How Long Does It Take To Become An X-Ray Technician?

If you have strong verbal skills, are attentive and detail oriented, and enjoy the field of medicine, then a career as an x-ray technician may suit you well. This challenging field will also require you to work in a team within medical clinics and hospitals and you will also learn to work with complicated and interesting imaging machines.

X-radiation is a wave of high energy, electromagnetic in nature. It is able to penetrate through many materials and is of a very short wavelength. Based on the name of the radiation itself, an x-ray is a photographic image of the material. This image may also be digital in nature. The field of medical photography using X-radiations is done by an x-ray technician. Once the x-ray is taken, the technician prepares a report on the patient's results and conditions, detailing any abnormalities. This report is given to the physician for further analysis.​

Best Online XRay Tech Programs

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Common Requirements:

If you are interested in becoming an x-ray technician or radiology technologist, you must pass several tests, levels and degrees. The following are the common requirements a prospective x-ray technician must have:

  • You must have an associate’s degree.
  • You must have a licensure. This is a requirement in most states.
  • You must have some important the knowledge and training needed to operate various x-ray related machines.
  • Other skills include attention to detail, attentiveness and verbal communication.

Become a Successful X-Ray Technician:

  • GENERAL EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT - If a you intend to opt for a radiology technology program, then you need to pass the GED or the General Educational Development tests. These tests are a collection of four subjects tests that certify that the student has academic skills of the American or Canadian high school.
  • SELECTING A DEGREE - There are three options available for you if you who want to become x-ray technician. You may select any one of the following :
    • A certification program. The time duration for this program is 2 years (21 to 24 months).
    • An associate's degree. The time duration for this program is 2 years.
    • A bachelor's degree. The time duration for this program is 4 years.


The time duration for certificate programs lasts for six months only. You are taught how to handle x-ray equipment, while treating patients. Your job is also to ensure minimal exposure of radiations to the patient's body. Other topics of discussions include patient care, the positioning and adjustments of the x-ray machines so that quality photographic or digital images are created for every patient.

From the year 2015, in order to be eligible for The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists or ARRT, it is necessary for the candidate to have an associate's degree. The degree should be obtained from an institution which is accredited.​


In order to earn the national certification, you must be able to pass several procedures. You are given a three year time period. This time begins from when you acquire your associate's degree. Both categories of training, that is, classroom training as well as practical training can be taken to achieve this goal.


Licensure of candidates is to be of major importance in many states. You must fulfill the required academic qualifications and also pass an examination for certification. In most states, technicians who are ARRT certified do not have to take the certification exam.


As an x-ray technician, you must produce clear and accurate images of the patient's body. These images are then given to the patient’s physician. The physician further provides diagnosis and treats the patient according to the conditions stated in the report written by an x-ray technician. At this stage, the life of the patient is indirectly in the hands of the x-ray technician. You also play a vital role in easing the anxieties of the patient. Thus, it is of utmost importance that the technologist pay great attention to the instructions given by the physician.


X-ray technicians are exposed to diseases on a regular basis due to their work environment and requirements. Moreover, they are also exposed to harmful and disease causing radiations emitted by various machines used for x-ray procedures. Though contact cannot be completely ceased, training in the proper procedures is required to minimize exposure to radiation as much as possible.


The demand for x-ray technicians is rising. If a candidate has passed graduation and is a new x-ray technician, then he/she may attain an annual salary of approximately $38,000 to $42,000. As experience is accumulated, the salary increases to about $55,000 to $66000 per annum respectively

Did You Know?

  • The discovery of this unique penetrating radiation was done by Wilhelm Conrad in the year 1895. He later received a Nobel Prize for his priceless discovery in 1901.
  • Apart from medical photography, these radiations are also being used in various other fields, for instance, in the study of biological materials, X-Ray microscopy is used.
  • In order to measure radiation level, special badges are made for technicians. They wear them in the area containing the radiations.

1 thought on “How Long Does It Take To Become An X-Ray Technician?”

  1. Very helpful. I am a upcomming senior looking for what I may be interested in becoming. This is far more interesting then other careers I’ve yet looked up. Still need help about this career choice.


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