Differences between X-ray and Radiology Technicians

Many people find it difficult to tell the difference between radiology technicians and x-ray techs. It is even more difficult for people who are not familiar with radiology to distinguish the two. Both radiology and x-ray technicians work in the same field. However, the training and qualifications required for the two positions vary altogether. The job duties of a radiology technician are relatively more complex and wider in practice and scope than those of an x-ray technician. One of the similarities between the two is that x-ray and radiology technicians have to continue their education for them to remain registered within their respective fields.

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Educational Requirements

Radiology technicians are professionals who provide imaging solutions including digital x-ray imaging and radiation therapy in hospitals and other health care facilities. These professionals are trained in radiation safety, anatomy, radiation protection, patient positioning, equipment protocols, and examination techniques. Despite the fact that X-ray technicians may have similar academic qualifications as radiology technicians, it takes more job experience and training to become a radiology technician. It may take between nine months and two years to complete a radiology technician program.

A radiology technician program can take an average of fourteen months to complete. During this period, candidates may cover their coursework, sit for state licensing tests, and qualify for various categories of state licensing including extremities, chest, and torso-skeletal. X-Ray technicians also have their respective tests and licensing requirements.

On the Job Responsibilities

One of the main differences between x-ray and radiology technicians is the scope of their job duties. Licensed radiology technicians can carry out any diagnostic imaging process including CT scans, sonograms, and mammograms. On the other hand, X-ray technicians are limited-service technicians who can only carry out chest x-rays and x-rays of the limbs (wrist, hand, and feet). Various websites on the Internet provide individuals who want to pursue careers in radiology with the information they need including the different careers in the field, salary expectations, job duties, qualification requirements, and state licensing requirements.

Radiology technicians often work in various healthcare institutions including big healthcare facilities. On the other hand, many x-ray technicians work for smaller healthcare facilities including orthopedic doctors’ offices, emergency care facilities, physicians’ offices, and imaging centers.