Become a certified x-ray technician by completing a postsecondary educational program, obtaining certification, obtaining state licensure and finding employment. X-ray technicians take x-ray images of patients’ body parts for radiologists to examine.
The first step to becoming a certified x-ray technician is to gain a postsecondary degree through an institution accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. While there are x-ray technicians with bachelor’s degrees, an associate’s degree is the most common. X-ray technician training consists of both classroom and laboratory education, covering subjects such as anatomy, patient positioning and radiation protection.
After completing a training program, prospective x-ray technicians must then obtain certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Receiving certification requires candidates to pass an extensive test containing over 200 hundred multiple-choice questions. The ARRT also requires x-ray technicians to complete 24 continuing education credits or pass an updated examination every two years. This is intended to ensure technicians stay up to date on developments in x-ray technology and procedures.
Nearly all states require x-ray technicians to possess state licensure in addition to certification. Most states only require proof of ARRT certification to obtain a license, though some offer alternative licensing procedures, such as taking a state exam.
After obtaining certification and state licensure, x-ray technicians can search for employment. Most technicians find work at hospitals, doctor’s offices or imaging centers. Some technicians also work for agencies that send them to different locations to perform x-rays.