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Become A Cat Scan Technologist

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Working As A Cat Scan 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

  • $69,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Cat Scan 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 Cat Scan 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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Cat Scan Technologist Career Paths

Cat Scan Technologist
Radiologic Technician CT Technologist
Lead CT Technologist
7 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 Program Manager
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
X-Ray Technician Lead Technician Office Manager
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
X-Ray Technician Lead Technician Director
Medical Director
9 Yearsyrs
MRI Technologist CT Technologist
Lead MRI Technologist
8 Yearsyrs
MRI Technologist CT Technologist Staff Technologist
Senior Staff Technologist
6 Yearsyrs
MRI Technologist Technician Controls Technician
Senior Radiologic Technologist
5 Yearsyrs
MRI And CT Technologist Mammography Technician Lead Radiologic Technologist
Radiology Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Computed Tomography Technologist Radiation Therapist
Lead Radiation Therapist
6 Yearsyrs
Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Mammography Technician Lead Radiologic Technologist
Radiology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Staff MRI Technologist Staff Technologist Senior Technologist
Chief Technologist
7 Yearsyrs
Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Lead Radiologic Technologist Radiology Supervisor
Director Of Radiology
10 Yearsyrs
Imaging Technologist Computed Tomography Technologist Radiation Therapist
Senior Radiation Therapist
7 Yearsyrs
Imaging Technologist Clinical Coordinator Nurse Manager
Administrative Services Director
10 Yearsyrs
Technician Senior Technologist Chief Technologist
Imaging Services Director
11 Yearsyrs
Imaging Technologist Nuclear Medicine Technologist Radiation Safety Officer
Supervisor Nuclear Medicine
7 Yearsyrs
Multi-Modality Technologist Lead CT Technologist Radiology Manager
Manager Of Imaging
9 Yearsyrs
Staff Technologist Staff Therapist Lead Radiation Therapist
Chief Radiation Therapist
7 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Arrt Technologist 6.2 years
CT Technologist 5.2 years
MRI Technologist 4.9 years
Staff Technologist 4.9 years
Top Careers Before Cat Scan Technologist
Supervisor 3.5%
Cashier 1.7%
Technician 1.5%
Top Careers After Cat Scan Technologist
Supervisor 4.1%
Technician 1.8%
Cashier 1.6%

Do you work as a Cat Scan Technologist?

Cat Scan Technologist Demographics

Gender

Female

50.0%

Male

41.5%

Unknown

8.5%
Ethnicity

White

62.9%

Hispanic or Latino

14.4%

Black or African American

12.4%

Asian

6.8%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

53.8%

Russian

23.1%

Polish

7.7%

Turkish

7.7%

Vietnamese

7.7%
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Cat Scan Technologist Education

Schools

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

10.3%

Long Island University - C W Post Campus

7.2%

University of Phoenix

7.2%

Miami Dade College

6.2%

City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College

6.2%

Keiser University

6.2%

Community College of the Air Force

5.2%

Tidewater Community College

5.2%

Community College of Philadelphia

5.2%

Sinclair Community College

4.1%

Broward College

4.1%

University of Missouri - Columbia

4.1%

Ferris State University

4.1%

Kent State University

4.1%

Macomb Community College

4.1%

Thomas Jefferson University

4.1%

Lamar Institute of Technology

3.1%

Cumberland County College

3.1%

Nassau Community College

3.1%

University of Saint Francis

3.1%
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Majors

Medical Technician

42.2%

Nuclear And Industrial Radiologic Technologies

17.0%

Business

7.5%

Military Technology

7.3%

Health Care Administration

5.6%

Health Sciences And Services

3.9%

Education

2.6%

Public Health

2.2%

Liberal Arts

1.9%

Clinical Psychology

1.3%

Biology

1.1%

Computer Science

1.1%

Communication

1.1%

Psychology

0.9%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

0.9%

Nursing

0.9%

Management

0.6%

General Studies

0.6%

Marketing

0.6%

Physician Assistant

0.6%
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Degrees

Associate

38.6%

Bachelors

21.6%

Other

19.1%

Certificate

10.5%

Masters

6.4%

Diploma

2.1%

Doctorate

1.1%

License

0.6%
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Top Skills for A Cat Scan Technologist

  1. Cat Scan
  2. Slice Scanner
  3. Special Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Initiate basic CPR measures in the event cardiac and/or pulmonary arrest and respond to emergencies related to Cat scan treatment.
  • Perform CT scans on department Siemens CT 64 Slice scanner for outpatient and emergent care patients.
  • Perform general and special procedures on patients with the Cat Scan equipment.
  • Performed administrative duties and quality assurance assessments to facilitate patient care and ensure record accuracy.
  • Maintained ongoing radiology department duties and promoted open communication between staff and physicians to support daily operations.

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