Radiologic Technologist  What They Do

Just the Facts


Radiologic Technologists and Technicians Career Video



Takes x-rays and CAT scans or administers nonradioactive materials into patient's blood stream for diagnostic purposes.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Diagnostic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Reviews and evaluates developed x-rays, video tape, or computer-generated information to determine if images are satisfactory for diagnostic purposes.
  • Operates or oversees operation of radiologic or magnetic imaging equipment to produce images of the body for diagnostic purposes.
  • Uses radiation safety measures and protection devices to comply with government regulations and to ensure safety of patients and staff.
  • Positions imaging equipment and adjusts controls to set exposure time and distance, according to specification of examination.
  • Explains procedures and observes patients to ensure safety and comfort during scan.
  • Positions and immobilizes patient on examining table.
  • Keys commands and data into computer to document and specify scan sequences, adjusts transmitters and receivers, or photographs certain images.
  • Takes thorough and accurate patient medical histories.
  • Sets up examination rooms, ensuring that all necessary equipment is ready.
  • Monitors patients' conditions and reactions, reporting abnormal signs to physician.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Exposed to radiation more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of special protective items such as a breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suit, or radiation protection
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Bone Densitometrist -- Assesses bone density and the potential ramifications of serious osteoporosis.
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonographer -- Produces ultrasonic recordings of internal organs for use by physicians.
  • Mammography Technologist -- Provides caring, supportive diagnostic services for women who have routine mammograms and for those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • MRI Technologist (Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist) -- Performs scans using radiofrequencies within a magnetic field to produce images of bones, organs, and soft tissue.
  • X-Ray Technologist -- Performs diagnostic imaging exams, processes radiographic film, and provides radiation therapy.
  • CAT Scan Technologist (Computed Axial Tomography Technologist) --
  • Computed Tomography Technologist (CT Technologist) --