What is a difference between X-ray tech and Radiology Tech?

If you already have a license as an X-ray technician, how can you then get a license for a Radiology technician? I am about to enroll in a very expensive X-ray technician/Medical assistant program for 12 months but they are not offering a full Radiology Technician course and I want to be able to become a Radiology Tech in the future. Please also recommend some schools that will accept an X-Ray technician as a Prereq. to beoming a Radiology Tech.


  1. Lissacal says

    It sounds as if this program you are interested in will allow you to be come a limited tech. This means that there are many things in the imaging department that you will not be legally allowed to do. A radiological technologist (the correct term for a x-ray tech or radiology tech) is fully licensed and can do any procedure in the imaging department. It can be difficult to find employment as a limited tech., as most facilities hire fully licensed RTs, as they can peform all imaging studies. A limited license tech. cannot do fluoroscopy, surgical procedures, some x-ray exams, portable studies, and they cannot be cross-trained into mammography or CT scanning. Most limited techs. work in orthopedic offices, where the workload consists of just bone work. I have never worked for a facility which also employed limited techs.

    I am unsure why you would spend the time and money on a limited tech. program, if your end goal is to become a RT. Most RT programs are 2 years in length for anyone entering them. If you get a limited license first, your RT program will still be 2 years long. So, going to a limited license program just adds another year to your schooling. It is a long, windy road to your goal. The only benefit, I can see, of doing both educational programs is that your limited license may possibly make it easier for you to gain admission to a RT program. But, you will still need to spend two years in that program.

    If I were you, I would go straight into the RT program. RadTech gave you a good link, where you can find RT programs in your area. There are many schools in many states where you can get trained to be a radiologic technologist. You can attend a hospital based program (and earn a certificate), a 2 year college program (AS degree), and even a 4 year college program (BS degree). The hospital based programs are the least expensive, and honestly, I think the education received there is superior. Once you graduate and take your registry exam, no future employer is going to care what type of educational program you went through. All they care about is your license. You can find an accredited RT program at this site. Just search “radiography” and your state…links are provided which will give you additional information on each program (cost, duration of program, contact person):