As a radiologic technician (or MRI technologist), you will work directly under a radiologist using imaging techniques such as basic x-ray, magnetic resonance imaging, mammography, fluoroscopy, and computed tomography.
Radiologic Technician Job Description
The daily responsibilities of a radiologic technician can include:
- Instructing and positioning patients for accurate imagery
- Keeping equipment in good working order
- Obtaining images for areas requested by the physician or radiologist
- Using radiation on the patient when necessary, managing work schedules
- Keeping patient records organized
- Assisting physicians and radiologists when needed
- Preventing radiation exposure from particular areas of the patient’s body
Education Required for Becoming a Radiologic Technician
At the very least, you will need to get an associate’s degree and these radiologic technology programs take about to two years to complete. However, some employers will only hire a radiography tech that has a bachelor’s degree. Programs usually consist of online, classroom, and clinical training. There are also certification programs and to consider after earning your degree. Certification can take anywhere from six months to a year to earn.
- Enroll in a certificate or associate degree program accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.
- Once you’ve completed the program, become certified through ARRT. This is an optional step, yet one preferred by most employers.
- Most states will require you to get your license, so you will need to do this before you can get a job working as a radiography (x-ray) technician.
- Get a job as an x-ray technician.
- Consider getting more certifications, which will increase your employment opportunities.
- Keep up with your continuing education requirements and renew your certification or license. Validity ranges 1-4 years depending on the state.
Radiologic Technician Salary & Job Outlook
The median annual wage for magnetic resonance imaging technologists was $73,410 in May 2019. The bottom 10% earned close to $51,150, and the top 10% earned nearly $101,580. Employment of radiologic technologists is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.
Radiologic technologists who graduate from accredited radiologic technology programs and earn multiple certifications will have the best job prospects.