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What is a Radiologic Technologist?

Radiologic technologists, sometimes called X-ray techs, radiology technicians, radiographers or rad techs, are professionals that are trained to assist and perform diagnostic imaging procedures such as X-rays, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and dynamic imaging, among others. These imaging procedures help rad techs create images of bones, tissues and even internal organs.

The images help physicians diagnose different ailments and figure out the necessary steps the patient should take for treatment. Radiologic techs can choose to practice expertise in different imaging techniques such as X-ray and computed tomography (CT) imaging as well as positron emission tomography (PET). Aside from these methods, they are also responsible for monitoring patient safety, interviewing patients, explaining procedures and assisting them throughout the process. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 250,700 radiology tech jobs in the United States and the profession is growing rapidly.

Is Radiology Tech School Harder Than Nursing School?

Comparing radiology tech school to nursing school is difficult because attending either school is a subjective choice based on your, academic skills, personality and personal choice. However, the complexity of both fields can be measured by their admission requirements, prerequisites, subjects you are required to take and other factors we would discuss below.

Both radiology tech and nursing are challenging courses. Admission requirements may vary depending on the university you will be enrolling in. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that radiologic technicians usually earn an associate’s or bachelor's degree to prepare for their careers. Similarly, nurses often have bachelor's degrees, but can enter the profession through an associate's degree or a training program.

Whether an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree for rad techs both typically include classroom study and clinical work. Subjects required to be taken usually include anatomy, pathology, patient care, physics and image evaluation. If you are a high school student interested in pursuing radiologic or MRI technology as a career, you can consider taking courses that are focused on Mathematics and Science like Anatomy, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. You might want to look for Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) accredited programs in radiography or American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT) accredited MRI since accredited programs are required for licensure in some states.

How Much Do Radiology Techs Make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, radiologic technologists had a median annual wage of $74,690 in 2020. The lowest 10 percent of rad techs earned less than $52,880, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $92,660.

How Do You Become a Radiology Tech?

Rad techs typically earn an associate's degree before entering the profession in radiologic technology. After getting their degree, the students become eligible to take the national examination for a therapeutic radiologic technology certificate. This exam is given by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). 

Requirements may vary depending on different states. For example, in California, radiology techs and technicians are required to have a certificate or permit to practice in the State of California. In order to do this, they must finish an educational program approved by the California Department of Public Health, Radiological Health Branch (RHB) and pass a California State examination or a national examination for certification. If you obtain California State certification, you can also apply for additional certificates given that you meet the educational requirements.

How You Can Find Radiology Tech Jobs

With the internet at the palm of your hand, it has never been easier to find job postings. We at HealthJob are ready to help you to the next step towards your career growth. We are an institution that aims to guide healthcare workers to navigate their careers by bridging the gap between employers with job openings in the medical field and aspiring healthcare workers. We understand how important your career choices are and have made an effort to help you make the right decisions. 

Browse our job listings now, as well as our articles targeted to keep you informed about the constantly evolving industry to stay on top of your career plans.