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Major Overview: Radiologic Technology Program

Majors Overview March 29, 2015

Get information about radiologic technology majors and their education requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education and certification choices.

Radiologic Technology Majors

Medical imaging equipment, including MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanners, CT (computer tomography), and X-ray generators are used for diagnostic purposes by radiologic technologists and technicians.

Individuals interested in becoming radiographers or radiologic technicians would benefit by enrolling in an associate’s degree in radiologic technology. However, related four-year degree programs in the form of the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Radiologic Technology are also offered by some schools.

Students are allowed by some programs to transfer their credits from a two-year associate’s program, and they would thus need only two years to complete the bachelor’s program. Coursework augments communication and business topics with courses offering insight into advanced radiographic procedures and emerging technologies. Schools may also include seminars and field experiences in their coursework.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria in the majority of bachelor’s programs in radiologic technology require incoming students to have completed education or training at the associate’s degree-level, such as in medical imaging, radiography, radiologic technology, or similar field, and to have obtained licensure in the field along with some years of work experience.

Coursework

Coursework includes advanced education in business administration, organizational communication, and information technology management to enable students to seek leadership positions in the medical imaging departments of health care centers, such as hospitals. Coursework combines practical field experiences and scientific and business-focused seminars. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as the following:

•Organizational management
•Radiologic technology practicum
•Advanced patient care
•Radiation biology
•Human anatomy and physiology
•Radiographic procedures
•Pathology
•Ethics and law in diagnostic imaging
•Business administration
•Principles of radiographic exposure
•Computers and software

Job and Wage Outlook

In 2012, 229,300 individuals were employed as radiologic technologists in the country (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. In 2012 these workers brought in an average annual wage of $55,910.

Continuing Education and Certification Choices

Those who seek administrative or academic jobs in the field of radiologic science would benefit from graduate programs in radiology, such as a Master of Science (M.S.) in Radiologic Science. Radiologic technicians and technologists who wish to become radiologic assistants (RAs) would also find the programs useful.

Licensure is often compulsory for radiologic technicians who wish to practice in the field, but requirements vary by state. National certification for the field is available through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), and these professionals may volunteer for it.

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Quick Fact
In 2018, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
median earnings per week than workers with only a high school diploma.*
*Bureau of Labor Statistics

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