Hospital & Healthcare Entities Basic X-Ray Technician (BMO) |
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Hospital & Healthcare Entities Basic X-Ray Technician (BMO)

A basic x-ray machine operator, also referred to as a radiographer, operates the medical diagnostic machines that capture anatomical, internal images of patients. A radiologist supervises them while they work in close collaboration with physicians to help diagnose their patients.


Most x-ray machine operators hold an associate’s degree in radiologic technology. Aptitudes in math and science work best in this area, with high school level math and science required for entrance into a two-year program.


Currently, 37 states recognize the ARRT exam (American Registry of Radiologic Technologist). The ARRT exam will also certify an operator if required. While registration is optional, it is mandatory to obtain licensing in some states. Some employers will only hire those who are part of the ARRT with a passing exam grade.

Depending on the state, proper licensure is required to complete this job. Other states require certification, while still others only require an associate’s. The projected job growth into 2022 is 21%, with a median yearly salary of $55,870. Most will earn between $37,610 and $80,080, depending on the state, location, and medical facility budget.


A basic x-ray machine operator will typically be employed in clinics, hospitals, or other facilities with medical diagnostic labs. They have extensive physiology and anatomy knowledge and prepare patients by pointing x-ray equipment toward the appropriate areas of the body. They also communicate with patients regarding the process, help control radiation levels, keep patient records, and prep instruments.

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