Radiology Technologist / Technician Career Plan

Radiology technology requires a relatively short degree program, but you’ll want to do some planning to make yourself competitive for entry level and advanced positions. The following tips are designed for high school students and graduates seeking a new career.

  1. Participate in health career exploration through an Area Health Education Center, a local health facility, or your own high school. Some health facilities have well established programs for job shadowing and career education.

    Take several years of math. Take college prep science courses including chemistry, biology, and physics. Competitive grades and solid entrance exam scores are often required for admission to a professional program, even at the associate level.

  2. Research and apply to radiology programs. Accreditation by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiological Technology or an acceptable regional accrediting agency helps ensure that you will be eligible to sit for certifying exams. Your state may list other specification, for example, that the program be listed in the Health Professions Career and Education Directory, which is published by AMA (the American Medical Association)

  3. Select a program at the associate level or higher to make yourself competitive. Beginning in 2015, the prestigious certifying agency, ARRT, will make the associate degree the minimum requirement for certification. The ARRT has stated that general education is an important foundation in a technological field where knowledge grows at a rapid rate and workers must be continually learning. If you already hold a degree in another field, a certificate program is just fine. You are considered to have the necessary foundation.

  4. Complete coursework and required clinical hours. Think of your clinical hours as both learning experiences and potential job interviews.

  5. Pass the certification exam and complete state licensing requirements (if applicable).

  6. Use your professional contacts and online resources to find a position. The American Society of Radiologic Technologists has an online job bank. Members also have access to an online skills assessment to aid in long term career planning.

Personality Traits: When you’re first start out, you’ll be competing with many candidates who have similar training and certification. Employers look for candidates with good communication and customer service skills and a healthy dose of compassion.