Radiology Tech Certification and License Requirements

Radiology technicians use X-ray and other imaging machines to examine the body. Get information on the education you'll need, learn about the certification process, and review the requirements for licensure in this field. Schools offering Cardiovascular Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Radiology Tech Education Programs Are Available?

The most common type of program you may be able to find is a radiologic technology program. Associate's and bachelor's degree programs are the most common levels of education available. Completing one of these programs can award you an Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Science or Bachelor of Science.

You won't be able to find any distance education programs for this field. This is because you may be required to complete hands-on training with patients, X-ray machines, computed tomography (CT) machines and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. Your program may also require you to complete clinical work before graduating.

Program OptionsAssociate's and bachelor's degree, no online availability
Common CoursesAnatomy, radiologic science, imaging modalities, radiation physics, patient care
License RequirementsVary by state; licensure is often based on American Registry of Radiologic Technologists certification
Certification RequirementsAssociate's degree, clinical work, written exam, continuing education

What Courses Can I Expect?

Both associate's and bachelor's degree programs provide much of the same content. The major difference between the two is that bachelor's degree programs require more general education courses and offer more clinical experiences.

Your program will teach you how to X-ray bones, inspect organs, process images, prepare imaging machines and position patients. The program focuses on patient care, ethical treatment, communication and medical terminology. You can expect to take courses in image evaluation, anatomy, physiology, pathology, imaging modalities, kinesiology, radiation protection, pharmacology, radiation physics, law and radiologic science. If you are enrolled in a bachelor's degree program, you can take general education courses in public speaking, mathematics, psychology, English and general sciences.

Do I Need to Be Licensed?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the federal government requires every person who operates radiologic machinery to have proof of adequate education and training ( Licensing requirements are determined at state level and not all states require licensing. If your state does require you to be licensed, you need to complete the same requirements needed to earn certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).

How Do I Become Certified?

Certification is voluntary and can be earned from the ARRT. An associate's degree education from an accredited school will meet the ARRT's minimum education requirements. You will also need to have clinical work pertaining to an area of focus, including radiography, nuclear medicine technology, radiation therapy, MRI or sonography.

You will also be required to pass a written exam consisting of multiple-choice questions. Expect your exam to cover information including machinery operation, patient care, image production and radiology procedures. Your exam contents may vary according to your area of focus. If you decide to remain certified, you will need to complete continuing education courses every two years.

After you earn your certification and have experience, you may be able to earn advanced certifications in MRI, mammography, bone densitometry, CT, breast sonography, vascular sonography, sonography, quality management, cardiac-interventional radiography and vascular interventional radiography.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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