Associate of Radiologic Technologist: Degree Overview
Read an overview of an associate's degree program for prospective radiologic technologists. Determine the educational requirements for admission, and examine the featured courses. Check the employment projections and licensing information for graduates.
An associate's degree program in radiologic technology trains high school graduates to work with patients, produce X-ray images and limit exposure to radiation. Training to be a radiologic technologist typically involves the study of human anatomy, patient care and radiography. Students also complete hands-on clinical training. Some specific programs that aspiring radiologic technologists may want to pursue are an Associate of Applied Science in Radiography, an Associate of Science in Radiography or an associate's degree in radiologic technology. Professional credentials are required to work in this field. Program graduates in many states will need to earn licensure or certification.
Universities and community colleges typically require applicants to have a high school diploma or its equivalent to enter degree programs. Some colleges may recommend students to take courses in math, chemistry, physics and biology before beginning a radiology associate's degree program.
Classes provide knowledge about radiation principles and training in the specifics of radiation equipment usage. Students may also learn how to develop their communication skills and learn how to deal with medical emergencies. Common course topics may include:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Medical terminology
- Radiography equipment and maintenance
- Radiographic procedures
- Radiation protection
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for radiologic technologists is predicted to grow 21% between the years 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). In May 2012, the median annual salary for radiologic technologists was $54,620, according to the BLS.
Licensure, Certification and Continuing Education Information
Most states require that radiologic technologist be licensed to ensure that they have the necessary qualifications for their jobs. In addition to licensure, radiologic technologists may choose to pursue voluntary certification through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). In some cases, ARRT certification is used as state licensure. Certification lasts for two years and must be maintained through continuing education.
Some universities offer bachelor's degrees in radiologic technology or radiography. A bachelor's degree program builds upon the same coursework of an associate's degree program concerning X-rays and radiographic procedures. A bachelor's degree program may also require students to take more liberal arts classes like English, social sciences and psychology.
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