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Become An Imaging Technologist

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Working As An Imaging 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

  • $68,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Imaging 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 An Imaging 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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Imaging Technologist Career Paths

Imaging Technologist
Radiologic Technician Laboratory Technician Research Associate
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Radiologic Technician CT Technologist
Lead CT Technologist
7 Yearsyrs
Radiologic Technician Technician Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Consultant Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Consultant Assistant Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Consultant Case Manager
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 CT Technologist
Lead MRI Technologist
8 Yearsyrs
Technician Team Leader Director
Medical Director
9 Yearsyrs
MRI Technologist CT Technologist Staff Technologist
Senior Staff Technologist
6 Yearsyrs
Technician Administrator Nurse Manager
Administrative Services Director
10 Yearsyrs
MRI Technologist Staff Technologist Senior Technologist
Chief Technologist
7 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Senior Technologist Chief Technologist
Imaging Services Director
11 Yearsyrs
MRI Technologist Mammography Technician Lead Radiologic Technologist
Radiology Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Mammography Technician Lead Radiologic Technologist Radiology Supervisor
Director Of Radiology
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Engineering Technician Controls Technician
Senior Radiologic Technologist
5 Yearsyrs
Mammography Technician Lead Radiologic Technologist
Radiology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Nuclear Medicine Technologist Radiation Safety Officer
Supervisor Nuclear Medicine
7 Yearsyrs
Staff Technologist Lead CT Technologist Radiology Manager
Manager Of Imaging
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Imaging 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
Imaging Specialist 3.0 years
Imaging Assistant 2.5 years
Imaging Clerk 2.3 years
Top Careers Before Imaging Technologist
Cashier 10.7%
Internship 5.3%
Technician 2.9%
Supervisor 2.6%
Top Careers After Imaging Technologist
Technician 5.1%
Manager 4.7%
Cashier 3.8%
Supervisor 3.5%
Specialist 3.4%
Internship 3.2%

Do you work as an Imaging Technologist?

Average Yearly Salary
$68,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$44,000
Min 10%
$68,000
Median 50%
$68,000
Median 50%
$68,000
Median 50%
$68,000
Median 50%
$68,000
Median 50%
$68,000
Median 50%
$68,000
Median 50%
$106,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Voca Corp Of North Carolina
Highest Paying City
South San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
3.2 years
How much does an Imaging Technologist make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Imaging Technologist in the United States is $68,624 per year or $33 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $44,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $106,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of an Imaging Technologist?

Have you worked as an Imaging Technologist? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as an Imaging Technologist.

Top Skills for An Imaging Technologist

  1. Fluoroscopic Procedures
  2. Medical Records
  3. Patient Care
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Perform X-ray imaging, portable radiography and fluoroscopic procedures.
  • Converted hard copy patient medical records into electronic medical records allowing hospital staff to access pertinent patient information.
  • Assisted patient care representatives in verifying insurance information of patients.
  • Reformatted imaging on refurbished desktops and laptop computers * Data entry World
  • Ordered, scheduled, and completed disposition of imaging studies within the hospital/radiology information system.

Imaging Technologist Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 3,009 Imaging Technologist resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Imaging Technologist Resume

View Resume Examples

Imaging Technologist Demographics

Gender

Female

48.2%

Male

41.4%

Unknown

10.5%
Ethnicity

White

61.4%

Hispanic or Latino

15.3%

Black or African American

11.9%

Asian

7.7%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

55.4%

French

6.5%

Mandarin

5.4%

Chinese

5.4%

Vietnamese

3.3%

Hindi

3.3%

Marathi

2.2%

Russian

2.2%

Carrier

2.2%

Tagalog

2.2%

German

2.2%

Swedish

1.1%

Gujarati

1.1%

Somali

1.1%

Korean

1.1%

Albanian

1.1%

Cantonese

1.1%

Malayalam

1.1%

Japanese

1.1%

Urdu

1.1%
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Imaging Technologist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.1%

Community College of the Air Force

8.8%

University of Nevada - Las Vegas

5.6%

Community College of Philadelphia

5.1%

University of Central Oklahoma

5.1%

Kaplan University

5.1%

Houston Community College

4.6%

Ohio State University

4.2%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.2%

Arizona State University

4.2%

Strayer University

4.2%

Columbia College Chicago

3.7%

Roane State Community College

3.7%

American InterContinental University

3.7%

Austin Community College

3.7%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.2%

University of Maryland - University College

3.2%

J Sargeant Reynolds Community College

3.2%

Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences

3.2%

The Community College of Baltimore County

3.2%
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Majors

Medical Technician

17.5%

Business

17.0%

Health Care Administration

8.8%

Computer Information Systems

5.8%

Nuclear And Industrial Radiologic Technologies

4.6%

Graphic Design

4.4%

Computer Science

4.1%

Medical Assisting Services

4.0%

Information Technology

3.4%

Photography

3.1%

Criminal Justice

3.1%

Psychology

3.1%

General Studies

3.0%

Military Technology

3.0%

Education

2.8%

Electrical Engineering

2.7%

Accounting

2.7%

Computer Networking

2.6%

Communication

2.3%

Fine Arts

2.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

32.1%

Other

25.8%

Associate

23.9%

Certificate

7.6%

Masters

7.5%

Diploma

2.5%

Doctorate

0.5%

License

0.2%
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Top Imaging Technologist Employers

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Imaging Technologist Videos

A Day in the Life - Radiological Technician

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