A degree or certificate in radiological science and technologies provides a background in radiological imaging and anatomy. Graduates may find jobs as radiographers or MRI technologists, both of which work with advanced imaging technologies.
Radiological science and technologies is offered in both associate's and bachelor's degree programs. Coursework often includes radiographic anatomy and procedures, cross-sectional anatomy, radiographic imaging, radiographic positioning and radiation safety. Many programs require students to participate in clinical rotations where they get to practice with various radiological technologies. For example, during one rotation, students may practice positioning patients in order to take x-rays, while in another they may gain experience using imaging equipment for CT scans. These programs prepare students for careers as both radiographers and MRI technologists.
|Education Requirements||Associate's degree||Associate's degree|
|Additional Requirements||State license||State license|
|Job Growth (2014-2024)*||9%||10%|
|Mean Salary (2015)*||$58,520 annually||$68,340 annually|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Radiological sciences and technologies programs prepare students to use diagnostic imaging tools in healthcare facilities. The BLS notes that radiologic technologists in most states need to be licensed, and that each state has its own respective requirements for licensure. Additionally, while obtaining certification is not a standard career requirement, some states may require applicants to pass nationally recognized certification exams, such as those administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Keep reading for an overview of two occupations in the field of radiological sciences and technology.
According to the BLS, radiographers create internal images of patient's bones, bloodstreams and other organs. They do so through the use of imaging equipment, such as x-rays or computed tomography (CT). These professionals keep patients and staff safe by closely monitoring the levels of radiation and by using appropriate safety gear, such as lead vests.
During the decade from 2014 to 2024, the BLS predicts that open positions for radiologic technologists will increase by 9%, which is faster than average. One of the factors fueling this job growth is the population's increasing lifespan, which necessitates more medical treatments like radiological imaging. BLS salary records indicated that radiological technologists earned an annual mean salary of $58,520 in 2015.
Students in radiological science and technologies may choose to specialize in MRI technology. MRI technologists are responsible for examining patients using a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. These technologists inject patients with contrast dyes prior to scanning. The MRI images the technologists obtain may help doctors diagnose their patients.
According to the BLS, MRI technologists earned a mean annual salary of $68,340 in 2015. Between 2014 and 2024, the BLS predicts that the demand for MRI technologists will increase by 10%.
A degree in radiological science and technologies imparts math and technical skills, in addition to training students to understand and operate advanced imaging machinery. The degree leads to careers as radiological technologists and MRI technologists, which are patient-centered professions requiring interpersonal skills.