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Associate of Radiologic Technologist: Degree Overview

An associate's degree in radiologic technology, AAS in radiography and AS in radiography prepares students to work with patients to produce x-ray images. Training to be a radiologic technologist typically involves study of human anatomy, patient care and radiography.

Essential Information

Some specific programs to pursue are an Associate's of Applied Science in Radiography, an Associate's of Science in Radiography or an associate's degree in radiologic technology. Applicants for an associate's degree program must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Students learn skills and techniques through hands-on clinical training. Associate degrees typically take two years to complete and professional credentials are required to work in this field. Program graduates in many states will need to earn licensure or certification.


Associate's Degree in Radiography

Students have multiple options for an associate's degree in radiography. Coursework provides knowledge about radiation principles and training in the specifics of radiation equipment usage. Students develop communications skills and learn how to deal with medical emergencies. Some colleges may recommend that students take courses in math, chemistry, physics and biology before beginning a radiology associate's degree program. 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 9% between the years 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). In May 2015, the mean annual salary for radiologic technologists was $58,520, 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.

A student who earns an associate's degree in radiologic technology will study topics such as medical terminology and radiation protection. Many states require that students seek their license upon graduation in order to get a job.

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