For those who know nothing about the world of radiology, the terminology can be daunting, especially when it comes to using the correct job titles. So, I am going to try to explain what these titles mean:
A radiology technician is a term that is often used by lay people outside the industry; however, the key determinate here is the word “technician.” A technician is someone who is not certified through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). A “technologist” is someone who is certified.
An x-ray technician is someone who has not been certified through the ARRT and therefore takes the title of “technician”. This term is often used interchangeably with the title “radiology technician”.
A radiologic technologist is someone who has completed an accredited radiology program and become certified through the ARRT. The educational program is most commonly completed in two years with an associates of applied science in radiology degree. Once the ARRT exam has been passed and they are formally registered, they can assume the title of technologist. They are also referred to as “Rad Tech” or R.T.
A radiologist is an actual M.D. who has specialized training in the application of radiologic technology for diagnosis and treatment. Radiologists must complete medical school, a residency, and additional specialized training specific to radiology. The road is long to becoming a radiologist; however, these professionals are in very high demand and are some of the most highly compensated in the health care industry.
Hopefully, this clears up any confusion you may have about some of the common titles used in radiology.