What Certification Is Required for X-Ray Technicians?

X-ray technicians need expertise in equipment operation, positioning and radiation safety procedures to render diagnostic images. If you'd like to work in this supportive position, continue reading to learn about the training, certification and licensure requirements for X-ray technicians. Schools offering Cardiovascular Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

X-Ray Technician Training Options

There are various paths to becoming an X-ray technician, also known as a radiographer or radiologic technician. You can choose to get your education through one of several types of postsecondary programs accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. Certificate and associate degree programs are the most prevalent for people seeking to enter the field. Though you can earn a bachelor's or master's degree in this field, they're much less common. Associate degree programs typically include courses in radiographic positioning, clinical radiography, anatomy, physiology, imaging equipment, patient care and ethics.

Important Facts About a Career as a Certified X-ray Technician

Work EnvironmentHealthcare facilities such as hospitals, outpatient clinics, physicians' offices and laboratories
Similar OccupationsRadiation therapists, nuclear medicine technologists, diagnostic medical sonographers, cardiovascular technologists
Key SkillsDetail-oriented, interpersonal skills, knowledge of math, physical stamina, technical skills
Specializations Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT)

Source: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Certification and Licensure Requirements

Depending on the state in which you work, you might be required to obtain licensure to practice in this profession. Certification through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) could be a requirement for licensure in some states. To obtain certification, you must graduate from an ARRT-approved education program within five years of applying for the credential and pass an examination (www.arrt.org). You'll need to earn 24 continuing education credits or pass advanced certification exams every two years in order to renew your radiographer certification.

After earning this basic certification through the ARRT, you can pursue certification at the post-primary level. Post-primary certification is available to demonstrate your expertise in specialty branches of radiography, such as mammography, sonography or bone densitometry.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), radiologic technologists jobs were projected to increase 9% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). This faster-than-average job growth was expected to be due to the rising aging population, which tends to have a higher propensity for broken bones, and the need for diagnostic imaging. While most of these new jobs were predicted to be in hospitals, which are the main employers of X-ray technicians, many new positions were also expected to open in private physicians' offices and diagnostic imaging facilities.

In May 2014, radiologic technologists earned a median annual wage of $55,870, according to the BLS. PayScale.com reported that the majority of certified X-ray technicians made a total income of $30,028-$66,406, including overtime and bonuses, as of January 2016.

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