›

Nursing is regarded to be better than Radiology because it pays better, is more in demand, and has more career choices. Both nurses and radiologists must complete arduous academic qualifications. Nurses and radiologists both work shifts and spend a lot of time on their feet.

What is a radiologist salary? ›

The average salary for a Radiologist in the UK is somewhere between £70,000 and £90,000 a year.

How many hours does a radiologist work? ›

Often, radiologists work more than 40 hours per week and have a set schedule or routine. They work inside and will likely be exposed to radiation, infections and disease. As a radiologist, you will be required to wear specialized protective equipment often.

What does it take to become a radiology tech? ›

Eligibility Requirements
  • Earn an associate degree or higher.
  • Complete an American Registry of Radiologic Technician (ARRT) certification-approved educational program in the same discipline as the credential you are pursuing.
  • Sign the ARRT Ethics Code of Conduct.
7 Jun 2021

What are the disadvantages of being a radiologic technologist? ›

While this job might seem perfect for your goals and career needs, it's important to know some drawbacks to working in this field.
...
  • High Stress.
  • Constantly Learning.
  • Underappreciated.
  • Little Social Interaction.
  • Changing Technology.
  • Intensive Learning.
  • Physically Demanding.

Why do people choose radiology? ›

Radiology can offer quality patient encounters, procedural work, and the opportunity to work with some of the most amazing technologies in medicine, while also providing an adaptable lifestyle.

Which is better radiology or pharmacy? ›

According to your question,Radiologists earn comparitvely more than pharmist. Radiology technician earns 5-10 LPA. And in case of a Pharmist it is 2-5 LPA. Both are good in their own way,and you should go for the one which interests you.

Is radiography hard to get into? ›

A degree in Radiography can be quite intensive. The material is not extremely difficult to learn, however, there is a huge amount of it to get through. You will have the same level of knowledge of anatomy as a Doctor. You'll also learn a lot about technology, physiology disease and injuries.

What does a radiology assistant do? ›

A radiologist assistant (RA) is an advanced practice radiologic technologist who works under the supervision of a radiologist. The primary role of an RA is to enhance patient care by assisting the radiologist with patient assessment, patient management, and radiological procedures.

What is the difference between radiology and radiography? ›

And, while each career path deals with issues regarding patient diagnostics and testing, radiologists are generally doctors trained to read and interpret imaging scans, while radiographers are medical technicians who perform diagnostics imaging tests. Radiologists usually do not perform the imaging tests.

Do radiologists use math? ›

The study of radiography requires a high degree of mathematical knowledge. Radiography students are required to have three semesters of radiation science. Radiation science uses mathematics and science to teach how the atomic development of x-radiation occurs.

Can I study radiography without maths? ›

You must have Maths to do Radiography, as this is a Medical Degree. This means your studies are in the field of Medicine, which does not accept Maths Literacy.

Can I do radiology without biology? ›

Someone who wants to pursue a B.Sc in Radiography should have completed Science (10+2) preferably with Physics, Chemistry and Biology/Maths. The duration of the course is three years. You can also take up one-year certificate courses after 10+2 Science.

How many points do you need to study radiology? ›

To be considered for this qualification, applicants must have an Admission Point Score (APS) of at least 22.

Is radiography a doctor? ›

A radiographer does not make diagnoses as this falls within the scope of a qualified doctor such as a physician, surgeon or radiologist. A radiologist is a qualified doctor who is a specialist in the diagnosis of illnesses which can be demonstrated on X-ray films (radiographs) or other medical imaging systems.

How long does it take to become a radiologist after 12? ›

Radiology is a 2 to 5 year research based course that deals with the study of ultrasound, radiation, and all the other imaging techniques that are used in the healthcare field.

What is the highest paying medical imaging job? ›

5 High Paying Medical Imaging Jobs
  1. Nuclear Medicine Technologists (NMT) ...
  2. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. ...
  3. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologists. ...
  4. Radiologic Technologists and Technicians. ...
  5. Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians.
30 Jun 2022

Is being a rad tech worth it? ›

Once you know the inside story of a radiologic technologist's career, becoming one will likely interest you. The healthcare role rad techs have is vitally important and provides a high level of personal satisfaction. It's a top-20 healthcare job according to the U.S. News annual rankings.

Which field is better nursing or radiology? ›

Nursing is regarded to be better than Radiology because it pays better, is more in demand, and has more career choices. Both nurses and radiologists must complete arduous academic qualifications. Nurses and radiologists both work shifts and spend a lot of time on their feet.

How much does a rad tech make in Tennessee? ›

The average salary for a radiologic technologist in Tennessee is around $50,320 per year.

Who makes more CT or MRI Tech? ›

MRI has always paid more than CT and probably always will.

Is the Arrt exam hard? ›

The truth is, although it covers basic concepts, the test is made harder simply due to the importance of a passing score, as well as factors such as its length and the time limit. Among the more common pitfalls are: mismanaging your time, letting questions fluster you, and second-guessing yourself.

Which is better radiology or pharmacy? ›

According to your question,Radiologists earn comparitvely more than pharmist. Radiology technician earns 5-10 LPA. And in case of a Pharmist it is 2-5 LPA. Both are good in their own way,and you should go for the one which interests you.

Is Rad Tech School harder than nursing school? ›

Rad tech is difficult as well, but not nearly like most RN programs. The scope of their practice is very narrow, I became bored FAST and now am an RN . benjamin said: rad tech is difficult as well, but not nearly like most RN programs.

Is radiology an easy job? ›

Becoming a radiologist isn't easy. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work—medical students and residents often have difficulty coping with the pressure. That's why it's so important to make sure becoming a doctor is what you really want before you commit.

Is Rad Tech a stressful job? ›

These are just a few of the many challenges radiologic technologists (rad techs) contend with every day. The job is physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding. It's no surprise, then, that occupational stress and burnout are a reality for many rad techs.

What color do Xray techs wear? ›

They are usually a light blue color but can vary. Only the operating room employees are supposed to wear them to save on laundry costs. Radiology techs assigned to work in the O.R. are also required to wear them. You aren't allowed to wear your “regular” scrubs inside the O.R.

Who makes more RN or Xray tech? ›

So, who makes more money, a nurse or a radiology technologist? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income of a rad tech is around $61,240, whereas the median salary of a nurse is $71,730 for the calendar year 2018.

How long is radiographer training? ›

You may be able to do a diagnostic or therapeutic radiographer degree apprenticeship. This typically takes 36 months to complete as a mix of learning in the workplace and academic study at an approved university.

How much do MRI techs make in Tennessee? ›

The average salary for a mri technologist in Tennessee is $59,500 per year.

How much does an ultrasound tech make in Tennessee? ›

The average salary for a ultrasound technician in Tennessee is $49,500 per year. Ultrasound technician salaries in Tennessee can vary between $20,000 to $84,000 and depend on various factors, including skills, experience, employer, bonuses, tips, and more.

How do become a radiologist? ›

After completing high school, on average it will take 13 years to become a Radiologist. This includes completing an undergraduate degree which usually takes four years, followed by four years of Medical school, then a one year internship, followed by four years of residency training in Diagnostic Radiology.

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