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Become A CT Technologist

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Working As A CT 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

  • $115,055

    Average Salary

What Does A CT 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 CT 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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CT Technologist Jobs

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Average Length of Employment
CT Technologist 5.0 years
Staff Technologist 4.9 years
MRI Technologist 4.7 years
X-Ray Technician 4.5 years
Top Employers Before
Supervisor 1.9%
Internship 1.7%
Manager 1.4%
Technician 1.4%
Top Employers After
Supervisor 3.5%

Do you work as a CT Technologist?

CT Technologist Demographics

Gender

Female

57.2%

Male

41.1%

Unknown

1.8%
Ethnicity

White

62.1%

Hispanic or Latino

14.9%

Black or African American

11.6%

Asian

7.6%

Unknown

3.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

55.4%

Chinese

8.1%

Mandarin

5.4%

Vietnamese

2.7%

German

2.7%

Hindi

2.7%

Serbian

2.7%

Korean

2.7%

Croatian

2.7%

Russian

1.4%

Hebrew

1.4%

Indonesian

1.4%

Portuguese

1.4%

Dutch

1.4%

Cantonese

1.4%

Gujarati

1.4%

Carrier

1.4%

Urdu

1.4%

Arabic

1.4%

Italian

1.4%
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CT Technologist Education

Schools

Midwestern State University

11.9%

Weber State University

10.7%

University of Phoenix

8.6%

Loma Linda University

5.3%

Ferris State University

4.5%

Adventist University of Health Sciences

4.5%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

4.5%

Oregon Institute of Technology

4.1%

Fort Hays State University

4.1%

Thomas Edison State University

4.1%

Community College of the Air Force

4.1%

Austin Community College

4.1%

Community College of Allegheny County

4.1%

Houston Community College

3.7%

University of South Alabama

3.7%

Morehead State University

3.7%

Emory University

3.7%

El Centro College

3.7%

Grand Canyon University

3.7%

Arkansas State University

3.3%
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Majors

Medical Technician

43.9%

Nuclear And Industrial Radiologic Technologies

15.3%

Military Technology

7.8%

Business

5.1%

Health Care Administration

4.3%

Computer Science

2.7%

Health Sciences And Services

2.3%

Management

2.1%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

1.9%

Education

1.9%

Clinical Psychology

1.9%

Medicine

1.6%

Military Applied Sciences

1.6%

General Studies

1.4%

Biology

1.2%

Nursing

1.2%

Public Health

1.0%

Liberal Arts

1.0%

Psychology

0.9%

Computer Information Systems

0.7%
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Degrees

Associate

35.8%

Bachelors

23.7%

Other

19.4%

Certificate

12.1%

Masters

7.2%

Diploma

1.2%

Doctorate

0.5%

License

0.1%
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Internship
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Real CT Technologist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Ct-Technologist Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth Plymouth, MA Dec 31, 2014 $76,948
Ct-Technologist Jordan Hlospital Plymouth, MA Jan 01, 2012 $73,045
CT (CAT Scan) Technologist Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Philadelphia, PA Jun 09, 2010 $56,774
Cardio Vascular/Ct Technologist Cardiovascular Clinic of Texas Tomball, TX Jan 03, 2008 $55,000
Cardio Vascular/Ct Technologist Cardiovascular Clinic of Texas Tomball, TX Oct 01, 2007 $50,000
CT Technologist Saint Luke's Northland Hospital Kansas City, MO Oct 22, 2009 $48,356

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Top Skills for A CT Technologist

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  1. Special Procedures
  2. IV
  3. Trauma
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Work independently and directly with the radiologist regarding protocols and any special procedures.
  • Perform Retrospective reconstruction and post-processing of the CT exams -Knowledgeable with cross sectional human body anatomy.
  • Performed CT scans on various patient ranging from ICU, PICU, outpatients, and emergency/trauma patients.
  • Informed authorized personnel about medical emergencies and ensured delivery of high quality patient care.
  • Performed all routine exams from head to extremities and trauma 1 exams when needed.

What is it like to work as a CT Technologist

5.0

Life changing

April 25, 2019 on Zippia

What was your job title?

CT Technologist.. Show More

What do you like the most about working as CT Technologist?

Is an experience that will make you love humanity and be kind to others ,using technology to help people get better is extremely rewarding , also the flexibility to work in different places with different people is a plus... Show More

What do you NOT like?

Most places need more CT techs ,we can't have enough people ,petty sure hospital in the world is understaffed ... Show More

How Would You Rate Working As a CT Technologist?

Are you working as a CT Technologist? Help us rate CT Technologist as a Career.

Top CT Technologist Employers

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Jobs From Top CT Technologist Employers

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