Radiologic Technologist Training
There are multiple paths to entry into this profession offered in hospitals
or colleges and universities. Most States require licensure, and requirements
Education and training. Formal training
programs in radiography lead to a certificate, an associate degree, or a
bachelor's degree. An associate degree is the most prevalent form of educational
attainment among radiologic technologists and technicians. Some may receive a
certificate. Certificate programs typically last around 21-24 months.
The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology accredits
formal training programs in radiography. The committee accredited 213 programs
resulting in a certificate, 397 programs resulting in an associate degree, and
35 resulting in a bachelor�s degree in 2009. The programs provide both classroom
and clinical instruction in anatomy and physiology, patient care procedures,
radiation physics, radiation protection, principles of imaging, medical
terminology, positioning of patients, medical ethics, radiobiology, and
Students interested in radiologic technology should take high school courses
in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology.
Licensure. Federal legislation protects
the public from the hazards of unnecessary exposure to medical and dental
radiation by ensuring that operators of radiologic equipment are properly
trained. However, it is up to each State to require licensure of radiologic
technologists. Most States require licensure for practicing radiologic
technologists. Licensing requirements vary by State; for specific requirements
contact your State�s health board.
Certification and other qualifications.
The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) offers voluntary
certification for radiologic technologists. In addition, a number of States use
ARRT-administered exams for State licensing purposes. To be eligible for
certification, technologists must graduate from an ARRT-approved accredited
program and pass an examination. Many employers prefer to hire certified
radiologic technologists. In order to maintain an ARRT certification, 24 hours
of continuing education must be completed every 2 years.
Radiologic technologists should be sensitive to patients' physical and
psychological needs. They must pay attention to detail, follow instructions, and
work as part of a team. In addition, operating complicated equipment requires
mechanical ability and manual dexterity.
Advancement. With experience and
additional training, staff technologists may become specialists, performing CT
scanning, MR, mammography, or bone densitometry. Technologists also may advance,
with additional education and certification, to become a radiologist assistant.
The ARRT offers specialty certification in many radiologic specialties as well
as a credentialing for radiologist assistants.
Experienced technologists also may be promoted to supervisor, chief
radiologic technologist, and, ultimately, department administrator or director.
Depending on the institution, courses or a master's degree in business or health
administration may be necessary for the director's position.
Some technologists progress by specializing in the occupation to become
instructors or directors in radiologic technology educational programs; others
take jobs as sales representatives or instructors with equipment manufacturers.
Source: Bureau of Labor
Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook
Handbook, 2010-11 Edition
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Radiologic Technologist Employment
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