What Does an X Ray Tech Do?

X ray techs are responsible for taking diagnostic imaging of patients using x-ray equipment. They work in hospitals, clinics, and private practices.

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Job Description

X-ray technicians, or radiographers, use diagnostic imaging equipment to produce images of the human body. These images are then used by physicians to detect and diagnose injuries and illnesses. The job of an x ray tech involves working with a variety of people, including patients and other medical professionals.


An X-ray technician, also called a radiographer, is a medical professional who performs diagnostic imaging examinations, such as X-rays, on patients. Radiographers use imaging equipment to produce internal images of the human body, which are then interpreted by radiologists to help diagnose injuries or illnesses.

There are many different types of diagnostic imaging exams that X-ray technicians can perform, and the specific duties of a radiographer vary depending on the exam being performed. However, there are some common duties that all X-ray technicians can expect to perform on a daily basis. These include position patients for exams, operate imaging equipment, monitor patients during exams, and maintain equipment.

Education and Training

Most jobs in this field require completing an accredited program and becoming licensed in the state where you practice. Although a few states allow on-the-job training for positions in limited settings, most employers prefer candidates who have completed formal education and training.

In order to become licensed, individuals must complete an accredited program and pass an exam administered by the state in which they wish to practice. Some states have additional requirements, such as passing a criminal background check. Programs typically take between two and four years to complete, although some accelerated programs are available.


An X-ray technologist or technician is a health care worker who uses imaging equipment to produce images of the human body for diagnostic purposes. The images produced are called radiographs. X-ray techs typically work in hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices. They may also work in mobile units that bring imaging equipment to patients who cannot travel to a medical facility.

Job Outlook

In 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there were over 200,000 X-ray technicians employed in the United States. The job outlook for X-ray techs is good, with an expected employment growth of 13% between 2016 and 2026. This is above average when compared to other occupations. An aging population and the increasing use of diagnostic imaging procedures are both factors that will contribute to this demand.

Techs who are willing to work evenings or weekends may have better job prospects, as diagnostic imaging services are often needed outside of normal business hours. There is also a need for techs who are willing to travel or work in mobile units, as this type of position often requires visiting patients in different locations.

Career Path

Becoming an X-Ray Technician is a great way to start a career in the medical field. With the help of an accredited program, you can complete your training in as little as two years. Once you become certified, you will be able to find a job in a hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office.


While certification is not required in all states, most employers prefer or require certification. Certification demonstrates to employers that you have met certain standards and have the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the job. There are several organizations that offer certification for X-ray technicians, but the most common is the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). In order to be eligible for certification, you must graduate from an accredited radiography program and pass a written and clinical exam. Once you are certified, you must complete continuing education credits every two years to maintain your certification.


During their career, X-ray techs may advance to positions such as lead tech,supervisor, or manager. Some technicians open their own imaging centers. Someourses needed to advance include radiation protection, patient care, and anatomy and physiology.

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