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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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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.S.

Santa Fe College
Gainesville (0.0 Miles)

Bone Densitometry Certificate

Columbia Basin College
Pasco (0.0 Miles)

Radiography, A.A.S.

Fayetteville Technical Community College
Fayetteville (0.0 Miles)

Radiologic Technology, A.A.S.

Harper College
Palatine (0.0 Miles)

Diagnostic Radiologic Technology Certificate

Merced College
Merced (0.0 Miles)

Radiologic Technology: Magnetic Resonance Imaging Certificate

Parkland College
Champaign (0.0 Miles)
Brookdale Community College

Computed Tomography Program (CT Scan) Advanced Level Certificate

Brookdale Community College
Lincroft (0.0 Miles)

Computer Tomography Certificate

Galveston College
Galveston (0.0 Miles)

Computed Tomography Certificate

Arizona Western College
Yuma (0.0 Miles)

Radiologic Technologist, A.S.

Community College of Allegheny County
Pittsburgh (0.0 Miles)

Medical Radiography, A.A.S.

San Jacinto College District
Pasadena (0.0 Miles)

Radiologic Technology, A.A.S.

Anne Arundel Community College
Arnold (0.0 Miles)
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


Radiology Technologist/DI Educator

The Jordan Health Systems Inc
Plymouth ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month ago

Interventional Radiologic Technologist

University of Utah Medical Group
Salt Lake City ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month ago

CT Tech

Whidbey Island Public Hospital
Coupeville ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month ago

Float Radiologic Technologist Kansas City

Kansas City ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month ago

Radiographer, Radiology .8F

LifePoint Hospitals
Marquette ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month ago

Radiology Tech / PTR - Lake Pleasant $2500 Bonus

Nextcare, Inc.
Peoria ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month ago


Ahmc Healthcare Inc.
South El Monte ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month ago

Radiology Technologist

Novant Health
Bolivia ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month ago