Is a Radiology Tech a Good Career?

Considering a career in radiology? Here’s what you need to know about job outlook, salary, and more to decide if a radiology tech career is right for you.

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Job Description

Radiology techs are medical professionals who use imaging technology to help diagnose and treat patients. They typically work in hospitals or clinics, and their duties include preparing patients for imaging procedures, operating imaging equipment, and cleaning and maintenance of the equipment. Let’s take a closer look at what a radiology tech does and whether it is a good career.

What Does a Radiology Tech Do?

A radiology technologist is a trained medical professional who uses diagnostic imaging techniques, such as x-rays, to help treat patients. Radiology techs typically work in hospitals, diagnostic centers, and physicians’ offices. They may also be employed by mobile imaging services that travel to locations such as nursing homes.

Radiology techs are responsible for operating the equipment that produces the images (such as x-ray machines and computed tomography scanners), positioning patients correctly, and ensuring that the quality of the images is adequate for diagnosis. They also maintain records of examinations and administer contrast agents when necessary.

Some radiology techs specialize in a particular type of imaging, such as mammography or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Others may become certified in multiple modalities. In addition to completing a radiologic technology program, most states require licensure or certification. Many technologists also choose to become certified in specific modalities or procedures.

What is the Work Environment Like?

Radiologic technologists work in hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices, out-patient imaging centers and mobile units. Many full-time technologists work 40 hours a week, but they may occasionally have to work evenings, weekends or holidays. They also may be on call, which means they have to be available to come in to work at a moment’s notice.

Most radiologic technologists work in well-lit, ventilated rooms and stand for long periods of time. They sometimes have to lift and move disabled patients onto examination tables. They also may have to lift and position heavy equipment.

What are the Physical Demands of the Job?

Working as a radiologic technologist can be physically demanding. You’ll need to be able to:
-Stand for long periods of time
-Lift and move patients who are unable to walk
-Position patients for scanning
-Operate x-ray and scanning equipment

Education and Training

A radiologic technologist is a medical professional who uses imaging technologies to diagnose and treat patients. Radiology techs typically need an associate’s degree in radiologic technology. Some states also require licensure.

What Education is Needed to Become a Radiology Tech?

A radiologic technologist (rad tech for short) is a medical professional who uses imaging technology to help diagnose and treat patients. Rad techs are trained to operate X-ray machines, computed tomography (CT) scanners, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines, and other similar equipment.

Most rad tech programs take two years to complete, although some programs may take up to four years. Upon completion of a rad tech program, students must then pass a national examination administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Once a student has passed this exam, they are then eligible for state licensure.

The majority of rad tech programs are offered at the associate’s degree level, although some bachelor’s and master’s degree programs are also available. Many community colleges offer two-year associate’s degree programs in radiologic technology. These programs typically include classroom instruction as well as clinical training in actual hospital settings.

What Training is Needed to Become a Radiology Tech?

Radiologic technologists typically need an associate’s degree in radiologic technology. Some 4-year colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degree programs in radiologic technology, but employers generally do not require a bachelor’s degree for entry-level positions. Programs typically last about 2 years and include classroom, laboratory, and clinical work.

All states regulate the practice of radiologic technology and licensure is mandatory in most states. In general, licensure requires the completion of an accredited educational program and the passage of a state-administered exam. Some states require continuing education for license renewal. Registration with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) is widely recognized as voluntary evidence of professional competence.

Radiologic technologists must complete a continuing education requirement of 24 hours every 2 years to maintain their ARRT certification and registration.


Yes, a Radiology Tech is a good career. The median salary for a Radiology Tech is $60,070 per year. The job outlook for this career is expected to grow by 9% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

What is Certification and Why is it Important?

Radiology techs are health care professionals who use diagnostic imaging equipment to help doctors diagnose and treat injuries and diseases. Certification is not required in all states, but most employers prefer to hire certified radiologists, and some states may require certification for licensure. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) is the national certifying organization for radiology techs, and certification through the ARRT is generally recognized as the gold standard in the field.

There are many benefits to having certification through the ARRT. First, it demonstrates to potential employers that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to be a successful radiology tech. Secondly, it can help you advance in your career, as many employers give preference to certified candidates when making promotions or hiring for higher-level positions. Finally, certification can provide you with a sense of pride and accomplishment, knowing that you have met the rigorous standards set by the ARRT.

If you are thinking about becoming a radiology tech, or if you are already working in the field and interested in advancing your career, pursuing certification through the ARRT is a great option to consider.

How Do You Become Certified?

There are two ways to become a certified radiologic technologist: Completing an accredited radiography program and passing the certification exam, or completing a nontraditional route and passing the certification exam.

Eligibility requirements for the certification exam include completing an accredited program, or completing a minimum of 25 credit hours in radiography courses and holding a valid state license. Once you’ve met the eligibility requirements, you can register for the exam.

The cost of the exam is $200 for members of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) and $250 for non-members. The cost of certification renewal is $60 for ASRT members and $100 for non-members every four years.

Salary and Job Outlook

Radiology techs are in high demand due to the aging population. The job outlook is expected to grow 27% from 2010 to 2020, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Radiology techs can earn a median salary of $54,340 per year.

What is the Salary for a Radiology Tech?

The average salary for a Radiology Technician is $62,280 per year. Radiology Techs can expect to make the most money in California, where they earn an average salary of $70,810.

What is the Job Outlook for a Radiology Tech?

Currently, the job outlook for radiology techs is good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of radiologic technologists will grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2024, at a rate of 21 percent. The demand for diagnostic imaging services is expected to increase as the population ages and becomes more susceptible to chronic diseases such as cancer.

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