Browse through our radiology careers at a glance chart below to get an understanding of the differences between the various radiology careers or jump to a specific job family below to get the specifics. Another common question from those looking into radiology is: How to get started? While there are a number of ways to get into radiology, you can check out featured student profiles section on this page and learn about how a radiology career starts and continues to grow. Learn more about the Radiologist shortage and how it has created unprecedented demand for radiology professionals.
|Minimum Degree Level for Radiology Career||Professional Radiology Certification Required|
|X-Ray Technician||Certificate||None; some states will require licensure|
|Radiologic Technologist (R.T.)||Associates Degree & Bachelors for Lead RT positions or Administrative Positions||ARRT Certification required in 38 states|
|Radiologist Assistant (R.A.)||Masters Degree||ARRT Certification required in 38 states|
|Medical Assistant w/ Limited X-Ray||Certificate||No|
|Radiologist (M.D.)||Doctorate M.D.||Doctorate Required|
|Ultrasound Technician||Associates Degree||ARDMS Certification required in only 2 states; but recommended for all states.|
|Nuclear Medicine Technologist||Associates Degree||NMTCB Certification required in 26 states; but recommended for all states.|
We interviewed Janet Tomkins, a Radiologic Technologist (R.T.) who first got inspired to get into radiology from her aunt who was a long time X-Ray Technician at the local hospital. Like many, she was intimidated by what she did not know, like how long it would take, what it would cost, and what the differences were between the jobs. “I just thought it would take years of school and I didn’t have that luxury with two kids, rent, and bills to pay, but I learned that I could start by getting a certificate and then I could build upon that foundation.” Janet started her journey by enrolling in a 9 month certificate program to become a Medical Assistant with Limited X-Ray training. “As a Medical Assistant, I was able to get my feet wet and explore my options”
“I enjoyed working with patients and being a part of their healing process. I was able to perform basic x-rays, looking at broken bones and that kind of thing for the most part. I was intrigued by the power of the images and the thrill of navigating around inside the body to find disease and fractures. My friend in the radiology unit let me assist with some CT scans she was performing one day, and I was hooked.”
“I completed my associates degree and I was able to do some classes online, which made my life a lot easier.” Janet indicated that after she completed her associates degree, she felt very prepared for the ARRT exam, which she said she passed with “flying colors.”
“Becoming an RT was the best thing I ever did.” I am doing MRI’s now and I’ve just completed a mammography certificate. I was really lucky because my employer paid for most of my additional training. So, it’s really been a satisfying experience and has made me a much more valuable employee. I am happy that I am now in a career, instead of just a job that pays the bills.