Montana Radiology Tech Careers and Degrees

Receiving your Radiologic Technologist Training in Montana

A radiologic technologist performs diagnostic imaging examinations on patients using computerized equipment. Radiology technology is a profession that requires completion of a formal training program and passing a certification exam. If you want to study radiologic technology in Montana, you only have five accredited radiology technician schools from which to choose. Because these programs are selective admission programs, specific admission requirements must be met to be accepted into the program. This may include the following: criminal background check, drug screenings, health insurance, high school diploma, liability insurance and CPR certification.

In addition to completing prerequisite courses, as a radiology tech student, you will learn about radiologic physics, radiographic principles and procedures, patient care, radiation protection and imaging safety. Hands-on training is obtained through clinical rotations that have you working with experienced radiologic technologists. The final semester usually includes a review course to prepare you to take and pass the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination. The radiologist technician programs usually take at least two years to complete and result in associate degrees, although some students pursue bachelor’s degrees.

Radiology Technician Licensing in Montana

Radiologic technologists working in the state of Montana must be licensed through the Montana Board of Radiologic Technologists and be either state- or ARRT-certified. To meet licensing requirements, you must be at least 18 years old and must meet educational and testing requirements. Before you can apply for your radiologic technologist license, you must show proof that you completed a board-approved, 24-month radiology technology program and passed the ARRT certification examination. The license must be renewed annually. The board may issue a temporary permit to students who have completed the training but have not taken the certification exam. You can also obtain a license as a limited radiographer by completing 40 hours of training and passing a state exam.

While radiology technician schools don’t provide you with certification, they do prepare you to take the computer-based certification exam. Although Montana does not require continuing education credits, it does require proof of current ARRT certification. However, the ARRT requires that radiologist technicians complete 24 continuing education credits every two years to maintain their certification.

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Career Outlook for Radiology Tech Jobs in Montana

The demand for radiology techs continues to grow each year. These healthcare professionals are projected to see an employment growth of 28% during the 2010-2020 decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) The BLS also reported that the 760 radiological technologies who were employed in Montana in 2012 earned a mean annual wage of $51,580, an amount slightly less than the nationwide figure of $56,450. Alternately, the average hourly rate was $26.26 per hour. An American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) 2010 survey indicated that entry-level radiology techs earned annual salaries of more than $44,000. Earning certifications in other areas of specialty can substantially increase the earning potential.

While the highest rate of employment for radiology techs is at general medical and surgical hospitals, jobs are also found at physicians’ offices, medical and diagnostic laboratories, outpatient care centers, insurance carriers and specialty hospitals. Radiologic technology is a field that offers many career paths. With additional study and certifications, a student can become a radiologist assistant, diagnostic medical sonographers, cardiovascular technologist or a nuclear medicine technologist; the possibilities are endless. Because radiology departments of hospitals are often open as needed, radiologic techs may have flexible work hours.