Radiologic Technologists and Technicians

radiologist
$65,140 Median Wage (2022)
13,100 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
5.50% Projected growth (2022-2032)

Take x-rays and CAT scans or administer nonradioactive materials into patient's bloodstream for diagnostic or research purposes. Includes radiologic technologists and technicians who specialize in other scanning modalities.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
  • Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
  • Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Education, Training and Experience

Required Level of Education: Associate's Degree (or other 2-year degree)

Related Work Experience: Over 1 year, up to and including 2 years

On-Site or In-Plant Training: Over 1 month, up to and including 3 months

On-the-Job Training: Anything beyond short demonstration, up to and including 1 month

Detailed Work Activities

  • Check quality of diagnostic images.
  • Operate diagnostic imaging equipment.
  • Adjust settings or positions of medical equipment.
  • Prepare medical supplies or equipment for use.
  • Position patients for treatment or examination.
  • Process x-rays or other medical images.
  • Verify that medical activities or operations meet standards.
  • Monitor patient conditions during treatments, procedures, or activities.
  • Explain medical procedures or test results to patients or family members.
  • Analyze patient data to determine patient needs or treatment goals.
  • Enter patient or treatment data into computers.
  • Collect medical information from patients, family members, or other medical professionals.
  • Create advanced digital images of patients using computer imaging systems.
  • Maintain medical facility records.
  • Move patients to or from treatment areas.
  • Inform medical professionals regarding patient conditions and care.
  • Assist healthcare practitioners during examinations or treatments.
  • Prepare reports summarizing patient diagnostic or care activities.
  • Record patient medical histories.
  • Assist patients with hygiene or daily living activities.
  • Examine medical instruments or equipment to ensure proper operation.
  • Schedule patient procedures or appointments.
  • Perform clerical work in medical settings.
  • Train medical providers.
  • Prepare medications or medical solutions.
  • Supervise patient care personnel.
  • Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.
  • Manage healthcare operations.

Work Values

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Relationships

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Independence

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Tasks

  • Position imaging equipment and adjust controls to set exposure time and distance, according to specification of examination.
  • Position patient on examining table and set up and adjust equipment to obtain optimum view of specific body area as requested by physician.
  • Monitor patients' conditions and reactions, reporting abnormal signs to physician.
  • Explain procedures and observe patients to ensure safety and comfort during scan.
  • Use radiation safety measures and protection devices to comply with government regulations and to ensure safety of patients and staff.
  • Review and evaluate developed x-rays, video tape, or computer-generated information to determine if images are satisfactory for diagnostic purposes.
  • Determine patients' x-ray needs by reading requests or instructions from physicians.
  • Prepare contrast material, radiopharmaceuticals, or anesthetic or antispasmodic drugs under the direction of a radiologist.
  • Process exposed radiographs using film processors or computer generated methods.
  • Operate mobile x-ray equipment in operating room, emergency room, or at patient's bedside.
  • Make exposures necessary for the requested procedures, rejecting and repeating work that does not meet established standards.
  • Operate or oversee operation of radiologic or magnetic imaging equipment to produce images of the body for diagnostic purposes.
  • Operate digital picture archiving communications systems.
  • Perform procedures, such as linear tomography, mammography, sonograms, joint and cyst aspirations, routine contrast studies, routine fluoroscopy, or examinations of the head, trunk, or extremities under supervision of physician.
  • Provide assistance to physicians or other technologists in the performance of more complex procedures.
  • Record, process, and maintain patient data or treatment records and prepare reports.
  • Take thorough and accurate patient medical histories.
  • Key commands and data into computer to document and specify scan sequences, adjust transmitters and receivers, or photograph certain images.
  • Operate fluoroscope to aid physician to view and guide wire or catheter through blood vessels to area of interest.
  • Set up examination rooms, ensuring that all necessary equipment is ready.
  • Transport patients to or from exam rooms.
  • Assist with on-the-job training of new employees or students or provide input to supervisors regarding training performance.
  • Maintain a current file of examination protocols.
  • Perform general administrative tasks, such as answering phones, scheduling patient appointments, or pulling and filing films.
  • Complete quality control activities, monitor equipment operation, and report malfunctioning equipment to supervisor.
  • Assign duties to radiologic staff to maintain patient flows and achieve production goals.
  • Provide assistance in dressing or changing seriously ill, injured, or disabled patients.
  • Coordinate work with clerical personnel or other technologists and technicians.
  • Perform supervisory duties, such as developing departmental operating budget, coordinating purchases of supplies or equipment, or preparing work schedules.
  • Provide students or other technicians and technologists with suggestions of additional views, alternate positioning, or improved techniques to ensure the images produced are of the highest quality.

Work Styles

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Initiative

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Leadership

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Cooperation

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Concern for Others

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Social Orientation

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Self-Control

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Stress Tolerance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Integrity

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Independence

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Innovation

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Analytical Thinking

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.