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Career profile Radiology Technician

Also known as Computed Tomography Technologist (CT Technologist), Mammographer, Radiographer, Radiological Technologist, Radiology Technician (Radiology Tech), Radiology Technologist, Registered Radiographer, X-Ray Technician (X-Ray Tech), X-Ray Technologist (X-Ray Tech)

Radiology Technician

Also known as Computed Tomography Technologist (CT Technologist), Mammographer, Radiographer

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Social
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$42,180 - $92,660 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading Comprehension
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Computers and Electronics
Core tasks
  • 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.
  • Perform supervisory duties, such as developing departmental operating budget, coordinating purchases of supplies or equipment, or preparing work schedules.
  • Coordinate work with clerical personnel or other technologists and technicians.
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What does a Radiology Technician do?

Radiology Technicians take x-rays and CAT scans or administer nonradioactive materials into patient's bloodstream for diagnostic or research purposes.

In addition, Radiology Technicians includes radiologic technologists and technicians who specialize in other scanning modalities.

What kind of tasks does a Radiology Technician perform regularly?

Radiology Technicians are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Review and evaluate developed x-rays, video tape, or computer-generated information to determine if images are satisfactory for diagnostic purposes.
  • Process exposed radiographs using film processors or computer generated methods.
  • Use radiation safety measures and protection devices to comply with government regulations and to ensure safety of patients and staff.
  • Operate or oversee operation of radiologic or magnetic imaging equipment to produce images of the body for diagnostic purposes.
  • Position patient on examining table and set up and adjust equipment to obtain optimum view of specific body area as requested by physician.
  • 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.
  • Take thorough and accurate patient medical histories.
  • Determine patients' x-ray needs by reading requests or instructions from physicians.
  • Key commands and data into computer to document and specify scan sequences, adjust transmitters and receivers, or photograph certain images.
  • Make exposures necessary for the requested procedures, rejecting and repeating work that does not meet established standards.
  • Set up examination rooms, ensuring that all necessary equipment is ready.
  • Operate digital picture archiving communications systems.
  • Transport patients to or from exam rooms.
  • Provide assistance to physicians or other technologists in the performance of more complex procedures.
  • Monitor patients' conditions and reactions, reporting abnormal signs to physician.
  • Operate mobile x-ray equipment in operating room, emergency room, or at patient's bedside.
  • Record, process, and maintain patient data or treatment records and prepare reports.
  • 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 in dressing or changing seriously ill, injured, or disabled patients.
  • Complete quality control activities, monitor equipment operation, and report malfunctioning equipment to supervisor.
  • Maintain a current file of examination protocols.
  • Perform general administrative tasks, such as answering telephones, scheduling appointments, and ordering supplies or equipment.
  • Assist with on-the-job training of new employees or students or provide input to supervisors regarding training performance.

The above responsibilities are specific to Radiology Technicians. More generally, Radiology Technicians are involved in several broader types of activities:

Assisting and Caring for Others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

What is a Radiology Technician salary?

The median salary for a Radiology Technician is $61,900, and the average salary is $64,840. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Radiology Technician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Radiology Technicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Radiology Technicians earn less than $42,180 per year, 25% earn less than $50,670, 75% earn less than $76,520, and 90% earn less than $92,660.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Radiology Technicians is expected to change by 8.6%, and there should be roughly 17,400 open positions for Radiology Technicians every year.

Median annual salary
$61,900
Typical salary range
$42,180 - $92,660
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
8.6%

What personality traits are common among Radiology Technicians?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Radiology Technician are usually higher in their Realistic and Social interests.

Radiology Technicians typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Radiology Technicians typically have moderate Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Radiology Technician tend to value Relationships, Support, and Independence.

Most importantly, Radiology Technicians strongly value 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.

Second, Radiology Technicians strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Radiology Technicians moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Radiology Technicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, concern for others, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Radiology Technicians, ranked by importance:

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
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.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

What education and training do Radiology Technicians need?

Radiology Technicians often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Radiology Technicians 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 this occupation.

Educational degrees among Radiology Technicians

  • 1.1% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 5.0% completed high school or secondary school
  • 16.1% completed some college coursework
  • 51.8% earned a Associate's degree
  • 22.3% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 3.0% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.8% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Radiology Technicians

Radiology Technicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, medicine and dentistry, or computers and electronics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Radiology Technicians might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

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.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
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.

Important Abilities needed by Radiology Technicians

Radiology Technicians must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Radiology Technicians need abilities such as oral comprehension, oral expression, and problem sensitivity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Radiology Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Critical Skills needed by Radiology Technicians

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Radiology Technicians frequently use skills like active listening, speaking, and reading comprehension to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Radiology Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.