What Do Radiologic Technologists and Technicians Do?
Radiologic technologists and technicians perform diagnostic imaging examinations. Radiologic technologists use imaging modalities such as computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and mammography, while radiologic technicians perform imaging examinations like x-rays.
Radiologic technologists perform more complex imaging procedures. When performing fluoroscopies, for example, radiologic technologists prepare a solution for the patient to drink, allowing the radiologist (a physician who interprets radiographs) to see and examine soft tissues in the body.
Some radiologic technologists specialize in computed tomography (CT), as CT technologists. CT scans produce a substantial amount of cross-sectional x-rays of an area of the body from which a 3-dimensional image is made. Radiologic technologists also can specialize in MRIs, as MRI technologists. MRI, like CT, produces multiple cross-sectional images to create a 3-dimensional image. Unlike CT and x-rays, MRI uses non-ionizing radio frequency to generate image contrast. Radiologic technologists might also specialize in mammography.
Radiologic technologists who perform imaging examinations are responsible for accurately positioning patients and ensuring that a quality image is produced. They work closely with radiologists, the physicians who interpret medical images to either diagnose or rule out disease or injury.
Radiologic technicians, sometimes referred to as radiographers, produce x-ray films (radiographs) of parts of the human body for use in diagnosing medical problems. They prepare patients for radiologic examinations and position patients so that the parts of the body can be appropriately radiographed. They also position radiographic equipment at the correct angle and height over the appropriate area of a patient’s body.
Radiologic technologists and technicians must follow physicians’ orders precisely and conform to regulations concerning the use of radiation to protect themselves, their patients, and their coworkers from unnecessary exposure.
In addition to preparing patients and operating equipment, radiologic technologists and technicians keep patient records and adjust and maintain equipment. They also may prepare work schedules, evaluate purchases of equipment, or manage a radiology department.
For more information about radiologic technologists, go to: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/radiologic-technologists.htm.
Where Do Radiologic Technologists and Technicians Work?
Most radiologic technologists and technicians work in hospitals, although increasing numbers work in physicians’ offices and diagnostic imaging centers.
What Do Radiologic Technologists and Technicians Earn?
According to the 2018 BLS, the average salary for full time radiologic technologists nationwide was $61,540, varying by specialty and geographic region. Average annual salary also varies greatly across New York State, depending on location. The NYSDOL reports that radiologic technologists in New York also earned an average annual salary of $69,780, (entry level-$50,470, experienced- $79,440). The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not yet publish employment and earnings data for radiologic technicians.
Supply and Demand
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2016 and 2026, the number of radiologic technologist jobs is expected to increase by 18.3% in New York and by 12.3% nationwide. The demand for health technologists and technicians, all other (the BLS category including radiologic technicians) in New York will increase by 27.8%, higher then the national rate of 19.7%.
As the baby-boom population grows older, there may be an increase in medical conditions, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, which require imaging as a tool for making diagnoses. Radiologic and MRI technologists will be needed to take the images. The aging of the population combined with increased availability and use of new and improved imaging technologies are expected to drive demand for radiologic technologists and technicians. An aging population is likely to have a higher incidence of illness and injury requiring diagnosis through imaging. In addition, diagnostic imaging is being used more and more to monitor the progress of disease and chronic illness treatment.
For projections of radiologic technologists by New York State labor regions, 2014-2024, click here.
Educational Program Requirements
Formal training programs in radiography lead to a certificate, an associate degree, or a bachelor’s degree. An associate degree is the most prevalent form of educational attainment among radiologic technologists and technicians.
Programs in radiography typically provide both clinical training and classroom instruction, with courses in anatomy and physiology, patient care procedures, radiation physics, radiation protection, principles of imaging, medical terminology, positioning of patients, medical ethics, radiobiology, and pathology.
Radiologic technologists may attend accredited programs in a variety of settings, including at hospitals, community colleges, and four-year colleges. The majority of radiologic technology education programs are two years in length.
The New York State Department of Health has a list of 2 year and 4 year Schools, Colleges, and Programs for radiologic technician training on their website: https://www.health.ny.gov/professionals/doctors/radiological/schlist2.htm.
New York Licensure Requirements
To be licensed in New York, radiologic technologists must successfully complete an accredited radiologic technology education program and pass the radiography examination administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (https://www.arrt.org). For more information on New York’s requirements, go to: https://www.health.ny.gov/professionals/doctors/radiological/.
Many colleges and some radiologic associations, including the ASRT Education and Research Foundation, offer scholarships or financial aid for individuals pursuing radiologic technology degrees.
Education Programs in New York (subject to change)
For a complete list of general radiologic technology programs in New York, including those taught through hospitals, please go to:
www.health.ny.gov/professionals/doctors/radiological/schlist2.htm and for more information about some radiologic programs in New York that may accept foreign-trained students, go to: www.health.ny.gov/professionals/doctors/radiological/forgrad.htm
New York Colleges with Radiologic Technology Education Programs
|Bronx Community College
2155 University Avenue
Bronx, NY 10453
|Broome Community College
907 Front Street
Binghamton, NY 13905
|Fulton-Montgomery Community College
2805 State Highway 67
Johnstown, NY 12095
(518) 762-FMCC (3522)
|Hostos Community College
500 Grand Concourse
Bronx, NY 10451
|Hudson Valley Community College
80 Vandenburgh Avenue
Troy, NY 12180
|LaGuardia Community College
31-10 Thomson Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101
|Monroe Community College
1000 East Henrietta Road
Rochester, NY 14623
|Nassau Community College
Department of Allied Health Sciences
One Education Drive
Garden City, NY 11530
|New York City College of Technology
300 Jay Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
|Niagara County Community College
3111 Saunders Settlement Road
Sanborn, NY 14132
|North Country Community College
23 Santanoni Avenue
Saranac Lake, NY 12983
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940
|St. John’s University
College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
8000 Utopia Parkway
Queens, NY 11439
(718) 990-8419 or (718) 990-6275
360 Choate Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14220
(716) 827-2443 or (716) 826-1200
|Westchester Community College
75 Grasslands Road
Valhalla, NY 10595
|Alfred State College
10 Upper College Dr
Alfred, NY 14802
|Long Island University
C.W. Post Campus
720 Northern Boulevard
Brookville, NY 11548-1300
|Upstate Medical University
State University of New York
3416 University Hospital
750 E. Adams Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
171 White Plains Road
Bronxville, NY 10708
|Hunter Business School
3601 Hempstead Tpke
Levittown, NY 11756
|Mohawk Valley Community College
1101 Sherman Drive
Utica, NY 13501
Additional Web Links
For more information about radiologic technologists and technicians go to:
The American Society of Radiologic Technologists at: https://www.asrt.org:/
The New York State Radiological Society: http://www.nysrs.org/