What Is a Certified X-Ray Technician?

There is no designation available for a certified x-ray technician, but employers may require you to hold a professional radiologic certification. Additionally, some states require certification to work with x-ray equipment. Becoming certified may be done through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) or through a state certification program. Schools offering Cardiovascular Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

The position of an x-ray technician involves working with imaging equipment to take pictures inside of a patient's body. Your job will require positioning patients to capture the correct image, explaining procedures to patients, setting the controls on the machine, producing the x-ray films, and ensuring the films have developed properly. You also have to use safety equipment to prevent overexposure to radiation for yourself and patients.

Important Facts About X-Ray Technicians

Median Salary (2014) $55,870 per year
Job Outlook (2012-2022) 21% growth
Key Skills Interpersonal communication, attention to detail, proficiency in math and science
Similar Occupations Nuclear medicine technologist, radiation therapist, cardiovascular technician

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

ARRT Certification

The ARRT (www.arrt.org) offers a radiography certification that is nationally recognized for those in the field of medical imaging. To be eligible for certification, you must complete an accredited radiography program within the previous three years, complete the radiography didactic and clinical competency requirements, meet ethics standards, including a clean criminal background, and pass the radiography exam. After becoming certified, you must complete continuing education requirements to renew your certification every two years.

State Certification Requirements

Certification requirements will vary from state to state. For example, the Ohio Department of Health manages the state's radiologic licenses, which are required for anyone performing radiologic procedures in the state (www.odh.ohio.gov). According to the department of health, you must hold a general x-ray machine operator license (GXMO). To earn the GXMO, you need to graduate from an approved educational program, register for the GXMO exam, pass the exam, complete a GMXO clinical educational program, and submit your license application packet to the department of health.

In Washington, according to the Washington State Legislature, you must be certified to use radiologic technology (apps.leg.wa.gov). To qualify for certification as a diagnostic radiologic technologist, you must complete an approved education program, meet ethical requirements, and pass a radiologic examination.

Education

Radiography programs that qualify students to apply for certification are typically offered at the associate's degree level. It's important to choose a program accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). The coursework in a 2-year radiography program includes both classroom and clinical education, and students explore topics such as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, and radiographic procedures.

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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