Radiology Technologist Masters Degree Programs
Generally, a bachelor's degree is the terminal degree for radiology technologists. However, a master's degree is available for radiologist assistants and is the next step for radiologic technologists looking to advance their careers in the field.
Master's degree programs for radiologist assistants are intended to prepare professionals to bridge the gap between radiologic technologists and physicians. Radiologist assistants play a significant part in patient interactions; they may perform designated radiology procedures currently done by radiologists and conduct initial interpretations of diagnostic scans.
Master's programs for radiologist assistants generally require a 2-year commitment and are designed for professionals who are already working as registered radiologic technologists. Coursework focuses on computer technology and clinical research. Curricula often include anatomy and pharmacology courses, as well as on-site clinical work.
- Program Levels: Master's degree
- Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree; American Registry of Radiologic Technologists registration; previous clinical experience
- Online Availability: Some coursework available online
- Program Length: Two years
- Other Requirements: Clinical work
Radiologist Assistant Master's Programs
In order to gain acceptance to a radiologist assistant master's degree program, students must have worked a minimum number of years as radiologic technologists, usually three, and hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. In addition, schools may require letters of recommendation, and candidates must be registered with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
Depending on the program, coursework may include online and on-campus learning, in addition to on-site practice at a health facility. Courses are advanced and assume prior knowledge of radiology and relevant equipment. Courses may cover the following:
- Health physics
- Patient assessment
- Interventional procedures
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Since the radiologist assistant field is an emerging one, employment and salary figures are not readily available; the first class of radiologist assistants graduated from Loma Linda University in 2005, according to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (www.asrt.org). However, figures on radiologic technologists, of which this career field is an extension, are available through the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Job growth from 2012 to 2022 is expected to reach 21%, which is faster than average, and the median annual salary of radiology technologists in May 2014 was $55,870.