What is a Radiology Technician

Radiology technician (also known as Radiologic Technologist or X-ray Technician) is a healthcare practitioner specialized in diagnostic imaging examination such as X-Ray or MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). They are responsible for obtaining and analyzing the radiologic images, thereby assisting the physician in diagnosis and treatment of the patient. For more on job description, please visit our radiology technician job description page.

Work Environment

Radiology technicians are employed indoors, in medical facilities affording excellent lighting and generally comfortable conditions. Some of these professionals work in mobile units that provide imaging services in multiple locations. A certain degree of strength and agility is needed to move and position patients, as well as heavy medical equipment. Technicians sometimes must stand for long periods of time. They risk exposure to radiation, but the danger is mitigated by wearing lead aprons and following other safety procedures. Radiation levels are monitored to ensure that medical staffers are not receiving excessive doses. Technicians also may come into contact with patients’ contagious diseases.

Work Schedule

This is typically a full-time job, with most technicians working daytime shifts. Others are needed at night and on weekends, while some are on call for emergencies.

Mean Annual Radiology Technician Salary

The mean annual radiology technician salary is $56,450. The mean salary is calculated by adding all the wages within the occupation and divid that value by the total number of employees. Lowest 10% of this occupation makes less than $37,060 and the top 10% makes over $77,160.

Radiology Technician Salary: Quick Summary

2012 Mean Salary$56,450 per year
$27.14 per hour
Top 10% Salary$77,160 per year
$37.10 per hour
Bottom 10% Salary$37,060 per year
$17.82 per hour
Number of Jobs, 2012194,790

Radiology Technician Job Outlook and Prospects

Radiology technician is expected to continue to grow as a career at an exponential rate. It is stated that an employment growth of as much as 21% is expected from 2012 to 2022. This means an increase in the amount of radiology technicians by 41,500. It is expected that position availability will increase as the demand increases for radiology technicians in all different areas, such as hospitals, doctor’s offices, and medical labs. With a growing population of elderly, demand for radiology technicians is surely to continue to rise and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics expectations is definitely expectable. It is believed that this will become one of the best career choices and will offer tremendous job security.

Radiology Technician Salary: Factors of Influence

Radiology technician salary is quite comfortable as they are well-paid for the services they provide, with the average annual salary resting at $56,450. Many positions are indeed centered around this number, but factors such as experience, industry, and geographic location can all contribute to improvements in radiology technician salary.

The lowest 10 percent of radiology technicians are paid well below the average, making $37,060. However, the highest 10 percent are conversely well above the average, making $77,160. A $20,000 difference from the mean suggests a large variety of potential salaries, with the above-mentioned factors being the primary contributors.

Education and Specialization

High school students considering careers in radiology, or any other medical profession, are advised to take classes in biology, chemistry, math, and physics. Successful completion of a certificate program in radiology technology is sufficient to qualify for some entry-level technician jobs. Colleges and universities, community colleges and technical schools, and some hospitals offer such programs. They also are available online.

Most students pursue two-year associate’s degrees, which make them more attractive to employers. These programs are commonly found at community colleges. Larger colleges and universities offer four-year bachelor’s degree programs in radiologic technology. Students take courses in anatomy, physiology, radiation protection, patient positioning, radiobiology, medical terminology, and patient care. They also gain clinical experience that includes assisting patients. Recommended degree programs are those accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).

In most states, a license is required to work as a radiology technician. This entails showing evidence of having received the appropriate education, and passing a written test. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) created the exam that is most commonly administered. The ARRT also provides professional certification for technicians. This involves passing another exam.

Radiology technicians who specialize in more than one area get some of the most desirable jobs. The field’s major specialties are commuted tomography (CT) scanning, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and mammography. Some technicians concentrate on obtaining images of the brain, heart, musculoskeletal system, or other parts of the body. A technician may earn a promotion to radiology technologist by obtaining continuing education and additional on-the-job training. A master’s degree in business or health administration can help qualify a professional for a supervisory or administrative position.


About 61 percent of radiology technicians are employed in hospitals. Their salaries are usually a bit lower than those of technicians who work in medical and diagnostic laboratories. However, hospitals tend to pay more than the other common employers of these practitioners (clinics, doctors’ offices, imaging service centers, and outpatient care facilities). Some technicians use their education and training to become teachers or sales representatives.


Southern states are projected to feature the largest increase in positions for radiology technicians in the next few years. The Northeast is expected to have the slowest job-growth rate. The places with the highest average salaries for technicians, according to a recent survey, were Massachusetts, $82,080; California, $70,590; Alaska, $67,980; the District of Columbia, $67,500; and Hawaii, $66,610. It should be pointed out that the cost of living is relatively high in some of these locations.

Radiology Technician Salary: Top 5

Top Paying Metropolitan AreasTop Paying StatesTop Paying IndustriesStates with Highest Employment Level
Napa, CA: $89,410Massachusetts: $82,080Colleges, Universities and Professional Schools: $66,810California: (14,820 jobs) $70,590
Oakland, CA: $88,590California: $70,590Scientific Research and Development Services: $61,570Texas: (12,790 jobs) $52,660
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA: $88,160Alaska: $67,980Specialty Hospitals: $61,410New York: (12,210 jobs) $64,290
Sumter, SC: $85,020District of Columbia: $67,500Insurance Carriers: $61,130Florida: (11,650 jobs) $51,380
San Jose, CA: $84,530Hawaii: $66,610Employment Services: $61,090Pennsylvania: (9,600 jobs) $52,970
Radiology Technician Salary State By State