Radiologic Technologists and Technicians
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 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)
View report: Summary Details Custom Easy Read Veterans Español
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Review and evaluate developed x-rays, video tape, or computer-generated information to determine if images are satisfactory for diagnostic purposes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Take thorough and accurate patient medical histories.
- 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.
- Monitor patients’ conditions and reactions, reporting abnormal signs to physician.
- Provide assistance to physicians or other technologists in the performance of more complex procedures.
- 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 phones, scheduling patient appointments, or pulling and filing films.
- Assist with on-the-job training of new employees or students or provide input to supervisors regarding training performance.
- Prepare contrast material, radiopharmaceuticals, or anesthetic or antispasmodic drugs under the direction of a radiologist.
- Operate fluoroscope to aid physician to view and guide wire or catheter through blood vessels to area of interest.
- Assign duties to radiologic staff to maintain patient flows and achieve production goals.
- 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.
Find occupations related to multiple tasks
back to top
- Categorization or classification software — Diagnostic and procedural coding software
- Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software; Structured data entry software
- Information retrieval or search software — Information systems integration software
- Medical software — Medical condition coding software ; Medical procedure coding software; MEDITECH software ; Virtual reality computed tomography CT imaging software (see all 13 examples)
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
back to top
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
back to top
- 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.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
back to top
- 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).
- 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.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- 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).
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- 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.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without “giving out” or fatiguing.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- 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.
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- 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.
- Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
back to top
- 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.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- 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.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- 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.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- 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.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
back to top
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.
- Collect medical information from patients, family members, or other medical professionals.
- Enter patient or treatment data into computers.
- Create advanced digital images of patients using computer imaging systems.
- Maintain medical facility records.
- Assist healthcare practitioners during examinations or treatments.
- Inform medical professionals regarding patient conditions and care.
- Move patients to or from treatment areas.
- Prepare reports summarizing patient diagnostic or care activities.
- Record patient medical histories.
- Prepare medications or medical solutions.
- Assist patients with hygiene or daily living activities.
- Examine medical instruments or equipment to ensure proper operation.
- Perform clerical work in medical settings.
- Schedule patient procedures or appointments.
- Supervise patient care personnel.
- Train medical providers.
- Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.
- Manage healthcare operations.
Find occupations related to multiple detailed work activities
back to top
- Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
- Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
- Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
- Physical Proximity — To what extent does this job require the worker to perform job tasks in close physical proximity to other people?
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — How often does this job require exposure to disease/infections?
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — How much does this job require using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls?
- Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
- Deal With External Customers — How important is it to work with external customers or the public in this job?
- Frequency of Decision Making — How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?
- Exposed to Radiation — How often does this job require exposure to radiation?
- Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
- Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — How much does this job require wearing specialized protective or safety equipment such as breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suits, or radiation protection?
- Spend Time Standing — How much does this job require standing?
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — How frequently does the worker have to deal with unpleasant, angry, or discourteous individuals as part of the job requirements?
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the image or reputation or financial resources of your employer?
- Time Pressure — How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — How much responsibility is there for the health and safety of others in this job?
- Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — How important is repeating the same physical activities (e.g., key entry) or mental activities (e.g., checking entries in a ledger) over and over, without stopping, to performing this job?
- Coordinate or Lead Others — How important is it to coordinate or lead others in accomplishing work activities in this job?
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — How much does this job require making repetitive motions?
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — How much does this job require wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?
- Spend Time Walking and Running — How much does this job require walking and running?
- Consequence of Error — How serious would the result usually be if the worker made a mistake that was not readily correctable?
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — How much does this job require bending or twisting your body?
- Level of Competition — To what extent does this job require the worker to compete or to be aware of competitive pressures?
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — How often are there conflict situations the employee has to face in this job?
- Letters and Memos — How often does the job require written letters and memos?
back to top
|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, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
back to top
back to top
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
- 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.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- 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.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- 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.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- 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.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
back to top
- 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
back to top
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$29.76 hourly, $61,900 annual|
|Employment (2020)||212,100 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Average (5% to 10%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||17,400|
|Top industries (2020)||
Health Care and Social Assistance
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “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
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.
- American Heart Association
- American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography
- American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists
- American Society of Radiologic Technologists
- Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology
- Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Radiologic and MRI technologists
- Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography
- The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists
- The International Society for Clinical Densitometry
back to top