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How to Become a CT Technologist

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A CT technologist -- the CT stands for computed tomography -- performs diagnostic studies that physicians use to diagnose and treat disease. CT technologists complete an associate degree to begin their careers as radiologic technologists and then learn to perform CT scans through on-the-job training under the supervision of an experienced CT technologist. Some states require that CT technologists be licensed or certified. Radiologic technologists, including CT technologists, earned an average annual salary of $56,760 in 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Earn an Associate Degree

Radiologic technologists must earn a minimum of an associate degree in the field, according to the BLS. Bachelor’s degrees in the field are also available, but the BLS notes most radiological technologists have an associate degree. The two-year programs are available from colleges, universities and technical-vocational schools. Programs typically include courses such as anatomy, pathology, patient care, radiation physics and protection, and image evaluation, according to the BLS. You should choose a program accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. Accredited programs provide a standardized curriculum, and you might need to attend an accredited program to become licensed.

Become Licensed or Certified

Requirements for licensing and certification of radiologic and CT technologists vary by state. In most cases, you must graduate from an accredited program and pass the state certification exam or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists certification examination. Before you can sit for the CT certification examination, you must register with the AART and document your clinical experience requirements. You are required to perform at least 125 CT examinations before you can sit for the examination. Beginning in January 2016, you must also document 16 hours of structured education acceptable to the AART.

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2016 Salary Information for Radiologic and MRI Technologists

Radiologic and mri technologists earned a median annual salary of $59,110 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, radiologic and mri technologists earned a 25th percentile salary of $48,070, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $71,820, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 241,800 people were employed in the U.S. as radiologic and mri technologists.

About the Author

Beth Greenwood is an RN and has been a writer since 2010. She specializes in medical and health topics, as well as career articles about health care professions. Greenwood holds an Associate of Science in nursing from Shasta College.

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