Alaska Radiology Tech Careers and Degrees
Receiving your Radiologic Technologist Training in Alaska
Options for radiology technician schools in Alaska are limited, but great efforts have been made to bring degree-earning training programs to the major cities in the state. Currently, the only institution of higher learning to organize a radiology technician program is the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) School of Allied Health. New students are accepted into the program in Anchorage and Fairbanks each year. However, it is only open to new students in Juneau and Kenai in even-numbered years and in Bethel and Ketchikan in odd-numbered years.
To enroll in the program, individuals must apply to both the school and the Medical Imaging Sciences Department where an in-person interview is required. Once accepted into the program, students must complete 62 credit hours of didactic coursework and practical training over five semesters. Because the program results in an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree, students must complete general education requirements in math, biology, behavioral sciences and technological sciences. The program is designed specifically to allow students to receive certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).
Radiology Technician Licensing in Alaska
Alaska does not license or certify radiologist technicians working in the state. Oversight of radiology techs falls under the jurisdiction of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, which may initiate investigations and introduce disciplinary measures as a result of complaints. However, most aspects of credentialing are allowed to be carried out by UAA, ARRT and employers in the state.
Radiologic Technologists are recommended to complete the national ARRT examination and register with the organization, and many employers require this step before considering job applicants. To register with ARRT, individuals must complete an accredited educational program and earn an academic degree in radiation therapy, radiography or nuclear medicine technology.
Candidates can apply for the national examination anytime from three months before their expected graduation date to three years after graduating. Additional requirements for ARRT certification include proving good moral character by disclosing criminal proceedings and professional disciplinary actions. Certification is valid for two years, and recertification requires radiology technicians to complete 24 credits of continuing education classes.
Alaska Radiologic Technology Association
Career Outlook for Radiology Tech Jobs in Alaska
Radiologic technology is one of the fastest growing careers in the United States. The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs in the field are expected to increase from 219,900 in 2010 to 281,000 in 2020, which is a growth rate of 28 percent. By comparison, the average growth rate for all jobs in the nation is only 14 percent. Much of this growth is occurring because the population of seniors is increasing, but several new avenues are also available for employment. Traditionally, radiologist technicians were employed by hospitals, but now radiology techs may be employed to work in physicians’ offices, medical laboratories, outpatient care centers or government agencies.
The median radiology technician salary in the U.S. was $54,340 per year in 2010, which is $15,000 more than the median salary for other health technologists. In Alaska, the median radiology technician salary is $51,000 per year, but this slightly lower pay schedule runs through all health-related occupations in the state.