Skip to Content
Logo Careeronestop
careeronestop
your source for career exploration, training & jobs
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.
A proud partner of the american job center network.

Occupation Profile

Learn details about any occupation including what you might do on the job, how much you might earn, and how much education or training you might need.

Get started by entering a keyword for a career, a job title, or a type of work in the box below. Then enter your location and click "Search". Or, click "List of Occupations" to select from a list of careers.

Radiologic Technologists
Show More

Select items to add to your view

Overview


Employment


Wages

Education





Job Details






More Info


= not available for this occupation
Description: what do they do?
Take x rays and CAT scans or administer nonradioactive materials into patient's blood stream for diagnostic purposes. Includes technologists who specialize in other scanning modalities.
Also known as:
Radiological Technologist, X-Ray Technologist (X-Ray Tech), Radiology Technologist, Computed Tomography Technologist (CT Technologist), Radiologic Technologist (RT), Staff Technologist, Radiographer, Mammography Technologist, Mammographer

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
00:00
00:00

    Transcript: Looking inside the human body without resorting to highly invasive surgery is the work of Radiologic Technologists and Technicians. They perform X-rays, CAT scans and other imaging examinations, to help doctors develop accurate diagnoses. The technician positions the patient to get the clearest possible image results, before activating their equipment. Helping patients feel calm and explaining the procedure is part of the job. For certain procedures, they administer non-radioactive materials into a patient’s bloodstream. Technicians also monitor the video display of the area being scanned, adjusting controls to improve picture quality. Technologists may also perform imaging examinations, but in addition, they have the skills to evaluate the quality of the image. They are responsible for handling infectious and radioactive materials, and ensuring that safety measures meet government regulations. They may oversee radiologic staff, assigning duties and supervising the work, and help the facility’s administration develop operating budgets and make new equipment purchases. Radiologic technologists and technicians work in hospitals, doctor’s offices or clinics and laboratories. Typically, an associate’s degree in the field is required, and in most states, they must also earn a license or professional certification to practice. A certification can strengthen employment prospects significantly, even if the state does not require it.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.

This occupation is:
  • Expected to grow much faster than average


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
Kentucky
4,130
2016 Employment
4,490
2026 Employment
9%
Percent change
260
Annual projected job openings
United States
205,200
2016 Employment
230,500
2026 Employment
12%
Percent change
13,600
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016, the number expected to be employed in 2026, and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2016-26.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Radiologic Technologists in Kentucky
LocationKentuckyUnited States
10%$35,770$39,840
25%$42,490$47,380
Median$50,530$58,440
75%$60,540$71,810
90%$71,250$84,110


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    Also note that in this update, 21 detailed occupations found within the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) were replaced with 10 new aggregations of those occupations; read more about these OES changes.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2017 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • Associate's degree
  • No work experience
  • No on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Check quality of diagnostic images.
  • Operate diagnostic imaging equipment.
  • Verify that medical activities or operations meet standards.
  • Adjust settings or positions of medical equipment.
  • Explain medical procedures or test results to patients or family members.
  • Monitor patient conditions during treatments, procedures, or activities.
  • Position patients for treatment or examination.
  • Enter patient or treatment data into computers.
  • Collect medical information from patients, family members, or other medical professionals.
  • Prepare medical supplies or equipment for use.
  • Inform medical professionals regarding patient conditions and care.
  • Administer medical substances for imaging or other procedures.
  • Prepare medications or medical solutions.
  • Record patient medical histories.
  • Prepare reports summarizing patient diagnostic or care activities.
  • Monitor video displays of medical equipment to ensure proper functioning.
  • Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.
  • Process x-rays or other medical images.
  • Assist patients with hygiene or daily living activities.
  • Measure the physical or physiological attributes of patients.
  • Supervise patient care personnel.
  • Maintain medical equipment or instruments.
  • Repair medical facility equipment.
  • Train medical providers.
  • Manage healthcare operations.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Reading Comprehension - Reading work-related information.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Understanding people's reactions.
  • Writing - Writing things for co-workers or customers.
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.
  • Written Expression - Communicating by writing.
  • Speech Clarity - Speaking clearly.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Inductive Reasoning - Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Speech Recognition - Recognizing spoken words.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Social - Occupations with Social interests frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. Most involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Review and evaluate developed x-rays, video tape, or computer-generated information to determine if images are satisfactory for diagnostic purposes.
  • Operate or oversee operation of radiologic or magnetic imaging equipment to produce images of the body for diagnostic purposes.
  • Use radiation safety measures and protection devices to comply with government regulations and to ensure safety of patients and staff.
  • Position imaging equipment and adjust controls to set exposure time and distance, according to specification of examination.
  • Explain procedures and observe patients to ensure safety and comfort during scan.
  • Position and immobilize patient on examining table.
  • Key commands and data into computer to document and specify scan sequences, adjust transmitters and receivers, or photograph certain images.
  • Take thorough and accurate patient medical histories.
  • Set up examination rooms, ensuring that all necessary equipment is ready.
  • Monitor patients' conditions and reactions, reporting abnormal signs to physician.
  • Prepare and administer oral or injected contrast media to patients.
  • Record, process, and maintain patient data or treatment records and prepare reports.
  • Monitor video display of area being scanned and adjust density or contrast to improve picture quality.
  • Coordinate work with clerical personnel or other technologists.
  • Remove and process film.
  • Provide assistance in dressing or changing seriously ill, injured, or disabled patients.
  • Operate fluoroscope to aid physician to view and guide wire or catheter through blood vessels to area of interest.
  • Collaborate with other medical team members, such as physicians or nurses, to conduct angiography or special vascular procedures.
  • Measure thickness of section to be radiographed, using instruments similar to measuring tapes.
  • Assign duties to radiologic staff to maintain patient flows and achieve production goals.
  • Perform scheduled maintenance or minor emergency repairs on radiographic equipment.
  • Demonstrate new equipment, procedures, or techniques to staff and provide technical assistance.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as developing departmental operating budget, coordinating purchases of supplies or equipment, or preparing work schedules.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.