As a critical member of the healthcare team, a rad tech must be adept at using computed technology (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines, and x-ray generators. Radiographers may specialize in a variety of diagnostic imaging techniques, including mammography and ultrasound.
Radiologic technologists assist physicians and radiologists, who read the images and diagnose illness and injury. Job prospects for those starting their careers in radiology are expected to remain high, particularly for those interested in working for general medical and surgical hospitals. Rad tech professionals also work in urgent care facilities, clinics, equipment sales, and private offices.
A radiologic technician or X-ray technician, sometimes referred to as a limited scope technician, has a limited scope of practice. X-ray technicians generally work in urgent care centers and doctor’s offices but not hospitals. Training programs for X-ray technicians can range from six months to two years in duration and result in a certificate or associate’s degree upon successful completion of the program.
It is important to know the difference between radiology technologists and radiology technicians when planning your education. In the medical community, radiologic technologists are licensed professionals who can perform advanced imaging procedures and can operate all X-ray equipment. A radiologic technician, sometimes referred to as a limited scope technician, has a limited scope of practice and is not allowed to perform certain imaging procedures. The licensing and scope of practice for radiologic technologists and radiologic technicians varies by state, so you can check with your state’s health department for details.