Radiologic Technologists and Technicians
29-2034.00

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.

Sample of reported job titles: Computed Tomography Technologist (CT Tech), Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist (DRT), Imaging Technologist (Imaging Tech), Mammographer, Radiographer, Radiologic Technologist (RT), Radiology Technician (Radiology Tech), Registered Radiologic Technologist (RT (R)), X-Ray Technician (X-Ray Tech), X-Ray Technologist (X-Ray Tech)

Occupation-Specific Information

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.

back to top

Technology Skills

Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

back to top

Occupational Requirements

Work 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.
  • Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • 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.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

back to top

Detailed Work Activities

back to top

Work Context

  • Contact With Others — 97% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections — 94% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone — 94% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 91% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity — 78% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 74% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 69% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 73% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 81% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 88% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 60% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Electronic Mail — 72% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Radiation — 69% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 58% responded “Very important results.”
  • Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — 63% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 44% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 42% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 46% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 47% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 51% responded “Every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 37% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 34% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Time Pressure — 37% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 53% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 36% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 27% responded “About half the time.”
  • Consequence of Error — 45% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 34% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Level of Competition — 40% responded “Highly competitive.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 29% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Letters and Memos — 29% responded “Never.”

back to top

Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education
Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience
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.
Job Training
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.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, desktop publishers, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters and simultaneous captioners, and medical assistants.
SVP Range
1-2 years of preparation (6.0 to < 7.0)

back to top

Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
State licenses
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

back to top

Worker Requirements

Skills

  • 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.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

back to top

Knowledge

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • 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.
  • Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

back to top

Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 73%
     
    responded: Associate’s degree required
  • 17%
     
    responded: Post-secondary certificate required
  • 11%
     
    responded: Bachelor’s degree required

back to top

Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • 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.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

back to top

Interests

Interest code: RSC
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Realistic — 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.
  • Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

back to top

Work Values

  • 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.

back to top

Work Styles

  • 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.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • 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.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

back to top

Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$29.50 hourly, $61,370 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
212,100 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Average (5% to 10%)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
17,400
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

back to top

Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

back to top

More Information

back to top

Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

back to top