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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Radiologic Science

Majors Overview March 29, 2015

Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in radiologic science and their education requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Radiologic Science

Students enrolled in an undergraduate degree program in radiologic science and medical imaging are trained in the use of radiographic equipment and technology for diagnostic purposes within healthcare centers and hospitals. Schools most commonly offer four-year degree programs as a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Radiologic Technology format.

A medical imaging specialist, radiographer, or radiologic technician is assigned the responsibility for the use of radiography machines as an aid in the diagnosis of disease and illness in patients.

Two-year associate’s degrees are earned by many aspiring radiologic technicians before they can gain licensure and job positions within healthcare centers. However, many schools allow the transfer of their associate degree credits by those radiologic technicians to a four-year bachelor’s degree program in radiologic technology or radiologic science in order to gain a more comprehensive overview of the healthcare system, medical terminology, and radiography equipment. After they gain some professional experience, individuals might seek to supplement their licenses by volunteering for professional certifications.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require individuals transferring over to a four-year bachelor’s degree program in radiologic science to hold an associate’s degree in the field, while a high school diploma is sufficient for freshmen entering into a bachelor’s degree program in radiologic science. Students in many schools are also required to have completed basic courses in communication, biology, science, and mathematics.

Coursework

Students learn about preparing patients for radiographic procedures, handling and maintaining radiographic equipment, and turning diagnostic findings over to licensed physicians. They also learn clinical practicum procedures, patient care, and the basics of anatomy.

Coursework is a combination of clinical rotations in healthcare centers and classroom lectures on medical terminology. Core coursework may commonly include topic areas such as the following:

•Statistics
•Ethics in medical imaging
•Radiation biology
•Healthcare management fundamentals
•Radiographic procedures
•Physics for radiography
•Anatomy and physiology
•Protection from radiographic exposure
•Pathology

Job and Wage Outlook

In 2012, 229,300 individuals were employed as radiologic technologists (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a faster-than-average job growth rate of 21% has been predicted for these professionals (BLS). In 2012, these workers brought in an average annual wage of $55,910.

Continuing Education Choices

Although proper training must be imparted to all medical imaging specialists and radiologic technicians, licensure requirements in the field vary by state. Voluntary national certification may, however, be earned by radiologic technicians and technologists from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) through passage of an exam; periodic continuing education in radiologic science and technology would be required to maintain certification.

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