• Certifications and Licenses
  • R (ARRT) - Radiography RT

    • $225-$450
    • Renews every 2 years

    COURSE FORMAT

    About

    Earning a radiology technician certificate is for those interested in entering the field of radiologic technology. It's also a way for those already working in this field to improve their skills and qualifications.

    Those seeking to become radiologic technologists must first complete education and gain experience in one or more specializations or practice areas, commonly referred to as modalities. Generally, this requires at least an associate’s degree. Radiologic technologists may then add modalities to their core practice by completing one or more certificate programs. A certificate can also prepare RTs for practice with a specific population, such as children or older adults. For x-ray technicians, which have a more limited scope than radiologic technologists, a certificate program is the only required education in many states.

    Reasons to pursue a certificate

    The RT field can be competitive, and employers are looking for candidates who have the qualifications to operate radiologic equipment. Earning a certificate demonstrates that you have the skills and knowledge required to work safely and effectively in an imaging department. 

    Another reason to pursue a certificate in radiologic technology is to qualify for licensure or certification in a specific modality. Becoming qualified in multiple modalities can also raise salary potential.

    Certificate types

    The following pathways can be added, through a certificate program, depending on which are the candidate is already certified:

    • Bone densitometry

    • Breast sonography

    • Cardiac interventional radiography

    • Computed tomography (CT)

    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

    • Mammography

    • Vascular interventional radiography

    • Vascular sonography

    Eligibility requirements for radiology technician certificate

    Admission requirements vary widely by program. Individuals with no prior formal training in radiologic technology should have at least a high school diploma or GED. Many post-primary certificate programs require an associate’s degree or higher. Post-primary programs designed to add modalities or build advanced professional skills will also usually require ARRT certification and/or state licensure plus the completion of an accredited associate’s or bachelor’s degree program. All applicants will most likely be required to submit transcripts and references, a personal essay, or proof of job shadowing or work experience.

    Cost to certify

    Certifications are obtained through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), the world's largest organization offering credentials in medical imaging, interventional procedures, and radiation therapy.

    Here are the current fee amounts to obtain certification:

    • Primary (R, N, T, MR, S): $225

    • Post-primary (M, CT, MR, BD, CI, VI, VS, BS, R.R.A.): $225

    • Post-Primary (CT, MR, BD, or VS—using NMTCB as a supporting category): $450

    • Post-Primary (MR, VS, or BS—using ARDMS as a supporting category): $450

    Certification

    How to become certified RT certificate programs that are designed for initial certification in a certain modality will usually require some on-campus coursework. Due to the complexity of the equipment and radiation safety concerns, students must have hands-on equipment training to follow proper procedures.

    There are online options for those already trained and certified in a modality and looking for certificate programs for professional development in areas like leadership, management, and special populations. These certificates can lead to career advancement. Other postprimary programs may be offered in a hybrid format, in which some training is classroom-based while supporting coursework is taken online.

    Whichever certificate option you choose, be sure to check with the appropriate state licensing board(s) to ensure that the radiologic technology schools you are considering meet the requirements for the area you want to pursue.

    Renewal information

    The ARRT requires technologists to complete a specified amount of continuing professional education every two years. The standard requirement for maintenance of certification is 24 units of CEUs in every two-year period.

    Reinstate certification and registration by re-examination: $225

    Online reinstatement (for those who don’t have to re-examine): $75

    Other Resources

    Board vitals offers access to more than 1100 radiography board practice questions with detailed explanations for both correct and incorrect responses. The ARRT Radiography question bank follows the exam content outline for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) Radiography Certification Exam. 

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    Frequently asked questions

    Do I need a radiologic technology certificate to work in this field?

    Employers prefer to hire medical imaging professionals who have at least a radiologic technologist certificate. However, the legal requirements vary by state. Due to radiologic science's complex and rapidly-changing nature, earning a certificate and becoming licensed can help you secure a job faster or move up from an entry-level position.

    What is the typical salary for a radiologic technologist?

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2019, the median salary for a radiologic technologist was $60,510 per year, and the average salary was $63,120 per year.

    Where do radiologic technology certificate graduates work?

    RT certificate programs at the undergraduate level prepares graduates for initial radiology certification and entry-level positions in hospitals, clinics, research laboratories and other medical facilities focused on diagnosing and treating patients. Graduate-level certificates can prepare you for careers in medical imaging, including management and leadership, health informatics, and related areas outside of direct patient care.