How To Become An Xray Tech

Are you interested in a career in healthcare that allows you to work closely How To Become An Xray Tech with patients and technology? Becoming an X-ray technician, also known as a radiologic technologist, might be the perfect path for you. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about how to become an X-ray tech, from the education and training required to the job outlook and salary expectations.

What Does an X-Ray Tech Do?

X-ray technicians play a crucial role in the healthcare field performing diagnostic imaging exams on patients. These exams help doctors diagnose and treat various medical conditions, from broken bones to cancer. X-ray techs operate X-ray machines, position patients correctly for imaging procedures, and ensure that images are clear and accurate for interpretation radiologists and other healthcare providers.

Education and Training Requirements

To become an X-ray tech, you’ll need to complete a formal education program in radiologic technology. These programs are typically offered community colleges, vocational schools, and hospitals and can take anywhere from one to four years to complete, depending on the level of certification you’re seeking.

Most programs include a combination of classroom instruction and clinical training, where you’ll gain hands-on experience working with patients and X-ray equipment. You’ll learn about anatomy, patient care, radiation safety, and image evaluation, among other topics.

After completing your education program, you’ll need to become certified How To Become An Xray Tech or licensed in your state. Certification requirements vary state but generally involve passing a national certification exam administered the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) or a similar organization.

Job Outlook and Salary Expectations

The job outlook for X-ray technicians is strong, with employment expected to grow faster than average in the coming years. As the population ages and the demand for diagnostic imaging increases, there will be a growing need for skilled X-ray techs to perform these procedures.

In terms of salary, the median annual wage for radiologic technologists was $63,710 in May 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, salaries can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and level of certification.

Advancement Opportunities

Once you become an X-ray tech, there are several paths for advancement within the field. You may choose to specialize in a specific area of radiologic technology, such as mammography or computed tomography (CT). You could also pursue further education and training to become a radiologist assistant or a radiologic technologist specializing in nuclear medicine or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Specializations in Radiologic Technology

Radiologic technology offers several specialized areas that X-ray How To Become An Xray Tech techs can pursue. One popular specialization is mammography, where technicians perform mammograms to detect breast cancer. Another option is CT scanning, where technicians operate CT scanners to create detailed cross-sectional images of the body. Other specializations include cardiovascular-interventional radiography, nuclear medicine technology, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Continuing Education Requirements

To maintain certification, X-ray techs must complete a certain number of continuing education credits every two years. These credits help ensure that technicians stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in radiologic technology and maintain their skills. Continuing education can be completed through online courses, conferences, workshops, and other educational activities.

Work Environment

X-ray techs typically work in hospitals, clinics, imaging centers, and other healthcare facilities. They often work full time, including evenings, weekends, and holidays. The job can be physically demanding, as technicians may need to lift or move patients who are unable to do so themselves. However, the work can also be highly rewarding, as X-ray techs play a crucial role in helping patients receive the care they need.

Job Outlook in Different States

The job outlook for X-ray techs can vary depending on the state. Some states may have a higher demand for radiologic technologists due to population growth or a higher prevalence of certain medical conditions. It’s a good idea to research the job market in your area and consider relocating to a state with better job prospects if necessary.


Becoming an X-ray tech can be a rewarding career choice, offering the opportunity to work in a fast-paced healthcare environment and make a difference in patients’ lives. By completing the necessary education and training and obtaining the required certification, you can embark on a fulfilling career as an X-ray technician.



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