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Become A Bone Density Technologist

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Working As A Bone Density Technologist

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Getting Information
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Repetitive

  • $72,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Bone Density Technologist Do

Radiologic technologists, also known as radiographers, perform diagnostic imaging examinations, such as x rays, on patients. MRI technologists operate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to create diagnostic images. 

Duties

Radiologic and MRI technologists typically do the following:

  • Adjust and maintain imaging equipment
  • Precisely follow orders from physicians on what areas of the body to image
  • Prepare patients for procedures, including taking a medical history and answering questions about the procedure
  • Protect the patient by shielding exposed areas that do not need to be imaged
  • Position the patient and the equipment in order to get the correct image
  • Operate the computerized equipment to take the images
  • Work with physicians to evaluate the images and to determine whether additional images need to be taken
  • Keep detailed patient records

Healthcare professionals use many types of equipment to diagnose patients. Radiologic technologists specialize in x-ray and computed tomography (CT) imaging. Some radiologic technologists prepare a mixture for the patient to drink that allows soft tissue to be viewed on the images that the radiologist reviews.

Radiologic technologists might also specialize in mammography. Mammographers use low-dose x-ray systems to produce images of the breast. Technologists may be certified in multiple specialties.

MRI technologists specialize in magnetic resonance imaging scanners. They inject patients with contrast dyes so that the images will show up on the scanner. The scanners use magnetic fields in combination with the contrast agent to produce images that a physician can use to diagnose medical problems.

Healthcare professionals who specialize in other diagnostic equipment include nuclear medicine technologists and diagnostic medical sonographers, and cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including vascular technologists.

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How To Become A Bone Density Technologist

Radiologic technologists and MRI technologists typically need an associate’s degree. Many MRI technologists start out as radiologic technologists and specialize later in their career. Radiologic technologists must be licensed or certified in most states. Few states license MRI technologists. Employers typically require or prefer prospective technologists to be certified even if the state does not require it.

Education

An associate’s degree is the most common educational requirement for radiologic and MRI technologists. There also are postsecondary education programs that lead to graduate certificates or bachelor’s degrees. Education programs typically include both classroom study and clinical work. Coursework includes anatomy, pathology, patient care, radiation physics and protection, and image evaluation.

The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) accredits programs in radiography. Completing an accredited program is required for licensure in some states.

High school students who are interested in radiologic or MRI technology should take courses that focus on math and science, such as anatomy, biology, chemistry, physiology, and physics. 

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

MRI technologists typically have less than 5 years of work experience as radiologic technologists.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Radiologic technologists must be licensed or certified in most states. Few states license MRI technologists. Requirements vary by state.

To become licensed, technologists must usually graduate from an accredited program, and pass a certification exam from the state or obtain a certification from a certifying body. Certifications for radiologic technologists are available from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Certifications for MRI technologists are available from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) and from the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT). For specific licensure requirements for radiologic technologists and MRI technologists, contact the state’s health board.

Employers typically require or prefer prospective technologists to be certified even if the state does not require it.

Important Qualities

Detail oriented. Radiologic and MRI technologists must follow exact instructions to get the images needed for diagnoses.

Interpersonal skills. Radiologic and MRI technologists work closely with patients who may be in extreme pain or mentally stressed. Technologists must be able to put the patient at ease to get usable images.

Math skills. Radiologic and MRI technologists may need to calculate and mix the right doses of chemicals used in imaging procedures.

Physical stamina. Radiologic and MRI technologists often work on their feet for long periods during their shift and they must be able to lift and move patients who need assistance.

Technical skills. Radiologic and MRI technologists must understand how to operate complex machinery.

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Bone Density Technologist Career Paths

Bone Density Technologist
Radiologic Technician Laboratory Technician Research Associate
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Radiologic Technician Technician Administrator
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Radiologic Technician Clinical Instructor Registered Nurse Supervisor
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
X-Ray Technician Lead Technician Assistant Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
X-Ray Technician Lead Technician Program Manager
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
X-Ray Technician Lead Technician Office Manager
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Mammography Technician CT Technologist
Lead MRI Technologist
8 Yearsyrs
Mammography Technician CT Technologist Staff Technologist
Senior Staff Technologist
6 Yearsyrs
Mammography Technician CT Technologist Radiation Therapist
Senior Radiation Therapist
7 Yearsyrs
MRI Technologist Technician Controls Technician
Senior Radiologic Technologist
5 Yearsyrs
MRI Technologist Technician Senior Technologist
Chief Technologist
7 Yearsyrs
MRI Technologist Clinical Instructor Nurse Manager
Medical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Senior Technologist Chief Technologist
Imaging Services Director
11 Yearsyrs
Radiographer Technologist Radiation Therapist Senior Radiation Therapist
Chief Radiation Therapist
7 Yearsyrs
Radiographer Technologist Computed Tomography Technologist Lead Radiologic Technologist
Radiology Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Lead Radiologic Technologist Radiology Supervisor
Radiology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Lead Radiologic Technologist Radiology Manager
Manager Of Imaging
9 Yearsyrs
Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Clinical Instructor Nurse Manager
Administrative Services Director
10 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Bone Density Technologist?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
CT Technologist 5.2 years
Staff Technologist 4.9 years
Top Careers Before Bone Density Technologist
Internship 2.5%
Technician 2.1%
MD 1.8%
Top Careers After Bone Density Technologist
Technician 2.1%
Assistant 2.1%

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How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Bone Density Technologist?

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Top Skills for A Bone Density Technologist

  1. Special Procedures
  2. Mammography
  3. Hologic
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Created/Updated all physician, procedure and patient documents pertaining to special procedures.
  • Acquire and submit all required follow-ups, biopsy results and medical outcome audits into the Mammography Report System(MRS).
  • Perform Bone Density with Hologic Bone Density Machine
  • Complete and analyze DEXA scans of the hip, lumbar spine and a forearm when needed.
  • Perform procedures using bone density x-ray equipment under supervision of physician.

Bone Density Technologist Demographics

Gender

Female

74.5%

Male

15.6%

Unknown

9.9%
Ethnicity

White

59.6%

Hispanic or Latino

18.1%

Black or African American

11.1%

Asian

7.4%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

Mandarin

16.7%

Irish

16.7%

Cantonese

16.7%
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Bone Density Technologist Education

Schools

New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York

10.9%

Miami Dade College

8.7%

Ashford University

6.5%

Lexington Community College

4.3%

University of Maryland - University College

4.3%

Gadsden State Community College

4.3%

Remington College

4.3%

Radford University

4.3%

State University of New York Broome Community College

4.3%

Essex County College

4.3%

Broward College

4.3%

Worcester State University

4.3%

University of Phoenix

4.3%

Passaic County Community College

4.3%

Massasoit Community College

4.3%

Santa Fe College

4.3%

Quinnipiac University

4.3%

Robert B. Miller College

4.3%

University of Maine

4.3%

Midwestern State University

4.3%
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Majors

Medical Technician

30.6%

Nuclear And Industrial Radiologic Technologies

10.2%

Business

8.6%

Military Technology

6.5%

Medical Assisting Services

5.9%

Nursing

5.9%

Health Sciences And Services

4.8%

Biology

3.2%

Psychology

2.7%

Health Care Administration

2.7%

Human Services

2.7%

General Studies

2.7%

Clinical Psychology

2.2%

Education

2.2%

Military Applied Sciences

1.6%

Public Relations

1.6%

Cell Biology And Anatomical Science

1.6%

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science

1.6%

Accounting

1.6%

Management

1.1%
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Degrees

Associate

36.8%

Bachelors

25.0%

Other

23.2%

Certificate

7.9%

Masters

4.8%

Diploma

1.3%

License

0.4%

Doctorate

0.4%
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