What Is a Rad Tech?


Rad techs, short for radiologic technologists, run X-ray and nonradioactive imaging equipment for medical purposes. The job requires mechanical expertise and the ability to work with and communicate directly with patients.


  • Radiologic technologists prepare and position patients for X-ray examinations. They operate and maintain the equipment for such examinations in medical facilities. They often work in hospitals but occasionally work in physicians offices or in specialty imaging centers.


  • Some rad techs specialize in specific fields of X-ray imagery. These include technicians who perform mammograms, test bone density, guide catheters and other tools through the bloodstream and produce complete imagery of organs.


  • About 196,000 rad techs worked in the United States as of 2006, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than 60 percent of those jobs were in hospitals.


  • Most rad techs complete a two-year associate degree. Those experienced in other medical fields can complete training in a year. A four-year bachelor's degree is required for supervisory rad tech positions.


  • Rad techs earned a median income of $48,170 per year as of May 2006, while those who worked in diagnostic laboratories earned slightly more. The U.S. Department of Labor predicts a 15 percent growth rate for rad tech jobs through 2016.

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  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Hamed Saber
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