X-Ray Assistant Degrees and Diploma Programs

X-ray assistant degrees are not commonly offered. Most aspiring x-ray assistants study radiology, which usually leads to an A.A.S. degree. Explore the program objectives, requirements, and coursework, in addition to salary and job outlook.

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Essential Information

Degree programs in radiology are designed to prepare students for careers as radiologic technicians. These medical personnel operate x-ray equipment and inject non-radioactive material into patients' blood in order to take x-rays. Degree programs take between one and two years to complete and prepare graduates for entry-level positions as x-ray technicians or medical assistants who specialize in EKG and radiological technologies.

Students will need to have a high school diploma to enroll and take an internship to complete the program. Eligible students must take the national radiologic examination that is administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), but additional licenses or state certifications may be required to practice, depending on the position and geographic location of employment.

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Associate of Applied Science in Radiology

Completion of a college-level science class or one of several high school science classes, most frequently biology, is often required, and some programs prefer high grades in science classes. Many programs feature externship or internship opportunities that require students to complete a designated number of hours in which they operate radiology and EKG equipment. Some programs ask students to gain clinical experience in medical assistantships as well. Most radiology programs incorporate general education classes into their curricula. Students will also take specialized classes such as:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Radiologic technologies
  • Clinical radiology
  • Radiation physics
  • Radiographic positioning

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, radiologic technologists accounted for 197,000 U.S. jobs in 2014. Jobs are mostly available in hospitals, physician's offices, diagnostic laboratories, and outpatient care centers. Job opportunities for radiologic technologists are expected to grow 9% (faster than the national average) between 2014 and 2024.

The median annual salary for this profession was $56,670 in 2015, with the middle 50% making between $45,870 and $69,480. The highest-paid radiologic technologists earned $81,660 or more, and the lowest-paid earned $38,110 or less, according to the BLS (www.bls.gov). The highest-paying industry for radiologic technologists is commercial and industrial machinery and equipment rental and leasing, with an average annual salary of $73,360.

In just one to two years, students can complete an A.A.S. in radiology and enter a job market projected to grow 9% over the next decade. In addition to earning an A.A.S., students must pass the national radiologic examination from the ARRT and possibly obtain a state licensure.

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