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What Does it Take to Become an X-ray Technician?

An X-ray technician, also known as a radiographer or radiologic technologist, is an allied health professional whose main duty is taking image of human body through radiography to help with diagnosis and treatment of medical and pathological conditions. Perhaps, you are interested in becoming one and wish to know what it will take. Here are some pieces of information you will find useful in that regard.


X-ray Technician Requirements

It is required for an individual to undergo training to acquire relevant skills before becoming an X-ray technician. The required skills include ability to operate and maintain image equipment as well as work with patient database and medical software. You will need to complete a bachelor’s degree, associate’s degree or certificate in radiography to acquire these skills. The beauty of this profession is that you need not necessarily spend years in school before becoming an X-ray technician.


X-ray technician training are provided not only in four-year universities, but also in community and technical colleges. An associate’s degree program takes about 2 years to complete. Some certifications programs can last from just some months to 18 months. This training covers various aspects of the duties of an average X-ray technician, including steps to take to shield patients from excessive radiation, how to take accurate images, patient positioning, anatomy information and pathology information. It has to be noted that the duties and roles you can perform will often depend on the duration of your training. You are expected to sit for a certification examination after completing required training.

How to Select a School

In determining the best schools for X-ray technicians, there are some important factors you need to consider. Here are few of them.

Entry requirements – Schools usually have certain conditions that every student must satisfy before being admitted. Physics, mathematics and biology are required courses for entry in some schools. You may also be required to have prior experience in a radiology environment.

Accreditation – To be certified an X-ray technician, it is very essential that you undergo training through a program that is accredited by relevant program accrediting bodies. Accreditation is a sign of approval of a training program’s standard. You will not be allowed to sit for the necessary certification examination if your training program is not approved and it will be hard to get good jobs or any at all without certification.

Practical training – Theoretical knowledge is not sufficient for becoming an X-ray technician. Besides, practical is a required part of an ideal training program. You need to be sure the school you settle for can guarantee you hands-on laboratory experience. Also, ensure such a school has the modern laboratory tools an X-ray technician will be working with.

Certification and license

After your training, you are expected to pass a certification examination. You become a registered technologist after passing this exam. You can then apply for license to work. Requirements for licensing differ among states – this area is also where doing your program at an accredited school counts.

You need not spend years in schools to become an X-ray technician – you can become one in matter of months. However, it should be noted that the duration of your training program may inform what roles you are assigned and how much you earn. You can always work your way up as an X-ray technician.

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