Radiologic Technologist Job Description

Radiologic technologist prepares a patient for ex-ray imaging.  x-ray tech's perform many diagnostic imaging tasks.

Radiologic technologist prepares a patient for ex-ray imaging.  x-ray tech's perform many diagnostic imaging tasks.

Radiologic technologists perform diagnostic imaging examinations, such as x rays, on patients. MRI technologists operate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to create diagnostic images. CT technologists operate Computed Tomography (CT) imaging scanners.

Alternate titles: X-ray tech, CT technologist, MRI technologist, Radiologic Technologist (RT), Radiology Technologist.

Radiology Technologist Job Description:  RT or x-ray tech’s use imaging devices to produce images of the body and various body parts for diagnostic purposes.  They review and evaluate the images to ensure quality images are produced. 

They work with patients and explain the procedures to them.  They assist patients into and out of scanning equipment while ensuring a safe environment for them.

They use radiation safety protocols to ensure that they and patients are not over exposed to radiation. 

They take patient medical histories to ensure that patients meet the criteria for exams.  i.e. patients with metal in their bodies may not be able to undergo MRI exams.

They frequently work with computers and computerized scanning devices.  Older devices may still require image processing using photography development methods but are increasingly rare in today’s high tech environment. 

Radiological Technologists work as part of a multi-disciplinary team. They primarily work with doctors of radiology. 

Working Environment

Radiologic Technologists work in hospitals, clinics, and other patient care settings. These places are clean, well-lighted, and well ventilated. Technologists do a considerable amount of lifting and must be able to help disabled patients get on and off treatment tables. They spend most of their time on their feet. There is a small risk of being exposed to radiation.

They generally work 40 hours a week.  Many of them work in settings that require 24 hour coverage.  They may work variable days and hours as well as being on call. 

Education and Training: Radiation Therapist

Approximately 63% of all radiology technologists have an associate’s degree.  Education programs typically include both classroom training and clinical training. Coursework includes anatomy, pathology, patient care, radiation physics and protection, and image evaluation.

Most radiology technicians start out with the basic education and training and then obtain additional training or certifications in ultrasound, MRI, CT, and other imaging technologies. 

Licensing and Credentialing

Most states have some form of regulation for healthcare workers.  Allied healthcare workers who are technicians or technologists are usually registered.  Registration works similar to licensing as applicants usually have to pass a background check, verify educational requirements, and pass either a national or state examination.    

Certification as a Certified Radiology Technologist is achieved through attending the required educational course and passing a national exam given by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). 

Important Points

Entry level education for this career is usually an associate degree

Job growth is expected to be excellent through 2022.

This career can be physically demanding

Career Progression

Increases in salary can occur through obtaining additional certifications to operate more advanced imaging equipment.  Promotion and career advancement is possible.  This usually requires obtaining advanced degrees in radiologic sciences or a degree in healthcare administration or similar education pathways.

Resources for Radiation Therapists Job Description:

The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists  ARRT 1255 Northland Drive  St. Paul, MN 55120 (651) 687-0048

National Center for O*NET Development. 29-2034.00. O*NET OnLine. Retrieved June 29, 2014, from