Radiologic technologists are responsible for taking x-rays and producing other medical images using radiation and radio wave technology. These technologists work under the supervision of physicians or radiologists. Associate's degree programs in radiologic technology prepare students to work in hospitals, clinics and labs as radiologic technologists. This 2-year program may also include internship or externship opportunities in medical facilities.
To enroll in an associate's degree program in radiologic technology, students must have a high school diploma. Most programs do not require students to submit SAT or ACT scores, though placement exams for core classes may be required.
Associate's Degree in Radiologic Technology
In an associate's degree program, students take life science and medical courses covering biology, anatomy, physiology, and healthcare communication. Although some programs take place in classrooms, many courses are conducted in medical labs. Students learn to produce accurate medical images using advanced radiological technology equipment. Common courses include:
- Radiographic procedures
- Patient care in radiologic technology
- Medical terminology
- Radiologic pathology
- Cross-sectional anatomy
- Radiographic positioning
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
There were approximately 195,600 radiologic technologists in 2015, reported the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). Most radiologic technologists worked in hospitals, while others were employed by physicians' offices, medical labs and medical imaging centers. Employment opportunities for radiologic technologists are expected to increase by about 9% from 2014 to 2024. The median annual salary for radiologic technologists was $56,670 in 2015, as per the BLS.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
For students interested in pursuing supervisory or management positions in radiologic technology, a bachelor's or master's degree in radiologic technology may be suitable. Radiologic technologists with bachelor's degrees may advance to supervisory positions, and those with master's degrees may be hired for teaching and research positions.
Radiologic technologists can seek voluntary certification through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). A majority of states use an ARRT-regulated exam to grant licensure to radiologic technologists. To increase career advancement opportunities, students can also specialize in a certain area of radiologic technology, such as angiography or CT scanning.
Radiologic technology associate's degrees teach students about the medical applications of radiation and how to apply them in a hospital setting. These programs often provide students with internship and externship opportunities and the ability to become certified or advance to a higher level of education after graduation for better employment prospects.