“Bone Densitometry equipment operator” performs bone densitometry using only dual energy X-ray absorptiometry equipment. Studies using CT, fluoroscopy, or non-dedicated equipment are prohibited.

“Bone Densitometry” means the art and science of applying ionizing radiation to the human body using a dual energy x-ray absorptiometry unit for the sole purpose of measuring bone density.

“ARRT” means the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.


Follow this link to the X-Ray Equipment Operator in Bone Densitometry Training Manual

What are the steps needed to obtain a permit to practice in bone densitometry?
Please review the flowchart for the steps toward obtaining a permit to practice in bone densitometry.

Where do I take the classroom training?
The classroom work is completed in an 8 hour session approved by Iowa HHS. This training is offered at least twice a year.  If you are interested in this training, contact one of the schools listed.

Iowa HHS  does offer an Online Bone Densitometry class which will meet the requirements of the Bureau and prepare the student to take the department-approved examination.  A new class will be offered on the 1st of each month.  The cost for the class is $150 payable to Iowa HHS.  There may al be other expenses like any textbooks or other material the student chooses to buy on their own.  If interested in more information or to register for the class contact Matthew Millard at matthew.millard@idph.iowa.gov. Application deadline is the 25th of the month prior when the student is planning to start. Example: If the student wants to start class on May 1st, application deadline is April 25th.

What will the classroom training cover?
Radiation safety, equipment operation, quality control, patient care, and anatomy. The certification exam will not be given as part of the classroom training.

What is the cost of the classroom training?
The cost is determined by the instructor but can range from $125 to $150 for 8 hour course.

Where do I take the clinical training?
The clinical training is conducted by the clinical instructor at the trainee’s facility. Students are responsible for finding their clinical site(s).

Who is a clinical instructor?
A general radiologic technologist, a limited radiologic technologist in extremities, or x-ray operator in bone densitometry. The clinical instructor must have a current Iowa permit and two years of radiology experience.

What will the clinical training cover?
Clinical instruction will include positioning and a minimum of 10 projections excluding the 5 competency projections.

What records must be kept?
A list of all of the projections you take to include the date, projection, and any problems.

What are competency projections?
Competency projections are a clinical exam and shall include 5 projections. All competency testing shall be directly supervised by the clinical instructor.

When can I perform bone densitometry on my own?
Clinical instructors must directly supervise you before you have completed the competency for a specific projection. After you have completed the competency, the clinical instructor may indirectly supervise you for that projection. You may not perform bone densitometry studies independently until you have received your permit.

What do I do once I have completed all of the training?
Submit an application for the exam. Take the exam. If you pass, submit an application for your permit. Once you receive your permit, you may perform bone densitometry studies independently.

Testing Requirements

Arrangements are made with Iowa HHS for testing or using an Iowa HHS approved certification test. Applicants will need to secure a proctor and return a proctor form to Iowa HHS. The Test Proctor Form is also considered the application to take the exam.


Continuing Education Requirements for X-Ray Equipment Operators in Bone Densitometry

  • You must earn 4.0 hours of continuing education (CE) within the biennium indicated on your permit.
  • You must report the hours with your renewal application on the year your CEs are due.
  • CE is due at the time of renewal. Failure to complete the hours will result in an expired permit and you will not be allowed to perform bone densitometry studies.
  • You may submit proof of activities recognized by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT).
  • Activities may be lectures or self-studies. The same lecture may be repeated only once in a biennium. The self-study activity may not be repeated.
  • Acceptable proof of completion must be documentation signed and dated by the CE provider that includes the participant’s name, title of the activity, approval number for the activity, dates of attendance, number of contact hours for the activity, the name of the approving organization, and signature of the sponsor or instructor or authorized representative of the sponsor or instructor.
  • It is your responsibility to make sure that your proof of completion meets the requirements in #6.
  • You must maintain proof of continuing education for at least 3 years.
  • Continuing education obtained to satisfy disciplinary or enforcement action or as part of a corrective action plan may not be reported to meet continuing education requirements.
  • All permit holders are subject to a department audit at any time.