Radiologic Technologist Job Description

Radiologic technologists are medical professionals who help diagnose illnesses and injuries by performing X-ray and CT imaging examinations. They may also administer radiation therapy treatments. Also known as radiographers, radiologic technologists are employed in medical facilities that include hospitals, clinics, physician offices, and outpatient centers. Candidates who wish to enter this field must be friendly, compassionate, detail oriented, and technically inclined. It is also important to have thorough knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, which is critical for producing accurate X-rays for ordering physicians. Because they often work evenings, weekends, and holidays, and may be called in for emergency situations, radiologic technologists must be flexible when it comes to scheduling.


Radiologic Technologist Duties and Responsibilities

Radiologic technologists may choose to specialize in areas such as sonography, mammography, and bone density. Specialization in one or more of these areas may result in a variation in job responsibilities, but there are core tasks that apply to all radiologic technologists. A list of core tasks common to this position includes:

Instruct Patients

To ensure patient safety and comfort prior to and during procedures, radiologic technologists provide instructions on the processes involved with X-rays and CT scans.

Maintain Equipment

For imaging equipment to function properly and safely, it must be maintained, tested, and updated and upgraded as necessary. It is the radiologic technologist’s responsibility to ensure the equipment is maintained according to standards.

Analyze Images

Because quality images are essential for making accurate diagnoses, they review the images taken to ensure they’re effective for diagnosis.

Produce Images

Radiologic technologists use radiologic and MRI imaging equipment to take X-rays that are used to determine whether a patient has an illness or injury.

Prep Patients for Imaging

Correctly positioning patients on the examination table is critical to producing satisfactory images that meet the ordering physician’s needs.


Radiologic Technologist Skills and Qualifications

In addition to a keen eye and warm bedside manner, employers prefer radiologic technologists who possess the following skills:

  • Reading comprehension – radiologic technologists must be able to understand and follow physician instructions exactly as they are written
  • Mechanical aptitude – because they work with complex machines to produce the requested images, radiologic technologists must be skilled at operating, maintaining, and troubleshooting these machines
  • Interpersonal skills – people skills are required to soothe and calm frightened and anxious patients and to effectively communicate with physicians, nurses, and patients
  • Analytical thinking – radiologic technologists use analytical thought when reviewing the quality of images taken and when writing reports for ordering physicians
  • Decision-making – they must decide the best method and position necessary to get a high-quality image; they also judge when an image must be retaken


Radiologic Technologist Education and Training

An associate’s degree in radiology is the minimum education requirement for radiologic technologists, but a bachelor’s degree is preferred by most employers. American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification and two or more years of experience are highly valued by employing facilities.


Radiologic Technologist Salary and Outlook

The lowest 10 percent of radiologic technologists earn $40,000 annually, while the highest 10 percent make over $84,000 a year. The median wage for this job is $58,000. Location is the biggest factor affecting a technologist’s pay; years of experience are the second-biggest factor.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ projected growth rate for radiologic technologists through 2026 is 12 percent, a faster-than-average rate. Technologists with multiple certifications will have the best job prospects.


Helpful Resources

If a future as a radiologic technologist interests you, check out the list of additional resources provided below:

American Society of Radiologic Technologists – ASRT is a professional association for people who work in medical imaging and radiation therapy. ASRT provides education, advocacy, research, and innovation activities, and members have access to continuing education credit opportunities, peer-reviewed journals, and a member magazine

Radiologic Technology at a Glance – this text is a valuable tool for students preparing for the ARRT exam. Imaging professionals will appreciate its in-depth explanations and clarifications of concepts and theories pertinent in the field. Every chapter contains learning objectives, concept overviews, relevant terminology, formulas, and imaging practice. Illustrations, tables, and practice exercises are also included to help reinforce information

Torres’ Patient Care in Imaging Technology – authors Andrea Guillen Dutton and TerriAnn Ryan bridge the gap between classroom learning and clinical practice. Current trends and advances in the field of imaging technology are covered, and readers are provided with the resources they need to become skilled, effective radiologic technologists. This text is helpful for students preparing for ARRT and ASRT certifications as it is aligned with the curriculum standards for these certification exams


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