To obtain an X-ray tech certification, students must complete certificate programs in radiologic technology and x-ray to prepare for state licensing exams and tests offered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Certificate programs are available in technical, allied or vocational schools and take one to two years to complete.
Certificate programs teach students the proper use of X-ray diagnostic equipment and how to interpret images. The X-ray radiation is harmful, so students are trained on safety measures to limit exposure to the patients as well as to themselves. An aspiring individual requires a high school diploma to apply for X-ray tech certification. Important subjects of study include chemistry, math, biology and physics, and some schools require a minimum score on these subjects. In some cases, students need to complete a course in medical assisting.
The courses in an X-ray tech certificate program includes film processing, chest and extremity radiography, radiographic positioning, radiation protection, and x-ray equipment and maintenance. Others include medical terminology, office procedures and medical ethics. Most states require a technician to earn certification from an accredited institution and pass a licensing exam. X-ray technicians can further their training by completing a bachelor's or associate degree in radiography to become radiologist assistants or to perform special procedures.