Nearly all programs in this field include both didactic and clinical coursework exploring the many facets of operating radiology equipment. Completion of an undergraduate program such as a 2-year associate's degree can prepare students for licensure or certification in the field, required by some states. Graduates are qualified for work as x-ray technicians or radiologic technologists.
Prerequisites for these programs may include a high school diploma and completion of biology, algebra, and physics courses.
Associate's Degree in X-Ray Technology
Associate's degree programs in x-ray technology combine academic and clinical elements. The first year consists mostly of classroom and theoretical work; the second year is mostly practical and prepares students to transition into a career. Many students gain employment at the hospital or healthcare facility in which they have interned.
Coursework addresses use of x-ray machinery in a healthcare setting and the role of x-rays results. Students gain knowledge of human anatomy and radiologic technology through courses in health science and physical education. Courses include the following:
- Health science
- Radiography and radiologic anatomy
- Principals of x-ray exposure
- Modality imaging and patient positioning
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of radiologic technologists will increase by 9% from 2014-2024; faster than average. Most x-ray jobs are located within hospitals. In May 2015, the median annual salary of radiologic technologists was $56,670, with the highest-paid ten percent of workers earning more than $81,660.
Voluntary certification is available to radiologic technologists seeking career advancement. Certification is available through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), which also provides licensing exams for 35 states. Re-certification requires 24 hours of continuing education every two years.
To summarize, x-ray technology programs provide students with the training needed to meet relevant licensing and certification requirements and pursue entry-level employment as radiologic technologists. The job outlook is generally positive, and most radiologic technicians will likely find employment within hospitals of some kind.