What’s the Difference Between a Technician and Technologist in Radiology?

Radiological Tech, Florida

The terms Radiology Technician and Radiology Technologist are used interchangeably. So what’s the difference between a Technician and a Technologist in Radiology? Absolutely nothing. The two positions are one in the same, requiring the same duties and education.

Radiology Technician v. Radiology Technologist

There is a simple reason why these two terms exist; and why they cause confusion. Radiologic Technician is the original term used for this position. As the healthcare field has grown and job titles have changed, the position of Radiologic Technician morphed into Radiology Technologist.

Job Duties

Radiology Technologists are often responsible for several job duties, including:

  • Performing digital imaging procedures under direct supervision of a doctor or nurse
  • Positioning patients for imaging procedures
  • Explaining procedures to patients
  • Ensuring accuracy and quality of images

Radiology Technologists require, at a minimum, a high school diploma and a diploma or certification from an accredited training program. Such programs range from 10-to-12 months in length.

An Associate’s degree is required for individuals who wish to sit for the national board exam. And individuals wishing to obtain a position in management may wish to improve their chances by obtaining a Bachelor’s degree.

Certification Requirements

According to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT), the certification requirements for Radiologic Technologists vary by state, with several states lacking any formal licensing requirements. In those states that do require certification, requirements often vary. For instance, Georgia does not license its radiologic personnel, whereas Florida offers licensure either by exam or endorsement.

Employers will often dictate which licenses they require of their Radiologic Technologists. In many cases, employers require Radiologic Technologists to obtain and maintain certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). This certification may be required on top of your state’s license.

Salary and Career Opportunities

Radiologic Technologists work in varied settings, from hospitals to physicians’ offices. Often, Technologists will choose to specialize in a certain area such as radiation therapy or prenatal care.

According to glassdoor.com, starting salaries for Radiologic Technologists range in from mid-$30K to the mid-$40K. For Technologists who work in teaching or supervisory roles, annual salaries can reach upwards of $85,000.

Are You Ready to Become a Technician or Technologist in Radiology?

When considering your career options in radiology, speaking to an advisor may help you weigh the pros and cons of each path. For more information, contact an advisor today.