How to Become a Radiology Technician
Have you ever considered what it would be like to take pictures of the unseen world? How about being a part of a healthcare team that assists doctors diagnose and treat patients? These are exactly the things that a radiology technician does every day. Consider the possibility to become a radiology technician today and join a growing community of healthcare professionals.
A radiology technician is someone that uses technical medical equipment to do their job. They must be able to communicate to patients, coworkers, physicians and radiology students which they train. Taking the next step to a career in the medical field is easier than you may think.
Education Requirements to Become a Radiology Technician
The road to become a radiology technician can start as early as high school. Taking courses in math, biology, computer science and communication will help you gain important skills that will carry over into this new career choice. A high school diploma is essential as there will be college level coursework needed to gain the proper credentials.
Some community colleges offer Associate degrees in radiology which will allow a person to obtain a job in this field. Most programs include classes in medical math, biology, physics, communication, first aid and radiology specialty courses. During the program there will be some patient experience that will help prepare students interact with future patients.
Some radiology technicians may choose to specialize in a field such as ultrasound, MRI or CT. These credentials can be obtained by either employer based training or attending a specialty school. Large hospitals may train radiology technicians in exchange to work for them for a specific timeframe.
Radiology Technician Job Description
The job description of a radiology technician is based mostly on the technical aspects of operating radiology equipment and interacting with patients. Nearly all technicians will work with computers as part of their job as healthcare information continues to enter the digital arena.
Here are some common job duties:
- Positioning patients for exams
- Operating radiology equipment
- Explaining technical procedures to others
- Transporting patients to the testing room
- Administrative duties such as scheduling, answering phones and charting
Employment opportunities are also available in mobile imaging. When a patient is unable to come to a testing facility, then a mobile radiology technician travels to their home to do the examination. This is one potential job opportunity for those who enjoy traveling as part of the regular job. Travel jobs also have the flexibility of setting your own schedule, adding to the benefits of this career.
Radiology Technician Salary and Career Path
A radiology technician can earn anywhere from $42,000 to $63,000 a year. Higher earnings are seen in large hospitals, overtime and on-call shifts. A private clinic may pay a little less than a major hospital, but the working hours are more "normal" during the day. Radiology technicians that specialize in a particular area will earn more than someone in general radiology. It is not uncommon for a radiology technician to work on an as needed basis at multiple facilities; this brings in more income overall over the course of the year.
If you are thinking of getting a job related to radiology, then consider a job as:
- Radiology Assistant
- Medical Assistant
- Medical Office Receptionist
- Certified Nursing Assistant
Making the decision to become a radiology technician is a smart one for anyone that enjoys a technical job and a career in medicine. This job is similar to a traditional photography career, with a medical spin. The first step is to find an educational program in your local area. For more information about the radiology technician profession visit
*Salary Information provided by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics