Associate's degree programs in medical radiologic technology last two years and prepare students for state or national licensing exams in the allied health field of medical radiography. Programs that are accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology provide the foundation necessary to apply for certification with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).
Bachelor's degree programs are typically broader in scope and include instruction in other forms of medical imaging, beyond radiographic techniques. Students may study computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and sonography techniques, procedures and applications. Certification or registration is often available for radiographers, though regulations vary by state. Most complete these programs in four years.
Admission into these programs requires incoming students to have a high school diploma or equivalent, completed general education requirements and some prior radiography coursework.
Associate's Degree Programs in Radiologic Technology
Students in these programs receive detailed training in the use and operation of X-ray imaging equipment. Programs also include hands-on, clinical training. Students learn how to interact with patients of all ages during the procedure. Courses might include:
- Radiologic procedures
- Radiographic equipment
- Radiography physics
- Principles of exposure
- Radiographic pathology
Bachelor's Degree Programs in Medical Imaging
These programs goes into deeper detail about different radiological procedures than an associate's degree. Students also learn more about the medical aspects of the field and patient interaction. From there, students apply their skills to real-world preparation through clinical experience. Courses might include:
- Radiologic sciences
- Cross-sectional anatomy
- Computed tomography instrumentation
- Patient safety
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment for radiologic technologists was expected to grow at a faster-than-average rate of 9% during the 2014-2024 decade (www.bls.gov). Most of this growth was attributed to the aging population and their increased need for diagnostic imaging services. In 2015, the BLS reported a median annual pay of $56,670 for radiologic technologists.
Continuing Education Information
Licensing requirements vary by state and students are advised to contact their state licensing authority for specific requirements. Students who complete ARRT-approved programs and pass the certification exam may receive certification from the ARRT. Once certified, they may become ARRT Registered Technologists (R.T.s). Continuing education is required to maintain the R.T. status.
Associate's degree programs in medical radiologic technology help prepare students for entry level jobs working with x-ray imaging as radiologic technologists, while larger bachelors degree programs cover additional forms of medical imaging. With both students can prepare to take state and national licensure exams and become R.T.s