X-Ray Tech Programs with Prerequisite and Coursework Information

X-ray technology programs, also known as radiography or radiologic technology programs, are offered at 2-year schools and most commonly lead to an associate's degree. Students in this field learn to operate radiology equipment such as x-ray machines and CT scanners.

Essential Information

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 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.

  • Program Levels in X-Ray Technology: Associate's degree
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma; completion of biology, algebra, and physics courses.
  • Other Requirements: Completion of clinical work in conjunction with coursework.

Associate's Degree in X-Ray Technology

An associate's degree in x-ray technology program requires a high school diploma or equivalent. Applicants should have completed science, algebra, biology or physics courses. Programs combine academic and clinical elements and take two years to complete. 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:

  • Algebra
  • Physics
  • 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 21% from 2012-2022; faster than average. Most x-ray jobs are located within hospitals. In May 2014, the median annual salary of radiologic technologists was $55,870, with the highest-paid ten percent of workers earning more than $80,080.


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.

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