Inside Radiologic Technologist Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"I was surprised to find out how much hands-on patient care is involved. I beloved others would be surprised how much is involved in being an X-ray technologist as it isn't just " taking pictures"...there are a lot of invasive procedures you do and you see a lot of intense things, especially working in a hospital." (X-Ray Technologist; 2013)

Career: 7 years of experience, currently based in Pennsylvania, female
School: Studied X-Ray Technology at St. Joseph Hospital School Of Radiologic Technology in Pennsylvania; completed Certificate degree in 1989

"I was surprised to the degree that my principal investigator wanted me to pursue my own projects and research interests rather than his own projects. My understanding of assistant technicians was that they have little time for their own projects, and I was not expecting to have to be so self-directed with my time." (Research Technician; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Massachusetts, male
School: Studied Computer Science, Psychology at Brown University in Rhode Island; completed Bachelor degree in 2012

"I was surprised to realize I was also going to have to be a therapist. I often need to reassure the patient they are going to be ok. I have to listen to their concerns. It not just take the x-ray and go. I was also surprised as to how much compassion I would have for the patience. I didn't know I would care so much. Seeing a child in pain is heartbreaking." (X-Ray Technologist; 2013)

Career: 8 years of experience, currently based in Indiana, female
School: Studied X-Ray Technology at Vincennes University in Indiana; completed Associate degree in 2005

"There's So Much More To X-Ray Than Broken Bones...
I was surprise at the scope of what an x-ray tech does. It's not just figuring out if a bone is broken. We take images of every major body system, and do some very strange procedures." (X-Ray Technician Or Radiologic Technologist; 2013)

Career: 13 years of experience, currently based in Illinois, male
School: Studied Radiography at Academy Of Health Sciences, Ft. Sam Houston, TX in Texas; completed Certificate degree in 2002

"Math Skills Are More Important That Actual Health Related Skills...
I was surprised at the amount of math that is required in my career. Its more on level with a mathematical engineering degree. I was also surprised by how much I had to learn that isn't relevant to my actual job" (Diagnostic Mire Technician; 2014)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in Illinois, female
School: Studied Diagnostic Technician In Radiography at University Of Michigan in Michigan; completed Bachelor degree in 2010

"Level Of Care Exceeds Expectations...
I am surprised by the level of care in my field, most people in my field have a high level of patient care that I did not expect going through college. I also learned that you have to be patient and great interpersonal skills, because patients are at their worst and need a voice of support during their worst times in life." (Radiologic Technologist; 2012)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in District of Columbia, female
School: Studied Radiology at Montgomery Community College in Maryland; completed Associate degree in 2010

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Radiologic Technologist: "Some of the best parts of being a Radiologic Technologist is the patient contact. I enjoy talking with my patients and getting a short history of their injury or pain and figuring out the best approach to get the best X-ray. I also like that Radiologic Technologist has many different responsibilities. One day could be mostly outpatients and the next day could be mostly inpatients or Emergency Room/Walk In patients. The worst part of the job is the physical lifting of patients who are unable to walk or move." (2011)

Career Background

Radiologic Technologist

  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Video

Career Tips

"Be Prepared For Internships And Certifications...
you should start working in a doctor or hospital setting in any field as soon as you can. Take advantage of the internships provided. Pay closer attention to the math and science sections of school. Know that every 3 years you need to pay to be certified in this field" (Diagnostic Mire Technician; 2014)

"Never Refuse A Procedure, No Matter How Many Times You've Done It...
When you do your clinical rotations, you have to do everything asked of you. Just because you've done a thousand hand x-rays doesn't mean you shouldn't jump to do the next one." (X-Ray Technician Or Radiologic Technologist; 2013)

"You'll Need To Pass The Boards...
Study well so that you are able to pass the board exams needed to become an X-ray technologist. It is important to know a lot of physics and science as well as anatomy of the body." (X-Ray Technologist; 2013)

"Psych Course Help...
Take additional psychology classes, you will need them to understand others. Be prepared to have some people tugging at your heart strings." (X-Ray Technologist; 2013)

"Take More Math And Physics...
Math and physics are critical to understanding radiology technologies. Take as much math and physics as possible" (Research Technician; 2013)

"Shadow In Radiology...
I would highly recommend doing a job shadow in the Radiology Department. This will give you a hands on experience of how the X-rays are taken and processed. I would also recommend taking an Anatomy and Physiology class to see if the medical field is something that interests you. I would also recommend talking with people in the Medical or hospital field to get a feel for the job. You could also read some articles on line as you may want to start in General Radiology but might be later interested in Cat Scan or MRI." (Radiologic Technologist; 2011)