What Are the Requirements to Be an X-Ray Technologists?

If you want to work in the medical field, one career option available to you is x-ray technology. Read on to learn what it takes to become an x-ray technologist. Schools offering Cardiovascular Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

X-Ray Technologist Career Overview

If you decide to become an x-ray technologist, otherwise known as a radiologic technologist, you'll take diagnostic images using x-rays. You'll be responsible for maintaining and operating imaging equipment, explaining imaging procedures to patients and positioning patients to get the correct images. You'll work closely with physicians to determine what images are needed and to evaluate whether the images you take are good enough to make a diagnosis. In addition to taking x-rays, you may also take computed tomography (CT) images and mammograms. Possible places of employment include hospitals, healthcare facilities and doctors' offices.

Important Facts about this Occupation

Average Salary (2014) $57,510 per year
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 9% growth
Prerequisite High school diploma or GED postsecondary education
Continuing Education Advancement to other professional specializations possible
Key Skills Attention to detail, working with others, math, handling medical machinery
Similar Occupations MRI Technologists, Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, Cardiovascular Technologists, Radiation Therapists

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that an associate's degree is the most common requirement for becoming an x-ray or radiologic technologist (www.bls.gov). Associate's degree programs will provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary to perform routine and complex x-rays. Radiology technology programs will also prepare you for taking the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) exam for either licensure or certification. Your associate's degree program will include both classroom and clinical training. Coursework may include anatomy, patient care, radiation physics, pathology and image evaluation.

Licensure and Certification Info

Depending on the state in which you intend to practice, you may need to become licensed or certified. This typically involves graduating from an accredited program and then passing either a state exam or the ARRT exam. Once you have your license, you may be required to earn continuing education credits.

If your state has no credentialing requirements, you could still earn voluntary certification from the ARRT. Employers may look at certification as an indication that you have met certain professional standards. Similar to state licensing requirements, you need to show proof of graduation from an approved radiography program before you may take the certification exam. Once you've passed the exam, there are continuing educational requirements that must be met every two years for renewal.

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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