An Associate of Science in Radiologic Technology is an appropriate degree for aspiring radiologic technicians and technologists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the difference in title refers only to the imaging modalities used in practice.
These 2-year entry-level programs are divided into core didactic courses, laboratory courses, clinical experiences and general education courses. While performing clinical hours, participants train under the supervision of licensed radiographers and medical imaging specialists. Applicants must have a high school diploma, a strong command of English and a GPA of at least 2.5 in courses such as biology and laboratory science.
Graduates could be qualified to sit for a certification examination that is offered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. In some cases, certification could translate to state licensing.
Associate's Degree in Radiology Technology
In addition to studying radiographic procedures and exposure, students study anatomy, physiology, algebra, and computer science. Coursework typically also covers:
- Introductory radiologic technology
- Basics of patient care
- Radiation physics
- Radiographic procedures and equipment
- Radiographic exposure lab
- Radiation biology
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
There were 197,000 radiologic technologists employed in 2014, most of which worked in hospitals, physicians' offices and medical diagnostic laboratories, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Radiologic technologists in the field earned a median annual salary of $56,670 in 2015. The BLS predicts that jobs in this industry will rise by 9% between 2014 and 2024.
Each state has its own licensing procedures and requirements for radiologic technicians and technologists. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists offers certification examinations for professionals in the field of radiography, and sometimes that certification can be used for state licensing purposes. Radiologic technicians can advance to CT specialists, MRI technicians or radiology assistants through further training or education. This job title is sometimes used interchangeably with radiologic technologists, but some additional training may be needed to secure the latter role.
An Associate of Science in Radiologic Technology curriculum introduces students to patient care practices as well as the physics behind diagnostic medical equipment. Students also get experience performing radiographic procedures to prepare for professional certification and state licensure exams.