Radiologic Technician

Radiologic technicians work with radiologists to determine if other scans or images need to be taken.

Radiologic technicians work with radiologists to determine if other scans or images need to be taken.

How do you know if a bone is broken? Unless its sticking out of your skin, it can be hard to tell for sure. We use x-ray machines to view bones, among other things, and determine if a fracture or break has occurred. While a radiologist will read and interpret the x-ray for you, a radiologic technician actually takes the image.

Fast Facts

Minimum Degree Required: Certificate Program

Top Skills: Following Procedures, Attention to Detail, Comfortable with Computers

Average Starting Salary: $40,000/year

Job Description

Radiologic technicians use x-ray machines and other diagnostic imaging equipment to diagnose injuries or diseases. A technician might specialize in the operation of one or more of the following machines:

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Computed Tomography (CT)
  • X-ray
  • Mammography

Radiologic technicians are responsible for prepping the patient, positioning them correctly, and protecting them from unnecessary radiation, if necessary. The technician then takes a set of images, checks them for clarity, and repeats the process if necessary.


Radiologic Technicians may have a certificate, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree in radiologic imaging. Associate’s degrees are the most typical, and they involve two years of combine class room and clinical study. At the end of the program, students know how to operate imaging equipment, read images for clarity, protect themselves and the patient from harmful radiation, and maintain accurate records.

In high school, students interested in radiation technology should take available courses in biology and computer science.


Most states require that radiologic technologists graduate from an accredited program and pass a certification exam from either the state or The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Check your state’s health board for specific requirements.

Job Outlook: Excellent

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that radiologic technician positions will grow by 28 percent between 2010 and 2020. The median salary for a full time technician was $54,340 as of May 2010.

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