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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 commonly used radiology equipment.

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 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:

  • 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 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.

Certification

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.

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