Radiology Technician – Jobs, Schools Programs, Salary, and Requirements

What is a Radiology Technician? A radiology technician is a medical professional specializing in invasive and non-invasive diagnostic imaging of the human anatomy. Non-invasive images are taken from outside the body and do not require the use of a contrast medium.

The job description for a radiology technician is a specialist who performs a variety of procedures using many different types of diagnostic equipment to identify illnesses or diseases. The opportunity for advancement in the area of radiology technology includes angiography or nuclear medicine.

Most US states have accredited schools and community colleges and some universities offering different types of degrees and certified training in Radiology Technology. These provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to obtain well-paid jobs in hospitals, clinics, diagnostic institutes or doctor’s offices. To ensure the best possible training, enroll in a training program accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT), as this will later make you eligible for accreditation.

radiology technicians discussing the best schools

How to become a Radiology Technician.

Training Programs for Radiology Technology Include:

  • The 1 or 2-year certificate or diploma.
  • 2-year associate’s degree.
  • At least 2 years but less than 4 years degree.
  • 4-year bachelor’s degree.

The 1 or 2-year certificate is now only available to students who have already earned a degree in a different subject.

The most popular route to becoming a radiology technician is to earn a 2 year Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. These classes involve advanced imaging, biology, pathology and how the body’s functions alter after illness or injury. Examining the effect of radiation on living tissue and the protection of patients and healthcare workers.

If you already hold an associate’s degree or higher, but it is not a medical degree, you may need to enroll in additional classes including medical terminology, anatomy, physiology and other subjects to meet requirements of admission into an ARRT program.

Radiology technicians are required to be licensed in many states and contacting that state’s health board will supply you with all relevant information. Some states use the (ARRT) American Registry of Radiological Technologist’s examination for licensing.

What jobs are available for Radiology Technicians?

Employment Options for Radiology Technicians:

  • Radiation Treatment Centers.
  • Diagnostic Imaging Institutes.
  • Emergency Clinics.
  • Private Doctor’s Offices.
  • Hospital Radiology Departments.

After further specialized training, opportunities exist for radiology technicians to expand their expertise in:

  • Mammography.
  • Sonography.
  • Computed Tomography (CT).
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
  • Bone Densitometry.
  • Nuclear Medicine.
  • Radiographer.
  • Cardiovascular Intervention.

A 4-year bachelor’s degree offers great potential for advancement to become a lead technician or a clinical instructor. Students spend 2-3 years finalizing their general education and radiology requirements, followed by a further 1-2 years in radiation classes in rotation with clinical placements in hospitals or diagnostic centers.

The sequence of classes covers:

  • Digital Imaging.
  • The science behind MRI.
  • Pharmacology.
  • The study of how x-ray machines convert ionizing radiation into on-screen pictures.
  • Safely administering medications and contrasting agents.
  • Teaching strategies.

Many other skills are necessary to be successful in Radiology Technology. Physical strength is important to be able to lift and position patients correctly on examination tables. When performing procedures, the ability to communicate or interact well with nervous patients entails compassion, understanding, and kindness.