X-Ray Technician Associate Degree Program Overview

Aspiring X-ray technicians typically pursue an associate's degree in radiologic technology. Get details on admission requirements and the curriculum, and find out more about job prospects after graduation.

Essential Information

In radiologic technology associate's programs, students learn to use medical imaging equipment to detect internal medical issues. These programs typically take two years to complete, and graduates are prepared for certification through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, which meets licensure standards set by some states.

Program applicants may be asked to demonstrate readiness by submitting documentation of a minimum grade of 'C' or better in high school science courses, such as physics and chemistry. Most schools also require students to become certified in basic lifesaving skills before beginning.

Associate's Degree in Radiologic Technology

These programs include a combination of classroom lectures and laboratory sessions. Hands-on clinical experiences are part of the curriculum as well. Common courses include:

  • Radiation safety
  • Human physiology
  • Patient ethics
  • Biology
  • Effective radiographic positioning

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Radiologic technologists, including X-ray technicians, earned a median salary of $56,670 in 2015, reported the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employment in the industry was projected to rise 9% between 2014 and 2024.

Licensure, Certification and Continuing Education Information

Graduates are required to obtain licensure in most states and requirements vary. Graduates should therefore check with the health board of the state in which they wish to work.

Many employers require graduates to be certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) following successful completion of an accredited degree program. Candidates must successfully pass a background check, follow ethical standards and complete a certification exam.

Once certified, graduates must participate in an annual registration process to keep their certification current. The registration process requires students to demonstrate that they have completed acceptable continuing education requirements. For those wishing to continue formal education, related Bachelor of Science degrees are widely available.

Radiologic technology associate's programs cover essential topics in the field, like imaging techniques, safety procedures and medical ethics. Graduates are prepared for licensure and certification as radiologic technologists. They may also opt to pursue bachelor's degrees in related healthcare fields.

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