Schools for Aspiring Radiologic Technologists: How to Choose

Jan 02, 2019

In radiologic technology programs, students learn to take diagnostic images of patients using radiation X-ray equipment and non-ionizing radio frequencies. Aspiring and professional technologists can enroll in programs leading to an associate degree, bachelor's degree or specialized certificate.

Interested students may enroll in certificate, associate or bachelor's degree programs in radiologic technology. Relevant programs are most commonly offered at community colleges.

Schools With Radiologic Technology Programs

At these institutions, students can enroll in radiologic technology programs:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2015-2016)*
Austin Community College District Austin, TX 2-year, Public Associate $2,550 in-district, $9,210 in-state, $11,340 out-of-state
College of Southern Nevada Las Vegas, NV 4-year, primarily associate's, Public Associate $2,805 in-state, $9,450 out-of-state
Lone Star College System The Woodlands, TX 2-year, Public Associate, Certificate $1,504 in-district, $3,184 in-state, $3,544 out-of-state
Miami Dade College Miami, FL 4-year, primarily associate's, Public Associate $2,834 in-state, $9,661 out-of-state
Portland Community College Portland, OR 2-year, Public Associate $3,766 in-state, $8,374 out-of-state
St Petersburg College Clearwater, FL 4-year, primarily associate's, Public Associate $3,352 in-state, $11,607 out-of-state
Texas State University San Marcos, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's $9,348 in-state, $20,268 out-of-state
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN 4-year, Public Certificate $13,790 in-state, $22,210 out-of-state
Valencia College Orlando, FL 4-year, primarily associate's, Public Associate, Bachelor's, Certificate $2,474 in-state, $9,383 out-of-state

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School School Criteria

These are some considerations for prospective students in this field:

  • Applicants should ensure that programs are approved by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), since approved formal education is a requirement for ARRT certification.
  • When selecting a program, students should consider the clinical placement facilities affiliated with a school.
  • Students should consider time commitment before selecting a school, since full-time study is required for some programs.
  • Although certificate programs are typically the shortest, they're usually intended for professionals already working in the field; students seeking career entry should consider an associate's degree program instead.

Associate Degree Programs

Associate degree programs may require applicants to pass an entrance exam and fulfill prerequisite math and science courses. Students enrolled in an associate degree program are introduced to radiation protection procedures and imaging evaluation. Clinical education comprises a significant portion of the curriculum.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

In some 4-year degree programs, the last two years are dedicated to field experience based in a hospital or medical center. In these cases, clinical training placement may be selective and determined by students' grade point averages. In other programs, clinical experiences are incorporated throughout the program. Some programs include internships and research courses.

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs are geared towards medical imaging professionals and provide specialized training in a specific area within radiologic technology, such as mammography, angiography, MRI or CT imaging. Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the certification exam in their specialization. Many certificate programs require applicants to already be registered with the ARRT prior to enrollment. Clinical education or an internship is incorporated into certificate programs.

Aspiring radiologic technologists can get the training they need for professional certification and jobs in the field by earning a certificate or undergraduate degree. Many programs prepare students for the job by including real-world training opportunities.

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