Radiology Tech Schools and Degrees
Welcome to the most complete directory on the Web of Radiology Technician programs. It contains all the nationally accredited programs, from 241 schools across the country. You can scroll down to see the school listings.
Becoming a radiology technician is a great career choice as jobs in the health care industry continue to grow. As the large baby boomer generation become senior citizens and are more prone to illness, there will be more and more people with conditions requiring medical imaging in order to be diagnosed. Because of this, there is an increasingly strong demand in this high tech, high touch field. Take the first step towards your radiology career by reading on and requesting information about the radiology tech schools and degrees listed on this page.
This page provides information about the certificates, degrees, and licenses you need to become a radiology tech. It explains what it takes to get into an accredited program, outlines salaries, and describes what you can expect if you choose this career.
How to Become a Radiology Technician
To become a radiology technician you need to earn either an associate or a bachelor’s degree in radiography. Many radiology techs enter the field with only an associate degree. Typically, an associate degree takes at least two years to complete; some programs can take as many as three years, depending on the clinical requirements. Completing a bachelor’s degree usually takes four years. In addition, hospitals may require additional coursework for those who seek advanced positions.
Associate Degree in Radiology
Associate degree programs in radiography are designed to give you a sound understanding of basic biology, physiology, and anatomy, as well as patient care and clinical skills. Programs are often offered at community colleges and technical schools. They’re open to high school graduates with no prior training in the field.
Requirements for an associate degree in radiographic technology include general classes in science, math, and English, as well as courses in imaging, diagnostic concepts, radiographic procedures and protection, and patient care.
Graduates of these programs typically work in hospitals, clinics, and private medical offices. Certificate and associate degree programs are available in specializations such as nuclear medicine, magnetic resonance imaging, sonography, computed tomography, and cardiovascular-interventional technologies.
Bachelor’s Degree in Radiology
Radiography programs and schools are accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. There are many accredited bachelor’s degree programs. Admission requires completion of prerequisite courses in science and math, as well as above-average grade point averages (GPAs). Many require higher-than-average scores on pre-admission tests like the SAT or ACT. Applicants who have completed an accredited associate degree program in radiologic technology may be able to transfer credits and apply them toward the bachelor’s degree requirements.
The classes offered in a bachelor’s degree curriculum offer hands-on radiologic training and instructional theory. The degree may qualify you for positions such as CT technician, MRI technician, radiation therapist, and sonographer.
This degree will teach you to perform advanced radiographic imaging procedures, ensure patient safety and comfort, and develop a professional identity and leadership skills. Your studies will focus on patient care, ethics, radiation safety and protection, radiation physics, pathology, anatomy and other topics. It typically takes about four years to earn a bachelor’s in radiologic technology. In most states, graduates are required to become licensed before becoming a practicing radiologic tech.
A bachelor’s degree can lead to a higher salary, greater opportunities to assume a leadership role, or management opportunities.
Certificates in Radiology
Earning a certificate in radiologic technology typically takes one to two years of full-time study in preparation for entry-level jobs in the field. If you’re interested in radiology certification, there are two primary types of certificates, foundational and advanced.
Foundational Certificates in Radiology
Foundational certificates provide confirmation that you have the basic knowledge and skills needed for radiologic technology. Many states require radiologic technologists to be licensed by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), which requires an associate degree. Foundational certificate programs are often completed after, or in combination with, an associate degree program.
Individuals with no prior formal training in radiologic technology should have at least a high school diploma or GED before applying for a foundational program. Be sure to check the requirements for any program you are considering as some programs require prerequisite classes, while others require students to have an associate degree. You may be asked to submit transcripts, references, a personal essay, or proof of work experience or job shadowing.
A foundational certificate is suited for those who have no formal training or experience, for those who already have an associate degree, or for those who want to earn a certificate as part of an associate degree program.
Advanced Certificate in Radiology
An advanced certificate in radiology can be obtained by experienced radiologic professionals who want to continue to develop skills and expertise in a specific area or with a specific type of population, such as children or older adults.
Advanced certifications are available in MRI, mammography, bone densitometry, CT, breast sonography, vascular sonography, sonography, quality management, cardiac-interventional radiography and vascular interventional radiography.
How to Choose a Radiology School
There are several important factors to consider when choosing a radiology school. While it may seem obvious, the first thing you want to confirm is that the school offers the program or degree you’re interested in. Ask how much time is spent in lecture-based classrooms and how much hands-on experience is provided. If you can, find out if the program uses up-to-date equipment. You’ll also want to know how much clinical experience you’ll get in a healthcare setting.
It’s important to know what jobs you’ll be eligible for when you complete the program. If you want to become certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), look for programs that provide specific preparation for a credential.
Other things to check on include the program’s curriculum, graduation rate, costs, career services (including support for job placement) the types of financial assistance that may be available, and whether or not your credits will transfer should you decide you want to continue your education.
Radiology Technician Program Requirements
Program requirements vary by degree level and institution. It’s also worth noting that even some hospitals offer training in radiology. The training lasts anywhere from 21 to 24 months, and at the end of the program, the technician earns a certificate. Over 300 career colleges in the United States offer two-year associate programs that are accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. Some universities also offer a four-year bachelor’s degree in radiology.
Admission requirements vary from one program to another, but most programs require students to have, at minimum, a high school diploma or a GED. Some schools also want to see high school transcripts showing high grades in math and science classes. In addition to teaching students the proper care and use of imaging equipment, most associate programs also expect students to take classes in: physiology and anatomy, medical ethics, logic and critical thinking, communication, and basic medical skills (obtaining vital signs, drawing blood or initiating cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR).
Because part of a radiology technician’s job involves assisting patients on and off exam tables, positioning them correctly to get the precise image the doctor wants, and sometimes helping to transfer unconscious patients from one surface to another, some schools also require students to take physical education classes.
An externship can sometimes be required, as well, before your degree is awarded. A radiology technician externship could include working in a hospital or other medical setting and gaining experience in assisting other technicians. You would practice the skills you have learned in your classes.
Financial Aid, Grants, and Scholarships for Radiology Technician Schools
Access to scholarships and financial aid are available for high-demand medical fields like radiology. Industry associations, educational foundations, private entities, government agencies, colleges and other institutions of higher learning offer a variety of scholarships, loans, and grants. Here are a few:
The American Society of Radiologic Technologists Foundation currently makes a number of scholarships available to its members:
- Elekta Radiation Therapy Scholarship:Elekta, a company that provides clinical solutions for cancer and brain disorders, annually awards four scholarships of $5,000 each.
- The James and Stephanie Johnston Journey Scholarship:This scholarship goes to individuals with a medical imaging background who are pursuing a master’s degree or doctorate to further their career as an educator or manager in the field.
- Jerman-Cahoon Student Scholarship:The Jerman-Cahoon Student Scholarship, in honor of Edward C. Jerman, founder of the Society, and John B. Cahoon Jr., former ASRT president, awards six scholarships annually of $2,500 each to entry-level students in radiography, sonography, magnetic resonance or nuclear medicine.
- Joy and Jordan Renner Educator Scholarship:This scholarship will be awarded to educators who have volunteered at the affiliate or national levels of ASRT to help highly involved educators pursue a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree.
- The Marie L. A. Racine Scholarship:Marie Racine, who was awarded a scholarship early in her career, asked the ASRT Foundation to endow the Marie L. A. Racine Scholarship Fund to assist current radiation therapists earning a bachelor’s degree or higher.
- Parsons Degree Achievement ScholarshipThe Parsons Degree Achievement scholarship was created to help established radiologic technologists earn their first college degree (associate or bachelor’s). Up to 10 scholarships of $2,000 each are awarded each academic year in memory of Cathy Parsons, former ASRT Foundation Chairman.
Also, we offer a $1000 scholarship twice a year. Visit our scholarship page to apply.
Federal, state, private groups, and schools are also potential sources of funding.
- Pell Grants: The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate students. They are direct grants awarded through participating institutions to students with financial need who have not received their first bachelor’s degree.
- Stafford Loans: Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans are low-cost, fixed-rate federal student loans available to undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need.
- Federal Perkins Loan Program: The Federal Perkins Loan Program provides low interest loans to help needy students finance the costs of postsecondary education.
Talk to representatives of the schools you’re interested in to find out what, if any, financial assistance resources you may be eligible to receive.
Getting and Keeping Your Radiology Tech License
After you have earned your degree or completed your certificate program, you will need to obtain your license to practice as a radiological technician. License requirements vary from state to state to get your license, but you will need to be certified through the American Registry of Radiological Technologists (AART). This will require that your college or university sponsor the certification.
After the initial certification, you will need to take 24 hours of continuing education credits each year for your license to stay valid. These continuing education credits are usually sponsored, paid for and provided by your employer in the medical field. You will also have the opportunity, by obtaining certifications in these areas, to specialize in ultrasound, mammography, or even administering tests that require liquid to be ingested by the patient.
You will also be required to pass a criminal background check.
A Day in the Life of a Radiology Technician
As a radiology technician, you must have the skills necessary to operate the several types of equipment that help physicians diagnose medical conditions. On any given day, radiology techs may be responsible for conducting procedures using the following devices:
- Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT)
- Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
You should wear comfortable shoes while performing your duties. That’s because you’ll be on your feet for a good portion of your day. During some procedures you might have to help position patients, so your job will be easier if you stay in good shape to minimize the strain of this responsibility. This aspect of the job is more relevant if you work with senior or handicapped patients.
If you work in hospitals your work schedule could fluctuate and may include nights, weekends, on-call, and holidays. If you are looking for more of a 9-5 type of job then look at outpatient facilities, which tend to be appointment-based settings. Your schedule will likely then be more structured.
No matter the salary or job market in your area, being successful in radiology starts with a caring attitude. Much of your job will center on patient care, including taking histories, explaining procedures and results, and comforting patients during procedures. These skills can be improved when you learn from experienced professionals, and pay close attention during clinical training. Observe how the radiologists communicate and empathize with their patients from the time they walk in the door until their visit is over.
2018 Salary & Job Outlook for Radiologic Technologists
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a great resource for finding out salary and employment statistics for all kinds of careers. According to the most recent BLS data, radiologic technologists can expect to earn a median annual salary of $60,070 per year.
Here are the average radiologic salaries by industry:
- Federal government, excluding postal service – $63,040
- Hospitals; state, local, and private – $59,800
- Medical and diagnostic laboratories – $59,570
- Outpatient care centers – $58,020
- Offices of physicians – $52,620
- California – $77,650
- Texas – $57,350
- Florida – $55,210
- New York – $68,720
- Pennsylvania – $56,140
- California – $77,650
- District of Columbia – $77,500
- Massachusetts – $72,840
- Hawaii – $72,720
- Oregon – $71,450
More than half of employed radiology technicians work in a hospital setting. Other locations that you can find radiology techs are physician offices, medical and diagnostic labs, outpatient centers, and even within the federal government.
Since an emergency can happen at any time, radiology technicians are needed around the clock. You could work day shifts, night shifts, weekends, and holidays.
Radiology technicians usually move up the career ladder by accepting management positions in radiology and medical imaging departments.
Benefits of a Radiology Education
Radiology is a type of medical imaging that doctors use to diagnose conditions ranging from broken bones to tumors. The image is obtained by a radiology technician. There are several subtypes of radiology, including: x-rays, mammograms, computerized tomography (CT or CAT scans), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Since most radiology technicians have only one area of specialty, technicians who are trained in two or more types of imaging are especially valuable employees and are likely to advance quickly in their careers.
The great thing about the field of healthcare is how far and wide it stretches. Becoming a radiological technician can give you valuable experience as a precursor to other careers and advancements. When you discuss your education and career path with colleges that offer radiology technician programs, ask what other kinds of careers you might pursue after getting some experience. You might be surprised at how promising the job outlook really is in this growing field!
If you’re ready to take the next step, just click on any of our featured schools or use the search box to find a program near you!
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