What Is a CT Technician? - Job Duties & Education Requirements

If you're interested in a diagnostic imaging career, check out this article to learn what a CT technician does. You can learn about the education and licensure requirements for this career as well as the pay and projected job growth. Schools offering Cardiovascular Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information at a Glance

A CT (computed tomography) technician plays a critical role in diagnosing patients by using a CT scanner to produce images of the body. Take a look at the following table for an overview of the skills and education you need to pursue a career as a CT technician.

Degree Required Associate's degree
Education Field of Study Radiologic technology
Licensure and Certification Licensure and/or certification required in most states
Key Skills Detail oriented, interpersonal skills, physical stamina
Job Growth (2016-2026) 12% (for radiologic technologists)*
Median Salary (2017) $58,440 (for radiologic technologists)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Do CT technicians Do?

CT technology is a radiography specialty that is used to produce cross-sectional images of the body. As a CT technician you will perform imaging examinations used to diagnose patients. You will prepare patients for the CT scan by answering any questions they may have and positioning them so the correct area is scanned. You will also operate technical equipment to take images and evaluate these images alongside a physician to determine whether or not they are sufficient.

What Are the Education Requirements?

Completing an associate's degree in radiologic technology is required to become a CT technician. During a radiologic technology degree program, you will gain academic and clinical experience with different imaging procedures, including CT scanning, radiography and mammography. This curriculum can enable you to become employed as a CT technician without further specialization.

What License and Certification Do I Need?

In most states, CT technicians need to be licensed. To become licensed, you will typically need to graduate from a radiologic technology program that has been accredited by an agency such as the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. You will also need to gain certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) or pass a state-issued exam.

It is also worth getting certification even if your state does not require it, as employers often require or prefer certification.

What Is the Job Outlook and How Much Might I Earn?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides information on radiologic technologists but not CT technicians specifically. A 12% job growth was projected for radiologic technologists from 2016 to 2026. This is higher than average due to predictions that more people will need diagnostic imaging procedures for conditions such as cancer or dementia.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for radiologic technologists was $58,440 in May 2017. Most radiologic technologists earn between $39,840 and $84,110 annually. Some of the highest paid radiologic technologists were employed within the federal government and hospitals, with median annual salaries of $63,040 and $59,800 respectively.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

With a radiologic technology associate degree, you could go on to specialize in an additional aspect of radiologic technology. Mammographers also use x-rays, but a low-dose x-ray, and specialize in producing images of the breast. Another alternative is becoming an MRI technologist, which is someone who specializes in using a magnetic resonance imaging scanner. They produce images using magnetic fields and a dye that is injected into a patient.

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