In an AAS radiologic technology program students learn about equipment, following instructions from physicians and adhering to crucial safety protocols. The curricula typically consist of coursework and lab sessions in health and technology courses, as well as clinical rotations. During clinical rotations, students can gain experience working with patients and equipment under supervision in an actual healthcare setting. Programs are typically two and a half years in length and require applicants to have a high school diploma or GED. Students may also need a background check and updated immunizations.
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Associate of Applied Science in Radiologic Technology
Individuals enrolled in the program learn to use radiologic equipment, such as x-ray, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines, to help doctors diagnose patients. Some programs may also include classes in anatomy and physiology, algebra and psychology. Students can also encounter courses in topics such as:
- Radiographic procedures
- Exposure principles
- Imaging equipment
- Radiation protection
- Radiographic positioning
Popular Career Options
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statics (BLS) reported that, while many radiologic technologists and technicians work in hospitals, opportunities are also available in imaging centers and physician's offices (www.bls.gov). They interact with patients, explaining the procedures to them and helping them through the process. Throughout a procedure, they are concerned with both the patient's safety and their own. Some career titles in radiologic technology can include:
- Radiologic technician
- CT technologist
- Radiological technologist
- MRI technologist
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
A faster- than-average employment growth of 9% was predicted for radiologic technologists by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), between 2014 and 2024. These professionals earned an annual median salary of $56,670 in 2015, the BLS reported.
Continuing Education and Licensure Information
The BLS indicates that most states have varying licensing standards for radiologic technologists, though most states do require licensure. A common requirement is passing a state-approved licensing examination, such as the exam offered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Once certified, individuals must meet continuing education requirements to maintain their eligibility.
Though less commonly offered than associate degree programs, bachelor's degree programs in radiologic technology are also available. These programs may offer students a greater amount of clinical experience opportunities, as well as additional coursework in areas like management information systems or marketing. This could be appealing to a student who plans to eventually enroll in a master's degree program in order to obtain an administrative position in the healthcare field. Combination associate and bachelor's degree programs are also available, where students may complete a 2-year radiologic technology program and go on to complete a 4-year program in a subject like allied health.
Students desiring to work as radiologic technologists can enroll in an Associate of Applied Science in Radiologic Technology program to learn the required skills. Graduates may need to obtain state licensure and can pursue bachelor's degree programs in the field if they would like.