Radiology Certificate, Certification and Diploma Program Info

Radiologic certificate and diploma programs are typically offered through community colleges. Some schools offer the classroom portion of these programs online, and allow students to do the clinical courses at a local cooperating medical facility. Licensing is usually required, but requirements will vary by state.

Essential Information

Basic certificates and diplomas take 2-3 years to complete. Admission can be competitive, and applicants must be 18 and have a high school diploma. Prerequisite coursework, background checks, and physicals may also be required. Advanced certificates, which allow licensed radiology technicians to specialize, normally take about a semester to complete.

  • Program Length: 2-3 years
  • Online Availability: Available through some programs
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED

Radiology Certificate and Diploma Programs

Radiology certificate and diploma programs teach students the techniques used in radiological imaging. Students develop skills in imaging procedures and the use of imaging equipment. Programs can also help students to develop professional skills and learn to communicate effectively in a medical environment.

The majority of the curriculum in a radiology program focuses on teaching students about the procedures, techniques and equipment used in radiological imaging. Topics covered in a program may include:

  • Anatomy
  • Radiographic exposure
  • Safety and radiology
  • Patient positioning
  • Image production and analysis
  • Pharmacology

Advanced Professional Radiology Certificate

These certificate programs are most commonly offered in specialization options, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), mammography and computer tomography (CT). These programs can be completed in one semester and are designed for technicians or technologists already working in the field.

In most cases, advanced professional certificate programs are designed for radiologic technicians who already hold ARRT certification. This would call for the previous completion of an accredited radiology program. In a program, students study radiologic science as it directly applies to their area of specialization. Clinical experiences are commonly mandatory for these programs, and coursework could include:

  • Imaging procedures
  • Quality assurance
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Certification preparation

Popular Career Options

Graduates of a certificate or diploma program can qualify to work as a radiologist technician. Individuals may work in:

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Doctors' offices

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about 229,300 jobs were held in 2012 by radiologic technologists (www.bls.gov). The BLS projected an increase in employment by 21% from 2012-2022. In May 2014, the median annual salary for these professionals was reported was $55,870.

Continuing Education Information

The goal of most certificate programs is to qualify for technicians for ARRT certification in their area of interest. By completing these advanced programs, individuals can be prepared for specialized certification at the national and state levels.

After graduation of a properly accredited program, students can obtain the appropriate licensure and certification to work in their state. Licensure is mandatory in most states, but requirements can vary. Certification with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) is voluntary, but in many cases certification with this organization can satisfy state licensure requirements.

Beyond the certificate or diploma program level, students may complete associate or bachelor's degree programs in radiology, radiologic technology or radiography. Individuals interested in moving into chief or supervisor positions may need to complete a master's degree program in health administration or business. Those who want to stay at the technician level, but who wish to gain specialization, can completed advanced practice certificate programs.

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