X-ray technicians, also known as radiologic technologists, take x-rays and other diagnostic images of patients so that physicians can diagnose and treat injuries or medical conditions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that x-ray technicians typically need an associate degree to begin their careers.
Radiologic technologist programs are academically challenging and heavy in the sciences, so students must prove success in the sciences before being admitted. The Community College of Allegheny County requires students to apply to the Radiologic Technologist program after they are admitted to the college. In addition to taking algebra and physics in high school, students must also successfully complete General Biology or Introduction to Biological Science after they are admitted to the college. Los Angeles City College requires students to complete Human Anatomy with laboratory, Human Physiology with laboratory, English 101, Mathematics 125 or higher, Introduction to Radiologic Technology, Medical Terminology for Radiologic Technology and Introduction to Electromagnetic Radiation Image Recording And Processing before they can be formally admitted to the Radiologic Technologist Program.
High School and College GPA Requirements
Many radiologic technologist programs have both a minimum GPA for course work completed in high school and for the prerequisite classes. Chaffey College requires that students have at least a 2.8 high school GPA and then earn a C or better in the prerequisite courses, which include statistics, chemistry and biology. Wake Technical Community College and Los Angeles City College both just require that students earn a C or better in the prerequisite courses.
Certified Nursing Assistant
Some programs require that students meet additional criteria beyond taking certain courses. Wake Technical Community College requires that students be current Certified Nursing Assistants and be listed on the North Carolina CNA1 Registry at the time they apply for the Radiography clinical. Students must also complete a CNA1 course as part of the radiography program. The CNA1 course includes 40 hours of clinical training with direct patient care. Students can also show proof of at least 40 hours of work experience with direct patient care within the previous five years.
X-ray technicians work in a sensitive health environment. Therefore, they must be in good health themselves. Some programs make it a requirement. Los Angeles City College requires students to undergo a physical exam at their own expense and to provide documentation that they are free of communicable diseases, psychological disorders or other poor health conditions. Chaffey College requires students to have an exam that includes drug screening, basic lab work and immunization boosters.
- Los Angeles City College: Radiologic Technology: Admission and Prerequisites
- Chaffey College: Radiologic Technology: Prerequisite and Selection Process
- Community College of Allegheny County: Radiologic Technologist's (X-Ray) Associate's Degree
- Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Radiologic Technologists
Maria Magher has been working as a professional writer since 2001. She has worked as an ESL teacher, a freshman composition teacher and an education reporter, writing for regional newspapers and online publications. She has written about parenting for Pampers and other websites. She has a Master's degree in English and creative writing.