How Do You Become a Licensed Radiology Technician?
11 December 2009
The basic requirements to become a radiology technician are having a high school diploma or equivalent and a certification. Depending on specialty and field, the educational requirements may be anywhere from a one year program on the job, a two year, or associates degree or a four year Bachelor’s degree from a vocational technical institute, a college or a university. The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology is usually the path that most find accreditation with, but there are other options. Internships, on the job training and other such programs may also be used to become a licensed radiology technician. Many hospitals or diagnostic centers now have programs to not only train, but become certified and in some states where it is required, licensed to become a radiology technician.
Specialties usually involve more education and training. In order to learn to operate complex equipment, prepare patients for diagnostic scans and relay this information to the requesting physician, many radiology technicians undergo special training so that they can advance. The areas that most radiology technicians are trained in are magnetic resonance imaging, plain radiology, ultrasounds and computed tomography, but as new technologies come to the field, there are more options in this all the time. Many radiology technicians opt for a two to four year course, however others still yet may wish to go directly into an internship or on the job training- this can often help to make the time needed shorter, but usually this also involves prior education in allied health, such as a nursing degree.
Depending on the state that the radiology technician is employed in, they may or may not have continuing educational requirements. Most techs do in fact opt for higher learning, merely as a way to continue to grow in their career, and the usual course of certification is provided through ARRT, or American Registry of Radiological Technicians. This is not a requirement in all states, and students should check with the ARRT to see if this is in fact a factor in the state in which they plan to practice. The usual required coursework is Nuclear Medicine, Mammography, Cardiovascular-Interventional Radiology, and Diagnostic Medical Sonography. The prerequisites to becoming a radiology technician, or the general education portion of the certification can usually be obtained through online courses, though clinical education cannot.