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X-Ray Tech Programs with Prerequisite and Coursework Information

Read about associate's programs in x-ray technology. Get information on admission requirements and common coursework, and learn about popular career options and salary potential after graduation.

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Essential 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. Nearly all programs in this field include both didactic and clinical coursework that explores the many facets of operating radiology equipment, including x-ray machines and CT scanners. Completion of an undergraduate program can prepare students for licensure or certification in the field, which is required in some states. Graduates are qualified for work as x-ray technicians or radiologic technologists.

Educational Prerequisites

An associate's degree in x-ray technology program requires potential students to have received their high school diploma or its equivalent. Applicants are expected to have successfully completed science, algebra, biology or physics courses during prior studies.

Program Coursework

An associate's degree program in x-ray technology combines both academic and clinical facets and takes two years to complete. The first year is made up of mostly classroom and theoretical work, while the second year is almost purely practical in nature. The second half of the program prepares students to directly transition into a career; many students gain employment at the same hospital or healthcare facility in which they have been interning.

Program coursework addresses the 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. Courses include the following:

  • Algebra
  • Physical education
  • Physics
  • Health science
  • Radiography
  • Radiologic anatomy
  • Principals of x-ray exposure
  • Modality imaging
  • Patient positioning

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of radiologic technologists will increase by 28% from 2010-2020, which is faster than the average occupation. Most x-ray jobs are located within hospitals. In May 2012, the median annual salary of radiologic technologists was $54,620, with the highest-paid ten percent of workers earning more than $77,160.


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 tests for 35 states. Re-certification requires 24 hours of continuing education every two years.

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