Cancer is one of the most common causes of death in the United States, second only to heart disease. Breast cancer is one of the most common types, second only to lung cancer. There were 125.1 new cases and 19.9 new deaths from breast cancer compared to 49.4 new cases and 30.6 deaths from lung cancer.

87% of mammograms detect cancer cells. The chance of a false positive differs depending on your age, breast shape, mammogram frequency, and the experience of the professional performing the procedure.

A mammography technologist is a specialized radiologic technologist that performs mammograms. They need a wide range of skills to complete this task. Federal regulations ensure they continue to learn what they need to know.

Read our guide to learn the requirements for earning, maintaining, and renewing a mammography license based on ARRT and MQSA requirements and the consequences for failing to keep up.

Mammography License Requirements

Candidates for mammography jobs need a  2-year associate’s degree, or 4-year bachelor’s degree in radiologic technology. The associate’s degree is the most popular option. It qualifies you for most entry-level positions.

Further education provides several benefits. It lets you reach for executive-level positions, nets you higher paychecks, hones your skills, and more. It also helps you stay licensed to practice.

Mammography license requirements can be split into two categories; ARRT and MQSA requirements. These laws and regulations dictate how to obtain and maintain your mammography license.

ARRT Requirements

ARRT is an acronym that stands for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. The basic requirements include completing and reporting continuing education every 2 years, and completing Continuing Qualification Requirements every 10 years.

A biennium is a two-year period. You must earn and report 24 CE or continuing education credits during this period to meet the continuing education biennium requirement.

There is only one way to earn CE credits. You must complete ARRT-accepted courses, classes, lectures, and other continuing education.

The long-term CQR requirement applies to every radiographer who received their license on or after January 1st, 2011. It is required every 10 years, but you have 3 years to complete it.

This requirement keeps professionals accountable for providing the highest-quality care and improving their skills while helping them remain competitive. Meeting it involves a multi-step process.

Update your professional profile to include which procedures you perform and how often. Complete an SSA or Structured Self-Assessment under the supervision of a proctor to gauge your skills. Complete the necessary ARRT-approved continuing education.

These first two steps are preliminary and should take you no more than a few hours. The rest of the process is not very different from meeting the continuing education biennium requirement. 

ARRT audits professionals to ensure they continue to meet requirements. If this happens to you, provide proof that you’ve met all ARRT requirements and completed the necessary continuing education.

MQSA Requirements

The MQSA or Mammography Quality Standards Act was passed in 1992. 

The MQSA stipulates that radiologic technologists performing mammography screenings have at least 40 hours of education directly pertaining to mammography, including at least 25 mammograms performed under supervision and no less than eight hours of training in each mammographic modality they are certified to perform. Examples of mammographic modalities include screen-film mammography and xeromammography. Like radiologists, radiologic techs are also required to amass at least 15 continuing education credits every three years.

Mammography facilities are also subject to MQSA requirements. They must be approved by the proper federal or state board. They must also undergo regular inspections and reviews to ensure they continue to meet regulations.

Mammography License Renewal

Meeting mammography license requirements is a lifelong process. It’s necessary as long as you want to continue in your career. Once you’ve obtained your license, you’ll also have to renew it.

Renewal is more efficient than letting your credential expire. It saves you from having to take the boards and meet all initial requirements again.

You must renew your mammography license every two years through ARRT.  It’s simple to complete and fees differ by state.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

Failing to meet mammography license requirements has severe consequences. It could place you on probation or even get your license revoked.

Make sure to always get enough CE credits by your renewal date. If you don’t, your mammography license will be put on probation for six months by ARRT.

Once you satisfy your probationary requirements, you may be able to get your license back. Apply for recertification, pay the fees, and provide documentation to confirm you completed the necessary continuing education.

There is no simple way to reinstate your license once it’s been revoked. Instead, meet requirements to prevent it from happening.

How Can I Become a Mammography Technologist?

A mammography technologist is a necessary part of any healthcare facility. Breast cancer cases continue to climb and the need for qualified professionals increases. ARRT and MQSA seek to ensure that mammographers learn as much as they can to provide the highest level of care.

Both ARRT and MQSA focus on mammographers completing relevant courses and reporting them as proof that their continuing education has been met. You must choose the right place to get your continuing education for the best results and to avoid probation or losing your license.

We have a range of continuing education courses for healthcare professionals. They can help anyone who wants to meet requirements, learn new skills, and advance their career. Browse our mammography CE courses to begin or continue your training today.