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Become A X-Ray Technician

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Working As A X-Ray 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

  • $60,000

    Average Salary

What Does A X-Ray 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 X-Ray 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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X-Ray Technician Career Paths

X-Ray Technician
CT Technologist
Lead CT Technologist
7 Yearsyrs
Ultrasound Technologist Ob/Gyn Office Manager
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Technician Registered Nurse
Registered Nurse Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Team Leader Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Team Leader Service Manager
Service Director
9 Yearsyrs
CT Technologist Staff Technologist Radiologic Technician
Senior Radiologic Technologist
5 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Project Manager Program Director
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Manager Case Manager
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Manager Office Manager
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Instructor Research Associate
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Nuclear Medicine Technologist CT Technologist
Lead MRI Technologist
8 Yearsyrs
Nuclear Medicine Technologist Staff Technologist
Senior Staff Technologist
6 Yearsyrs
Application Specialist Senior Programmer Analyst Technical Manager
Chief Technologist
7 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Senior Technologist Chief Technologist
Imaging Services Director
11 Yearsyrs
Radiation Therapist Senior Radiation Therapist
Chief Radiation Therapist
7 Yearsyrs
Lead Radiologic Technologist Radiology Supervisor Radiology Manager
Director Of Radiology
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Radiologic Technologist Radiology Supervisor
Radiology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Mammography Technician Lead Radiologic Technologist
Radiology Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Nuclear Medicine Technologist Radiation Safety Officer
Supervisor Nuclear Medicine
7 Yearsyrs
Lead CT Technologist Radiology Manager
Manager Of Imaging
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a X-Ray Technician?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Staff Radiographer 6.4 years
X-Ray Technician 5.0 years
Staff Technologist 4.9 years
X-Ray Operator 2.8 years
PRN MRI Technician 2.1 years
Top Careers Before X-Ray Technician
Cashier 3.9%
Internship 3.3%
Technician 2.1%
Supervisor 2.0%
Manager 1.7%
Top Careers After X-Ray Technician
Supervisor 2.5%
Cashier 2.1%
Technician 2.0%
Manager 1.8%

Do you work as a X-Ray Technician?

Average Yearly Salary
$60,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$43,000
Min 10%
$60,000
Median 50%
$60,000
Median 50%
$60,000
Median 50%
$60,000
Median 50%
$60,000
Median 50%
$60,000
Median 50%
$60,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
General Healthcare Resources
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
4.8 years
How much does an X-Ray Technician make at top companies?
The national average salary for a X-Ray Technician in the United States is $60,966 per year or $29 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $43,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $86,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a X-Ray Technician?

Have you worked as a X-Ray Technician? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a X-Ray Technician.

Top Skills for A X-Ray Technician

  1. Radiology
  2. Patient Care
  3. X-Ray Equipment
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Adhere to radiology operational standards and organizational policies and guidelines governed by governmental and regulatory agencies.
  • Practiced patient care as well as performed contrast injections for CT, X-Ray and MRI procedures.
  • Provided X-Ray Technologist duties that consisted of administering X-Ray exams, maintaining X-Ray equipment and patient communication throughout the procedure.
  • Evaluated technical factors and regulated equipment factors, considering the physical distinctions in patients and created exposures essential for requested process.
  • Selected equipment for use in Fluoroscopy setup according to specifications of examination.

X-Ray Technician 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 13,238 X-Ray Technician 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 X-Ray Technician Resume

View Resume Examples

X-Ray Technician Demographics

Gender

Female

53.0%

Male

35.5%

Unknown

11.5%
Ethnicity

White

61.0%

Hispanic or Latino

16.7%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

7.3%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.9%

French

3.6%

Korean

2.6%

Portuguese

2.6%

Italian

2.3%

Chinese

2.3%

Mandarin

2.0%

Russian

2.0%

German

2.0%

Hindi

2.0%

Vietnamese

1.6%

Tagalog

1.6%

Cantonese

1.6%

Arabic

1.6%

Urdu

1.3%

Marathi

1.0%

Ukrainian

1.0%

Cheyenne

0.7%

Armenian

0.7%

Amharic

0.7%
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X-Ray Technician Education

Schools

Keiser University

11.8%

University of Phoenix

9.1%

Weber State University

7.8%

Midwestern State University

6.4%

Bergen Community College

4.9%

Delgado Community College

4.6%

St. Philip's College

4.3%

Sinclair Community College

4.1%

New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York

4.1%

Middlesex County College

4.1%

Houston Community College

4.0%

Baker College

4.0%

Ferris State University

4.0%

Gateway Community College

3.9%

Emory University

3.9%

University of South Alabama

3.9%

San Jacinto College District

3.9%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

3.9%

Adventist University of Health Sciences

3.9%

Community College of the Air Force

3.6%
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Majors

Medical Technician

40.9%

Nuclear And Industrial Radiologic Technologies

15.6%

Military Technology

7.2%

Business

5.8%

Medical Assisting Services

4.8%

Nursing

3.4%

Health Care Administration

3.4%

Health Sciences And Services

2.5%

Management

1.8%

General Studies

1.7%

Education

1.6%

Clinical Psychology

1.6%

Computer Science

1.5%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

1.5%

Biology

1.5%

Military Applied Sciences

1.3%

Liberal Arts

1.2%

Medicine

1.1%

Psychology

0.9%

Accounting

0.9%
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Degrees

Associate

38.3%

Other

22.9%

Bachelors

18.7%

Certificate

11.1%

Masters

5.0%

Diploma

2.8%

License

0.8%

Doctorate

0.5%
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Top X-Ray Technician Employers

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X-Ray Technician Videos

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A Day in the Life - Radiological Technician

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