X-Ray Tech Training

Besides on-the-job training, x-ray technologists receive formal training during 12 to 48-month training at x-ray tech schools and career colleges, universities or trade schools (see: Top X-Ray Tech Schools).

Training for x-ray technologists is typically career focused rather than theory-based, and graduates can expect to be prepared for entry-level employment as x-ray technologists in hospitals, physicians’ offices and other patient care facilities (see job description). Course work generally focuses on medical knowledge and terminology, equipment use, patient care, and radiology, among other topics.

Some typical course subjects taken by x-ray tech students include:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Patient care
  • Radiation physics
  • Medical terminology
  • Medical ethics
  • Radiobiology
  • Pathology

After graduation from a general training program, x-ray techs are required to pursue regular follow-up training, and may choose to pursue additional training in a specialized area of radiology.

X-Ray Technologist Certification

After formal training, most x-ray technologists become certified by passing an exam administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). To be eligible, students must have graduated from an ARRT-accredited school, so it is important to ask about a school’s accreditations before enrolling. A new development will also require x-ray techs to be recertified on a regular basis. For more information, see the page on x-ray technologist recertification.