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FAQ: The Radiology Technician Career

By Leah DiPlacido, Jun 10 '11

This FAQ section provides all the answers about the training to become a radiologic technician, sometimes called a radiographer.

Where can radiologic technician degrees be earned?

Becoming a radiographer requires attending a formal educational program. These training programs are offered at community colleges, universities, and hospitals.

How long do radiologic technician programs last?

The most common path to becoming a radiographer is a two-year associate's degree. A certificate program offered by certain hospitals is another option, and these programs generally take between 21 and 24 months. Another option is a bachelor's degree program, which takes about four years to complete.

What courses do radiology technician training programs offer?

Common courses include medical ethics, patient care procedures, anatomy and physiology, radiobiology, radiation protection, radiation physics, and medical terminology.

What types of companies employ radiology technicians?

Radiologic technicians work in a health care environment performing diagnostic imaging tests. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that 61 percent of radiographers were employed by hospitals in 2008. Other employers include private doctors offices, outpatient care centers, and diagnostic imaging centers.

What are the requirements for AART certification?

After earning a degree from an accredited training program, aspiring radiographers can earn a certification from the by passing a standardized exam. Renewal of the certification requires 24 hours of continuing education every two years.

What are the advantages of obtaining a radiologic technician certification?

Certification is available on a voluntary basis from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). One advantage of earning a certification is that employers often prefer to hire people with a certification. The certification also may support rapid career advancement.

What are the advantages of continuing education?

Continuing education keeps a radiologic technician abreast of advances in the field, keeps certification current, and makes an employee an attractive candidate for employment and advancement.

Do radiologic technicians need to be licensed?

The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists notes that about 2/3 of states currently require radiographer licenses. Each state, however, decides how to regulate their licensing process and rules.

What is the job outlook for radiology technicians?

The prospects for jobs in the radiography field are expected to be excellent. In the years between 2008 and 2018, the number of jobs in this field is expected to grow 17 percent. Radiologic technicians that have expertise in more than one type of diagnostic imaging should be in the most demand. The mean annual salary for a radiographer in 2009 was $54,180 per year.

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