How Long Does It Take To Become an X-ray Tech?

How long does it take to become an x-ray tech? In this post, you will find out.

X-ray technicians must invest time in their education and training since they use intricate mechanical and medical skills to operate X-ray equipment. 

There are many ways to become a skilled X-ray technician, but they all require time and effort. 

Planning your career as an X-ray tech involves knowing what credentials you need and how to obtain them. 

This article examines the training requirements for X-ray technologists, how long it takes to become an X-ray tech, and provides answers to some frequently asked questions.

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What is an Xray Tech School Like?

Remember that an x-ray technician receives extensive training in radiography, body image capture, and providing useful information for diagnosis. 

The job done by those people is significant. For instance, their information can be successfully applied to heal illnesses and fix damaged bones. 

The x-ray school also teaches its students how to interact with patients. They explain to them how the x-ray machine operations can reassure them.

Most x-ray school programs will educate students on patient care, anatomy, medical terminology, physiology, pathology, uses of radiology, and equipment for shielding against excessive radiation. 

Any x-ray school’s instructors also insist on teaching their pupils about imaging principles, how to place patients for different methods, and medical ethics. 

An x-ray school could require one to four years of study, depending on the program and level of skill the trainee chooses.

Is Attending an X-ray Tech School Worth It?

Definitely. This may be the job for you if you appreciate providing customer service in a medical setting and like assisting those who are ill and in need. 

If you appreciate working with cutting-edge technology and are dedicated to learning anatomy, physiology, and physics, this might be your career. It is a sought-after position that pays rather well. 

There are prospects for advancement into management and progression across modalities (start with x-ray, then CT, Mr, etc.).

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What Schooling Do You Need to Become an X-ray Tech?

Completing a radiologic technology degree program and obtaining a license in the state where you intend to work are prerequisites for becoming an X-ray technician. The steps to becoming an X-ray technician are as follows: 

1. Begin early 

There are a few measures you may take to get ready for your profession as an X-ray technician if you are a high school student thinking about it. 

First, taking mathematics and natural sciences courses can help you prepare for college-level work in these fields. 

For instance, focusing on biology and chemistry classes enables you to build a foundation of knowledge on these subjects that may be useful throughout your college career. Your communication abilities may improve after taking English classes.

2. Enroll in a course on medical imaging 

Think about your alternatives for enrolling in a medical imaging degree program after completing your high school studies. To be eligible for employment, X-ray technicians must possess a two-year degree in radiologic technology. 

Many students discover radiologic technology courses provided by community colleges or vocational schools. These courses frequently include a time of classroom instruction in addition to opportunities for hands-on experience. 

Students studying radiologic technology may finish the following courses:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Biology and Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Radiology theory
  • Patient positioning
  • Patient safety

Some students could prefer a four-year bachelor’s degree program in medical imaging. 

Students with a bachelor’s degree may be eligible to work as X-ray technicians or in a closely related position, such as a sonographer, radiologic technologist, or ultrasound technician. 

Despite taking longer to complete than an associate program, these degrees can increase your employment prospects in medical imaging.

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3. Obtain a license 

Research the X-ray technician licensure requirements in the state where you intend to work once you have completed your study. 

States may have different standards for X-ray technician licensing, but candidates must pass an exam in most cases. 

When a certain amount of time has passed after passing the exam, technicians might need to renew their licenses. 

The requirements for renewal frequently include providing proof of ongoing education, which may entail attending lectures, doing additional coursework, or staying current on industry-related legislative changes and research findings.

How Long Does It Take To Become a Licensed X-ray Tech?

Depending on the kind of education program you select, being an X-ray technician can take one to two years. 

While most certificate programs for X-ray technologists last 14 months, some provide an accelerated pathway that lets you finish the program earlier. 

More intensive degree programs for X-ray techs normally last for two years. 

Some schools provide part-time night classes that spread the course material over a longer period, making it simpler to balance employment and family responsibilities while pursuing an X-ray technology degree. 

If you currently hold a college degree, you might be able to transfer some of your credits to an X-ray technologist school, which would allow you to finish the remaining coursework in a short period.

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Licensed X-ray Tech?

Typically, a certificate in radiologic technology or radiography costs between $6,000 and $20,000 and takes 18 to 24 months to finish. 

For instance, Mercy Medical Center in Mason City, Iowa, charges $7,600 for a two-year certificate program in radiologic technology that covers tuition, books, and fees. 

Students may spend up to 40 hours per week in the classroom and clinic during the two-year program, which runs during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. 

A two-year radiography certificate program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, costs $12,700 for tuition alone. Although some institutions offer a certificate program, hospitals and medical facilities are more likely to do so. 

A two-year associate’s program in radiography can cost between $4,000 and $30,000.

In Asheville, North Carolina, for instance, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College charges $4,500 in tuition (for four semesters) plus $3,000 in extra costs for books, uniforms, and certifications, for a total of $7,500 over two years. 

The associate’s degree in radiography costs $10,000 at Kaiser Permanente[4] in Richmond, California, not including additional fees. 

An associate’s degree in imaging sciences is available from Indianapolis, Indiana’s Ivy Tech Community College, for a total cost of $7,000 plus an estimated $1,000 in books and fees. 

The three types of approved radiography programs are most frequently offered as associate’s degrees at state universities and community colleges.

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Salary and Job Outlook for Xray Tech after Study

The middle 50% of radiology technologists made between $42,180 and $92,660 per year in 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Most radiology techs work at hospitals and doctor’s offices specializing in medicine and surgery. 

According to the BLS, employment prospects for radiology technologists were predicted to grow between 2020 and 2030 at a rate of about 9%, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. 

The projected growth was attributed to our aging population and federal legislation increasing access to health insurance.

According to the 2019 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for radiologic technologists is $62,280. $101,580 was the highest reported income, and $51,150 was the lowest. 

If you possess unique qualifications or are qualified in several radiologic test specialties, you may have the chance to earn more.


The identification of diseases, including cancer, ulcers, and broken bones, is made possible by radiology technicians, also referred to as radiologic technologists, radiographers, and X-ray technologists. 

As a radiology technologist, you must be knowledgeable about radiation safety precautions and protection to adhere to legal requirements, protect patients, and keep you and them safe. 

Your chances may rise as you gain experience and professional certifications, enabling you to enter a job market for radiology technicians consistent with the overall national growth for all professions.

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Frequently Asked Questions 

Do X-ray technicians require a license? 

Along with your ARRT accreditation, you may require a state license to work as an X-ray technician in some areas. 
Typically, obtaining a license entails filling out an application, paying a fee, providing proof of schooling, and undergoing a background check. 
Research whether your state requires state licensure, ARRT certification, or neither before pursuing a job as an X-ray technician.

How can X-ray technicians continue their education? 

For two years after certification, the ARRT mandates that X-ray technologists complete 24 hours of continuing education. 
Lectures, community college courses, online learning, workshops, and self-paced readings are some options for X-ray technicians’ continuing education. 
Certified X-ray technicians must fulfill more demanding continuing education requirements every ten years to keep up with changes in the relevant industry after they pass their initial certification exam.

What abilities must X-ray technicians develop? 

You learn several technical skills and professional competencies while you train to become an X-ray technician. Throughout your schooling and training, you should place particular emphasis on developing your: 
First aid: X-ray technicians should be equipped to offer emergency first aid if a patient experiences a medical emergency while receiving an X-ray because they operate in a medical setting. Any X-ray technician would find it helpful to know how to perform CPR and maintain patient safety with appropriate first-aid techniques. 
Using imaging hardware: Students who enroll in radiologic technician programs learn how to operate various imaging devices, such as X-ray machines, irradiators, CT scans, and sonograms. X-ray technicians need to be able to update, calibrate, and maintain this equipment.

How promising is the radiography job market? 

Between 2021 and 2031, the overall employment of radiologic and MRI technologists is anticipated to increase by 6%, roughly as quickly as the national average for all occupations. Over the next ten years, there will, on average, be about 16,600 jobs for radiologic and MRI technologists.


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