Schools for Aspiring CAT Scan Technicians: How to Choose

Aspiring CAT scan technicians can enroll in radiologic technology programs at community colleges, technical schools and 4-year colleges and universities. In these programs, students learn how to prepare diagnostic images of the human body's interior using computerized scanners.

Students aspiring to become CAT scan technicians typically enter an education program in radiologic technology. While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that a 2-year associate degree is usually required for employment in the field, related bachelor's degree and professional certificate programs are also available (www.bls.gov).

Radiologic Technology Schools

These schools offer radiologic technology programs:

College/University Location Institution Type Programs Offered Tuition (2015-2016)*
Albany Technical Community College Albany, GA 2-year, Public Associate, Certificate $2,652 in-state, $4,792 out-of-state
Allegany College of Maryland Cumberland, MD 2-year, Public Associate $3,660 in-district, $6,660 in-state, $7,950 out-of-state
Allen College Waterloo, IA 2-year, Public Associate $17,373
Arizona Western College Yuma, AZ 2-year, Public Associate, Certificate $2,540 in-state, $9,530 out-of-state
Central Georgia Technical College Warner Robins, GA 2-year, Public Associate, Certificate $2,674 in-state, $4,810 out-of-state
Champlain College Burlington, VT 2-year, Public Associate $37,536
Foothill College Los Altos Hills, CA 2-year, Public Associate $1,551 in-state, $8,391 out-of-state
El Centro College Dallas, TX 2-year, Public Associate, Certificate $1,770 in-district, $3,330 in-state, $5,220 out-of-state
Galveston College Galveston, TX 2-year, Public Associate, Certificate $1,900 in-district, $2,380 in-state, $4,270 out-of-state

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Students who are comparing schools with CAT scan technician programs should keep the following in mind:

  • Students should try to select schools that have accreditation through the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.
  • It is often best to choose a program that offers hands-on clinical opportunities that give students academic credit while providing professional work experience.
  • When choosing a program, students should consider their career goals. For example, those who wish to advance into supervisory positions within the field may wish to enroll in the bachelor's degree program.
  • Students should also consider their educational objectives when choosing between programs. In particular, it is important to note that associate degree programs include general education requirements, while certificate programs usually only include career-specific training.

Radiologic Technology Certificate

Radiologic technology certificate programs prepare students in the use of computerized axial tomography imaging equipment. Certificate programs can be very specific to CAT scan technology, or they may offer multiple technologies in addition to X-rays, such as CAT scan imaging, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and mammography. Clinical experiences are integrated into the curriculum.

Associate Degree in Radiologic Technology

Associate degree programs related to CAT scan technology offer core courses in radiographic techniques and basic sciences like anatomy and physiology. In addition, programs usually require general education courses in communications, social science, humanities, mathematics and science. There may also be courses in specialized applications, including CT scan imaging. Students gain hands-on experience through clinical courses.

Bachelor's Degree in Radiological Science Technology

Bachelor's degree programs in radiological science technology allow students to acquire a broad range of imaging skills, and they may allow students to concentrate in a specific imaging modality. Along with general education courses, students take additional courses in written communications, advanced mathematics, computer information systems, human anatomy and health care services. Bachelor's degree students also participate in clinical training where they receive hands-on training on current imaging equipment, including CAT scan machines. An internship may be required.

Accredited programs in radiologic technology can prepare students to become CAT scan technicians. Students can choose between certificate, associate and bachelor's degree programs based on their educational needs and career goals.


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