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What Does a Radiology Tech Do?

Radiology techs look inside the human body with only imaging equipment — no scalpel required. They are the health care professionals who perform diagnostic imaging procedures, such as X-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans. They often specialize in a certain modality, such as mammography or bone density scans. They can also specialize in the use of a certain machine, such as MRI technologists or technicians, who operate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners.

Radiology techs work closely with physicians. They typically work in hospitals or doctors’ offices. Their work hours may include nights, weekends and holidays. These health care specialists are in demand. Employment for radiology techs is expected to grow about 7% in the next decade, faster than the average for all occupations.

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Median Salary $
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A radiology tech consults with a doctor before scanning a patient
Medical imaging equipment evolves quickly, which means radiology techs often get the opportunity to learn new skills. (Credit: Tyler Olson/Shutterstock)
Duties + Responsibilities
  • Prepare patients for the procedure
  • Review and update patient charts and doctor’s notes
  • Prepare and administer the mixture that patients drink to create contrast in diagnostic images
  • Position patients to ensure clear images
  • Monitor patients during procedure
  • Practice "ALARA," an acronym for As Low as Reasonably Achievable, which refers to keeping the exposure to radiation as far below the dose limits as possible
  • Calibrate the equipment
  • Log and organize image results
  • Develop film and assist radiologists with the interpretation of results
  • Ensure the proper sterilization and maintenance of equipment
Education + Training

Radiology tech jobs require post-secondary education after high school, but there are several ways to achieve that goal. Some earn an associate degree at a community college. Others enroll in training programs that include classroom time and clinical work and lead to a certificate. A few obtain a bachelor’s degree. 

Radiology techs graduate from an accredited program and get a license, which is required in most states. Some states and employers require techs to pass a certification exam or obtain certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). To understand the rules in a particular state, consult the state’s health board.

Registered radiologic techs must complete 24 hours of continuing education every two years and be in good standing with the ARRT to renew their license. Continuing education can also open up new opportunities to explore other modalities such as mammogram, CT technology, DEXA and MRI. 

You May Be a Good Fit for This Position If You
  • Have good physical strength
  • Are detail-oriented
  • Enjoy working with complex equipment and technology
  • Have good interpersonal skills
  • Have empathy
  • Have strong math skills

Radiology Tech training in your area


Radiography, A.A.S.

Washtenaw Community College
Ann Arbor (0.0 Miles)

Radiologic Technology, A.A.S.

Kishwaukee College
Malta (0.0 Miles)

Radiography, A.A.S.

Prince George's Community College
Largo (0.0 Miles)

Computed Tomography Certificate

Wake Technical Community College
Raleigh (0.0 Miles)

Radiography (FSCJ Option), A.S.

Florida State College at Jacksonville
Jacksonville (0.0 Miles)
Triton College

Radiologic Technology, A.A.S.

Triton College
River Grove (0.0 Miles)

Computer Tomography Certificate

Galveston College
Galveston (0.0 Miles)

Radiologic Technology: Technical Studies, A. A. S.

Pierpont Community and Technical College
Fairmont (0.0 Miles)

Computed Tomography Certificate

Midlands Technical College
West Columbia (0.0 Miles)

Radiography, A.S.

Santa Fe College
Gainesville (0.0 Miles)

Computed Tomography (CT) Technology Certificate

Columbia Basin College
Pasco (0.0 Miles)

Radiologic Technology, A.S.

Harrisburg Area Community College
Harrisburg (0.0 Miles)
Meet Ambassador
Amy Ward
Amy Ward, radiology tech ambassador, at St. Augustine Imaging Center
Meet Ambassador
Amy Ward

Amy Ward didn’t even know she wanted to work in radiology technology. When her best friend had an interview, she went along to offer moral support — and found her career.

"She was trying to get into the training program. I just went for support," says Amy. "But I was the one who fell in love with the program!"

Her good deeds have continued to pay off over the years. "I have some patients who won’t even schedule an appointment if they know I won’t be here. That says a lot."

Amy says if you're compassionate and patient, this is a job well-worth considering.

Find Radiology Tech Jobs in Your Area


Radiologic Tech (Ashland Ortho)

Asante Health System
Ashland ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 8 months 1 week ago


Rockford ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 weeks 2 days ago

Radiologic Technologist

All-Stat Portable
Springfield ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 8 months 2 weeks ago

Mammo Technologist

Rochester General Health System
Fairport ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 weeks 3 days ago

Radiologic Technologist

All-Stat Portable
Joliet ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 8 months 2 weeks ago

Radiologic Technologist

Catholic Health Initiative
Burien ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 weeks 3 days ago

X-Ray Technologist (Per Diem) - Brooklyn

Bend Memorial Clinic
Brooklyn ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 8 months 4 weeks ago

CT Technologist

Catholic Health Initiative
Bardstown ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 weeks 3 days ago