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Overview of Radiologic Technology Associate Degree Programs

Majors Overview March 10, 2014

Radiologic technicians are found in diagnostic laboratories or health care facilities, producing x-ray film or performing radiologic examinations. Those that aspire to become radiologic technologists or technicians should look into an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree program in radiologic technology.

A.S. Programs in Radiologic Technology

Students enrolled in a two-year degree program in radiologic technology are provided with a basic grasp of radiography, in addition to the particular technical knowledge they would need for the operation of x-ray equipment. Graduates qualify for and are trained to take a certification exam administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).

The program divides coursework into general education, clinical experiences, lab courses and core didactic courses. Apart from radiographic exposure and procedures, computer science, algebra, physiology and anatomy are also covered. Medical imaging specialists and licensed radiographers train participants while they perform clinical studies.

Education Requirements

Schools offer many entry-level associate’s degree programs in the field of radiologic technology; admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma. Incoming students are also expected to be strongly fluent in English and record a minimal GPA of 2.5 in courses, such as lab science and biology.

Coursework

Coursework within an associate’s degree program in radiologic technology combine classroom lectures and a clinical radiography practicum and imparts students with the technical knowledge and skills they would need to seek entry-level jobs in the field after they graduate. Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Radiographic procedures
•Radiation physics
•Radiation biology
•Radiographic exposure lab
•Fundamentals of patient care
•Introductory radiologic technology
•Radiographic equipment

Job and Wage Outlook

The U.S. had 229,300 radiologic technicians and technologists working in medical diagnostic laboratories, physicians’ offices and hospitals; (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). A faster-than-average job growth rate of 21% has been projected for radiologic technicians during the decade from 2012 to 2022 (BLS). In 2012, radiologic technicians took home an average annual wage of $55,910.

Certification Choices

Licensing procedures and requirements for radiologic technicians and technologists vary by state. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists offers certification examinations for experts in the radiography field, and such certification is often used in lieu of state licensure. Radiologic technicians can seek career advancement to positions such as a radiology assistant, MRI technician, or CT specialist through further education or training. The industry sometimes uses this job title interchangeably with radiologic technologists, but the latter role can usually be secured with additional training.

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