In a radiology technology associate's degree program, students learn fundamental skills in equipment operation, safety, anatomy and positioning. Graduates can work as radiologic technologists and seek professional certification, which is not required, but is often preferred by employers. Admission in these programs requires a high school diploma of GED.
Bachelor's degree programs in radiology technology prepare radiologic technologists for supervisory and teaching positions through courses in psychology, leadership and management. Admission into a bachelor's degree program requires a GED or high school diploma, and ACT or SAT scores.
Associate's Degree in Radiology Technology
Radiology technology students learn to use radiation to produce x-ray images of human anatomy. This technology allows them to diagnose patients with trauma and disease. Such programs teach the proper methods and skills for positioning patients for different radiological procedures. Radiology protection for the technologist and patient is learned in addition to the technical aspects of radiological imaging. Clinical work and class lectures are combined to give students field experience and theoretical knowledge in radiology technology. Common topics are:
- Clinical radiography
- Equipment operation and maintenance
- Imaging modalities
- Medical terminology
- Radiation biology and protection
- Radiographic positioning
Bachelor's Degree in Radiology Technology
This program is intended for current radiological technologists who wish to hold management positions. Radiology technologist majors learn how to supervise and teach radiology technology in a professional setting. Business and financial skills are attained in addition radiological imaging techniques. Interpersonal and management skills are improved. Class subjects may include the following:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Human development and psychology
- Management and leadership methods
- Radiographic procedures
- Radiographic physics
Popular Career Options
Graduates are ready to work at hospitals and clinics. Possible positions include:
- Radiological technologist
- Diagnostic imaging director
- Lead radiological technologist
- Radiological technologist trainer
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Employment of radiologic technologists is projected to increase by 9% between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). In May 2015, the BLS reported that the median annual wage for radiologic technologists was $56,670.
Continuing Education Information
There is voluntary certification through the American Registry of Radiological Technologists, which is preferred by many employers. It requires graduates to pass an exam and complete 24 hours of continuing education every two years. Students can take additional classes or complete on-the-job training to specialize in areas such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Computed Tomography (CT). There are no master's degrees in radiology technology, but there are advanced radiological science degrees that offer different areas of concentration. These areas include education, management or assistant tracks. They all vary according to interests and career ambition.
To become a radiologic technologists you need to earn a two-year associate's degree in radiology technology. Following this degree you can earn certification through the American Registry of Radiological Technologists; bachelor's degree programs in radiology technology are also available if you wish to advance your career into a management or teaching position.