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Become An Imaging Technologist

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Working As An Imaging Technologist

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $55,916

    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 Jobs

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Imaging Technologist Career Paths

Imaging Technologist
Technician Case Manager Clinical Manager
Clinical Operations Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Nuclear Medicine Technologist Registered Nurse Emergency Department Registered Nurse
Department Director
7 Yearsyrs
Ultrasound Technologist PRN Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Director Of Nuclear Medicine
8 Yearsyrs
MRI Technologist Radiology Supervisor Radiology Manager
Director Of Radiology
11 Yearsyrs
Nuclear Medicine Technologist Imaging Services Director Service Director
Director Of Support Services
10 Yearsyrs
MRI Technologist Application Specialist Senior Project Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Information Technology Director Director Of Information Management
Health Information Management Director
7 Yearsyrs
Mammography Technician CT Technologist Chief Technologist
Imaging Services Director
10 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Office Manager Accountant
Management Accounts Manager
5 Yearsyrs
CT Technologist Staff Technologist Radiologic Technician
Manager Of Imaging
9 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Instructor Assistant Professor
Medical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Clinical Coordinator Clinical Consultant Medical Science Liaison
Medical Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Technician Analyst Medical Coder
Medical Office Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Specialist Dispatcher Paramedic
Medical Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Ultrasound Technologist Program Director Clinical Director
Outpatient Services Director
10 Yearsyrs
Specialist Customer Care Representative Patient Access Representative
Patient Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
CT Technologist Radiology Supervisor
Radiology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Technician Phlebotomist Radiologic Technician
Radiology Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Engineer Technical Manager
Technical Operations Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Imaging Technologist?

Imaging Technologist Demographics

Gender

Female

51.0%

Male

47.0%

Unknown

1.9%
Ethnicity

White

62.3%

Hispanic or Latino

14.5%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

7.8%

Unknown

3.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

49.3%

Chinese

7.0%

Mandarin

7.0%

French

5.6%

Vietnamese

2.8%

German

2.8%

Marathi

2.8%

Carrier

2.8%

Hindi

2.8%

Tagalog

2.8%

Russian

2.8%

Swedish

1.4%

Gujarati

1.4%

Albanian

1.4%

Cantonese

1.4%

Japanese

1.4%

Malayalam

1.4%

Urdu

1.4%

Cheyenne

1.4%
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Imaging Technologist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

14.2%

University of Central Oklahoma

6.7%

Community College of the Air Force

6.7%

University of Nevada - Las Vegas

6.0%

Houston Community College

6.0%

Community College of Philadelphia

5.2%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

4.5%

University of Maryland - University College

4.5%

The Community College of Baltimore County

4.5%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.5%

Columbus State Community College

3.7%

J Sargeant Reynolds Community College

3.7%

Arizona State University

3.7%

Columbia College Chicago

3.7%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.7%

Texas A&M University

3.7%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

3.7%

Amarillo College

3.7%

Strayer University

3.7%

Kaplan University

3.7%
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Majors

Medical Technician

16.2%

Business

15.5%

Health Care Administration

7.8%

Computer Information Systems

5.8%

Nuclear And Industrial Radiologic Technologies

5.6%

Graphic Design

4.7%

Computer Science

4.2%

Photography

4.0%

Medical Assisting Services

4.0%

Criminal Justice

3.5%

Education

3.4%

Military Technology

3.2%

Information Technology

3.2%

Electrical Engineering

3.0%

Computer Networking

3.0%

Accounting

3.0%

General Studies

2.8%

Psychology

2.7%

Communication

2.5%

Nursing

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

31.8%

Other

27.8%

Associate

22.5%

Certificate

7.8%

Masters

7.6%

Diploma

2.0%

Doctorate

0.3%

License

0.1%
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Top Skills for An Imaging Technologist

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  1. Fluoroscopic Procedures
  2. Legal Medical Record
  3. Patient Care
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Prepare contrast materials that are used in CT exams and perform X-ray imaging, portable radiography and fluoroscopic procedures.
  • Cloud Hospital's legal medical record
  • Assisted patient care representatives in verifying insurance information of patients.
  • Worked closely with radiology staff and radiologists to consistently produce high quality diagnostic examinations.
  • Maintained data entry in document imaging software.

How Would You Rate Working As an Imaging Technologist?

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Top Imaging Technologist Employers

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Jobs From Top Imaging Technologist Employers

Imaging Technologist Videos

A Day in the Life - Radiological Technician

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