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Radiologic Technician  What They Do

Just the Facts


Maintains and uses equipment and supplies necessary to demonstrate portions of the body on X-ray film or fluoroscopic screen for diagnostic purposes.

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


A person in this career:

  • Positions x-ray equipment and adjusts controls to set exposure factors, such as time and distance.
  • Uses beam-restrictive devices and patient-shielding techniques to minimize radiation exposure to patient and staff.
  • Positions patient on examining table and sets up and adjusts equipment to obtain optimum view of specific body area as requested by physician.
  • Processes exposed radiographs using film processors or computer generated methods.
  • Explains procedures to patients to reduce anxieties and obtain cooperation.
  • Determines patients' x-ray needs by reading requests or instructions from physicians.
  • Makes exposures necessary for the requested procedures, rejecting and repeating work that does not meet established standards.
  • Prepares and sets up x-ray room for patient.
  • Operates digital picture archiving communications systems.
  • Transports patients to or from exam rooms.

Related Careers


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 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):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • 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

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • EEG Technician (Electroencephalographic Technician) -- Maintains and sometimes services this medical equipment and administers the EEG test, which involves placing electrodes on the patient's scalp and generating the stimulus needed to capture and measure the activity of the patient's brain or nervous system
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technician (MRI Technician) -- Performs scans using radiofrequencies within a magnetic field to produce images of bones, organs, and soft tissue.
  • Mammography Technician -- Provides caring, supportive diagnostic services for women who have routine mammograms and for those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • Nuclear Medicine Technician -- Prepares radioactive materials, administers them to patients and uses imaging devices to record the distribution within a patient's body.
  • X-ray Technologist -- Performs diagnostic imaging exams, processes radiographic film, and provides radiation therapy.
  • Computed Tomography Technician (CT Technician) --
  • Medical Imaging Technician --