Computed axial tomography, or CAT scanning, is performed using special x-ray equipment and sophisticated computers to produce multiple cross-sectional images of the inside of the body. Trained CAT scan technologists provide medical images to all types of doctors for the evaluation of many types of injuries, tissue damages, tumors and more. They learn to provide patient care, perform x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or CAT scans. Applicants to a CAT Scan Technology degree program must have completed a designated number of hours of work in a health care setting. Supervised clinical experience is required for most programs.
CAT Scan Technology Degree Programs
This two-year program includes professional courses, lectures and laboratory courses. Didactic courses prepare students to participate in internships. Most courses include supervised clinical instruction and experience. The degree program might prepare radiologic technologists for mandatory licensing.
Most schools require a high school diploma or equivalent with a mathematics and science GPA better than 2.5. Applicants must have completed a designated number of hours of work in a health care setting. Submission of criminal background checks and drug tests may also be required. A personal interview might also be required before acceptance.
Advanced courses train students these concepts:
- Radiographic positioning
- Patient care and ethics
- Mobile/surgical procedures
- Cross-section anatomy
Popular Career Options
Graduates of CAT scan technology or radiographic degree programs may find work in clinics, hospitals or other medical settings. Typical jobs include CT technologists, radiologic technician, radiologic technologist, and diagnostic medical sonographer.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), radiologic and MRI technologists could expect a faster than average 9% employment increase from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). As of May 2015, radiologic technologists earned a median annual wage of $56,670.
Continuing Education Information
Radiologic technologists are required to be licensed in most states, although this varies from state to state. Many states use the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for licensing purposes.
Individuals passing the ARRT examination obtain certification, which is preferred by most employers. Certification is maintained by completing 24 hours of continuing education during the two-year certification period. Many types of certifications are offered through the ARRT.
With in-class instruction, hands-on training and an internship, a two-year degree program in CAT scan technology teaches students the technical and patient-care skills need to earn licensure/certification and become a radiologic technologist.