Mammography is only one branch of many different radiologic modalities. It focuses mainly on breast x-rays to detect cancer and other diseases early when they’re most treatable.
Mammographers are a viable workforce in the entire healthcare society, and the demand for them is projected to only rise in the next ten years. Learn what it takes to earn a mammography certification and land yourself a job in one of the most stable industries.
Getting Certified in Mammography
In order to get certified in mammography, you must first obtain an American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification in radiography. This certification is given to people who have secured an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in radiologic technology and passed the ARRT qualifying exam.
Education will take two years for an associate’s degree and four years for a bachelor’s degree in an accredited radiologic technology program.
After you have passed the ARRT examination and have earned yourself a certificate in radiography, you must then pursue additional education in radiologic technology, this time specializing in the field of mammography. You will get exposed to mammography-specific coursework and classes, as well as hands-on tomosynthesis mammography training, to prepare you for the ARRT mammography exam and certification.
What are the Requirements for ARRT Mammography Certification?
Earning the ARRT mammography certification is not as difficult as it looks. Here are the basics you need to know to help you get started:
Those wanting an ARRT mammography certification will need to submit an application via the ARRT website. The registry will review the application and verify if the necessary ARRT-accredited program has been completed before you can receive a schedule for the ARRT examination.
Aside from the necessary coursework and classes, you will need to fulfill the necessary clinical requirements. This means putting whatever you have learned in theory into actual hands-on practice. These are often already integrated into the education program.
You will have to perform a total of 25 hands-on mammography examinations under the guidance of a qualified mammographer or radiologic technology instructor.
One of the key points the ARRT looks at when they grant someone a certification is their ethics.
Radiologic technologists would be exposed to different people every day and thus are expected to be professional at all times. The ARRT has a specific set of standards on the types of behaviors they do and do not tolerate.
This includes fraud or deception, and unprofessional conduct, along with legal charges or convictions, court supervision, probation, felonies, misdemeanors, and traffic violations that involve the use of drugs or alcohol. 
As soon as you are cleared in the educational, clinical, and ethical requirements, you will be allowed to choose a schedule for the exam. Show up at least 30 minutes early to the testing site, and bring a couple of IDs with you that match the name on the ARRT application. The test is computer-based and mostly in multiple-choice questions.
Maintenance & Recertification
It’s a must to maintain and renew your ARRT certification annually to continue working as a mammographer. Renewal of the certification has a small fee and can easily be done online. The renewal deadline will always be on the last day of your birth month.
To qualify for renewal, you must be up-to-date with your Continuing Education (CE) requirements, which we’ll talk more about below.
Because healthcare technology rapidly changes and evolves, mammographers need to pursue continued education in mammography schools to keep up with the latest development. Self-study courses, lectures at professional society meetings, in-class learnings, and approved online classes all contribute to CE credits, which will need to be reported along with your ARRT certification renewal.
The ARRT requires 24 CE credits every two years, or what they call “biennium.” ?
It depends. As long as you exercise diligence in studying and preparing for the exam in advance, you won’t find the ARRT exam difficult. It mostly covers fundamental concepts on mammography that you should know by heart. It’s an honest, fair exam that doesn’t rely on trick questions.
However, the challenge lies in managing your time, as you only have 3.5 hours to finish a 220-question exam.
The ARRT exam can be taken three times at most within three years. Some states require a state-backed radiology exam separate from the ARRT, and if you fail this exam, this will be counted against ARRT’s three-attempts policy.
The length of time it takes to get your ARRT certificate depends on several factors. Once you apply for eligibility, expect to wait up to 30 days for approval, after which you will then be asked to choose a schedule for the exam. After the examination, the test results will most likely be available to you in two to three weeks.
Earning the coveted ARRT mammography certification is easy if you put your entire heart to it. If you take your classes seriously, as well as do your due diligence in your clinical practicum, you’re well on your way to becoming a professional mammographer.
Once you’ve taken that first step towards a mammography journey, there’s no stopping you. Get in touch with us at RadComm to learn more about our services that may just help you take that leap. Check out our ARRT Mammography Certification Exam Review Bundle here.
ARRT Mammography Exam Review Bundle