An associate's degree in radiologic technology is the most common academic program for individuals interested in becoming radiologic technicians or radiographers. Radiologic technology and radiography are educational programs based on practical job skills, technological competence, and basic medical biology. Some programs allow students to transfer credits from a 2-year associate's program to a bachelor's degree program and thus take only two years to complete. In addition to covering business and communications topics, a bachelor's degree program in radiologic technology typically offers insight into emerging technologies and advanced radiographic procedures. Prerequisites include a high school diploma or equivalent, prior work experience, licensure, and/or associate's degree for bachelor's programs. Apprenticeship or internship are also commonly required.
Bachelor's Degree in Radiologic Technology
Bachelor's programs provide students with advanced education in information technology management, organizational communications and business administration so that they might gain leadership positions in the medical imaging departments of hospitals and other health care centers. Courses typically mix scientific and business-focused seminars and practical field experiences. These might include:
- Radiographic procedures
- Human anatomy and physiology
- Principles of radiographic exposure
- Advanced patient care
- Radiologic technology practicum
- Computers and software
- Organizational management
- Ethics and law in diagnostic imaging
- Radiation biology
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
There were about 230,600 radiologic technologists employed in the United States in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Employment of radiologic professionals was expected to increase by about 9% between 2014 and 2024, which was faster than the forecasted average job growth rate. In 2015, the median annual wage for radiologic technologists was $56,670.
Certification and Continuing Education
Graduate programs in radiology, such as a Master of Science in Radiologic Science, are useful to individuals aspiring to become educators or administrators in radiologic science. Such programs are also ideal for radiologic technologists and technicians seeking to become radiologic assistants (RAs). Radiologic technicians are often required to obtain state licensure in order to practice, but each state has its own specific requirements. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) offers national certification for the profession, but is voluntary.
Associate's, bachelor's, and master's degree programs are available for those interested in becoming radiologic technicians. Programs generally consist of scientific and business related coursework as well as practical field experiences, and certification requirements vary according to state.