A Step-By-Step Guide To Becoming A Certified Radiologic Technologist

A Step-By-Step Guide To Becoming A Certified Radiologic Technologist

Becoming a certified radiologic technologist is a rewarding career path that offers opportunities to work in healthcare, provide crucial patient care, and contribute to medical diagnoses. Radiologic technologists, often referred to as radiographers, play a vital role in capturing medical images that help physicians diagnose and treat various conditions. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of becoming a certified radiologic technologist, highlighting the essential requirements, educational steps, and certification exams you’ll need to complete.

  1. Educational Prerequisites

The first step on your journey to becoming a certified radiologic technologist is to meet the educational prerequisites. In the United States, you’ll typically need a high school diploma or equivalent to get started. High school courses in math and science, such as biology and chemistry, can be beneficial in preparing you for the more advanced coursework ahead.

  1. Choose A Radiologic Technology Program

After meeting the basic educational requirements, you should enroll in an accredited rad tech certification program. These programs can be found at colleges, universities, and vocational schools. It’s crucial to ensure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting body, such as the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) in the United States.

During your radiologic technology program, you will receive both classroom instruction and hands-on clinical training. The program typically takes about two years to complete and covers topics like anatomy, physiology, radiation safety, patient care, and medical imaging techniques.

  1. Clinical Experience

Clinical experience is a fundamental part of your radiologic technology education. You will spend a significant portion of your program working in a healthcare setting under the guidance of experienced radiologic technologists. This hands-on training allows you to apply the knowledge gained in the classroom to real patient scenarios, honing your skills in positioning patients, operating radiologic equipment, and ensuring patient safety.

  1. Graduate And Obtain Your Degree

Upon successful completion of your radiologic technology program, you will receive a degree or certificate, typically an Associate’s degree. This credential signifies that you have met the educational requirements to work as a radiologic technologist. It’s important to maintain a high level of academic performance throughout your program to ensure your eligibility for certification exams.

  1. Review State Licensing Requirements

Before pursuing certification, it’s essential to research the specific licensing requirements in your state. Some states may require additional steps or have unique regulations for radiologic technologists. Be sure to comply with all state licensing requirements to practice legally in your chosen location.

  1. Prepare For Certification Exams

Certification is the next critical step on your journey. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) is the primary certifying body for radiologic technologists in the United States. To become certified, you will need to pass the ARRT certification exam in radiography. This exam assesses your knowledge and competency in the field and is a crucial milestone in your career.

To prepare for the ARRT exam, consider investing in review materials, practice exams, and study guides. Many educational resources and review courses are available both online and in person to help you succeed in the certification process.

  1. Take The ARRT Certification Exam

Once you have prepared adequately, schedule and take the ARRT certification exam. The exam typically consists of multiple-choice questions and a practical component where you must demonstrate your clinical skills. Passing this exam is a significant achievement and demonstrates your readiness to work as a certified radiologic technologist.

  1. Maintain Certification

After becoming a certified radiologic technologist, it’s crucial to maintain your certification by fulfilling continuing education requirements. The ARRT requires radiologic technologists to complete ongoing education and professional development activities to stay current with advancements in the field. Staying informed and updated will ensure that you provide the best possible care to your patients.

  1. Consider Specializations

Radiologic technology offers various specialization options, such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), mammography, and more. Consider pursuing additional certifications in these specialized areas to expand your career opportunities and potentially earn a higher salary.


Becoming a certified radiologic technologist is a well-defined journey that requires dedication, education, and commitment to patient care. By following this step-by-step guide, you can navigate the educational requirements, gain valuable clinical experience, pass the certification exam, and embark on a fulfilling career in the field of radiologic technology. As a certified radiologic technologist, you will play a crucial role in the healthcare system, contributing to the diagnosis and treatment of patients while ensuring their safety and well-being.

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