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Become A Radiologic Technician

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Working As A Radiologic Technician

  • 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

  • $68,490

    Average Salary

What Does A Radiologic Technician 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 Radiologic Technician

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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Radiologic Technician jobs

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Radiologic Technician Demographics

Gender

  • Female

    66.2%
  • Male

    32.1%
  • Unknown

    1.7%

Ethnicity

  • White

    79.3%
  • Hispanic or Latino

    10.7%
  • Asian

    7.6%
  • Unknown

    1.8%
  • Black or African American

    0.6%
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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

    58.6%
  • Vietnamese

    5.1%
  • Hindi

    4.3%
  • French

    4.3%
  • Arabic

    3.7%
  • Portuguese

    3.5%
  • Urdu

    2.5%
  • Polish

    2.3%
  • Gujarati

    1.9%
  • Mandarin

    1.9%
  • Russian

    1.9%
  • German

    1.9%
  • Korean

    1.6%
  • Chinese

    1.6%
  • Cantonese

    1.2%
  • Armenian

    1.0%
  • Tagalog

    0.8%
  • Italian

    0.6%
  • Persian

    0.6%
  • Hebrew

    0.6%
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Real Radiologic Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Radiologic Technologists and Technicians Ut Medical Group, Inc. Memphis, TN Oct 26, 2010 $150,000
Radiologic Technologists Radnet, Inc. Rutherford, NJ Dec 15, 2011 $70,990
Radiologic Technologist Berger and Burrow Enterprises, Inc. Richmond, VA Sep 30, 2015 $68,640
Radiologic Technologists and Technicians* Berger and Burrow Enterprises, Inc. Richmond, VA Apr 04, 2014 $68,640
Radiologic Technologist Berger and Burrow Enterprises, Inc. Richmond, VA May 04, 2016 $68,640
Radiologic Technician Jacob Lake DDS Ltd. Chicago, IL Feb 27, 2015 $68,370
Radiologic Technician Western Janeda Orthopedics of New Jersey, LLC Ridgefield, NJ Jun 08, 2012 $66,685
Radiologic Technologist Maimonides Medical Center New York, NY Dec 14, 2009 $66,000
Radiologic Technologist Jordon Hospital, Inc. Plymouth, MA Jan 29, 2010 $64,551
Radiologic Technologist Jordon Hospital, Inc. Plymouth, MA Feb 04, 2010 $64,551
Radiologic Technician Associated Orthopedic Surgeons Castro Valley, CA Mar 24, 2009 $63,946
Radiologic Technologists Berkshire Medical Center, Inc. Pittsfield, MA Apr 03, 2008 $55,000
Radiologic Technologist Inmed Diagnostic Services of Sc LLC Florence, SC Oct 01, 2013 $54,638
Radiologic Technologist Inmed Diagnostic Services Florence, SC Oct 01, 2013 $54,638
Radiologic Technologist University Medical Center Lubbock, TX Mar 13, 2012 $54,325
Radiologic Technologist Inmed Diagnostic Services Florence, SC Sep 30, 2010 $54,095
Radiologic Technologist New Jersey Imaging Partners, Inc. Englewood Cliffs, NJ Sep 20, 2012 $53,352
Radiologic Technologist Aventura Hospital and Medical Center Aventura, FL Dec 09, 2009 $53,260
Radiologic Technologist Inmed Diagnostic Services of Sc LLC Florence, SC Oct 01, 2013 $52,551
Radiologic Technologists Shady Grove Radiological Consultants, P.A. Montgomery Village, MD Nov 06, 2009 $46,363
Radiologic Technologist University Medical Center Lubbock, TX Apr 04, 2008 $46,123
Radiologic Technologist St. Andrew's Hospital Bottineau, ND May 20, 2016 $45,977
Radiologic Technologist Moss Regional Hospital Lake Charles, LA Oct 01, 2010 $45,914
Radiologic Technologist W.O. Moss Regional Medical Center Lake Charles, LA Aug 09, 2013 $45,914
Radiologic Technologist W.O. Moss Regional Lake Charles, LA Aug 09, 2010 $45,914
Radiologic Technologist University Medical Center Lubbock, TX Feb 10, 2009 $45,538

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Top Skills for A Radiologic Technician

FluoroscopicProceduresDiagnosticRadiologyC-ArmPortableRadiographyRadiologicTechnologistQualityPatientCarePacsTraumaPatientsEmergencyRoomSurgeryCREKGRadiologyDepartmentDiagnosticRadiographicProceduresMammographyRadiationSafetyMeasuresHighQualityRadiographicExamsMRITomography

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Top Radiologic Technician Skills

  1. Fluoroscopic Procedures
  2. Diagnostic Radiology
  3. C-Arm
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assisted the radiologists with fluoroscopic procedures.
  • Performed diagnostic radiology, casting, splinting, and file room duties.
  • Provided C-Arm coverage for OR scheduled procedures.
  • General radiography, Level One trauma radiography, surgical radiography, portable radiography, and invasive radiography at ORMC.
  • Hired as full-time Radiologic Technologist with Assistant Supervisor duties on evening shifts.

Top Radiologic Technician Employers

Radiologic Technician Videos

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