What is a Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist

A diagnostic radiologic technologist is a medical professional who creates images of body structures or prescribes treatment for diseases and conditions using radiology techniques.

They are mid-level workers as they work below radiologic assistants. However, they also work above radiologic technicians in responsibility, level, and experience.

The technologist sends the results of a completed test to the radiologist or radiologic assistant for further analysis.

An individual needs a minimum of two years of formal training at an accredited facility to become a diagnostic radiologic technologist. Someone with a certificate lower than this may start as a technician before moving on to be a technologist.

The diagnostic radiologic technologist reviews and evaluates developed x-rays or computer-generated information to determine if images are satisfactory for diagnostic purposes. Additionally, they follow all safety measures and use protection devices when performing radiology techniques.

What Does a Diagnostic Radiologic 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. 

Learn more about what a Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist does

How To Become a Diagnostic Radiologic 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.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

Average Salary
$56,466
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
9%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
64,516
Job Openings
resume document icon

Don't Have A Professional Resume?

0 selections

Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist

Top Careers After Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist

Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Create The Perfect Resume

Our resume builder tool will walk you through the process of creating a stand-out Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist resume.

resume icon

Average Salary for a Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist

Diagnostic Radiologic Technologists in America make an average salary of $56,466 per year or $27 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $86,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $36,000 per year.
Average Salary
$56,466
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.
See More Salary Information

Calculate your salary

Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Demographics

Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Gender Statistics

female

57.0 %

male

38.7 %

unknown

4.3 %

Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Ethnicity Statistics

White

71.9 %

Hispanic or Latino

12.8 %

Black or African American

7.3 %

Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

52.2 %

French

8.7 %

Hindi

8.7 %
Job Openings

Find the best Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist job for you

0 selections
0 selections

Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Jobs You Might Like

Show More Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Demographics

Create The Perfect Resume

Our resume builder tool will walk you through the process of creating a stand-out Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist resume.

resume icon

Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Education

Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Majors

Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Degrees

Associate

58.4 %

Bachelors

27.1 %

Certificate

7.0 %

Check Jobs That Match To Your Education

None
High School / GED
Associate
Bachelor's
Master's
Doctorate

Top Colleges for Diagnostic Radiologic Technologists

1. Texas A&M University

College Station, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,870
Enrollment
53,194

2. Siena Heights University

Adrian, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$27,124
Enrollment
2,035

3. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

4. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

5. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,430
Enrollment
5,963

6. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

7. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

8. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

9. Georgetown University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,104
Enrollment
7,089

10. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,816
Enrollment
6,840
Show More Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Education Requirements
Job Openings

Find the best Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist job for you

0 selections
0 selections

Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Jobs You Might Like

Online Courses For Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist That You May Like

Macroeconomic Diagnostics
edX (Global)

In this online course on Macroeconomic Diagnostics (MDSx), you will learn some applied tools that will allow you to assess the economic situation in a country. These analytical tools are the ones most used by applied macroeconomists—including those at the IMF. You will learn both how to technically implement these tools and to interpret their results. The course will guide you through the different sectors of an economy. It will present tools to assess the relevant sector and its...

Trauma Emergencies and Care
coursera

Welcome to Trauma Emergencies and Care. In this course, you will learn about some of the mechanics and physics of trauma on the human body, and how this can cause injury. You will continue to expand your new vocabulary with medical terminology, and learn how to describe the different injuries you may see. You will also learn about the trauma system itself- and when it is important to transport patients to a trauma center. Then we will dive into specific injuries based on what part of the body ma...

Introduction to Medical Imaging
udemy
4.4
(401)

Your guide to the history, science, math, and economics of medical imaging systems (e.g, X-ray, CT, MRI, Ultrasound)...

Show More Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Courses
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 10.9% of Diagnostic Radiologic Technologists listed Patient Care on their resume, but soft skills such as Detail oriented and Interpersonal skills are important as well.

12 Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist RESUME EXAMPLES

Best States For a Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist. The best states for people in this position are California, Alaska, Maryland, and Oregon. Diagnostic Radiologic Technologists make the most in California with an average salary of $85,451. Whereas in Alaska and Maryland, they would average $72,609 and $66,388, respectively. While Diagnostic Radiologic Technologists would only make an average of $65,707 in Oregon, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Arizona

Total Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Jobs:
746
Highest 10% Earn:
$109,000
Location Quotient:
1.23
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Washington

Total Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Jobs:
838
Highest 10% Earn:
$93,000
Location Quotient:
1.11
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Oregon

Total Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Jobs:
419
Highest 10% Earn:
$96,000
Location Quotient:
0.98
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Diagnostic Radiologic Technologists

How Do Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Rate Their Jobs?

Working as a Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist? Share your experience anonymously.
Do you work as a Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist?
Rate how you like work as Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist. It's anonymous and will only take a minute.

Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Videos