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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree for X-Ray Technicians

Majors Overview March 10, 2014

In an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree program for x-ray technicians, students will explore effective and safe usage of machinery related to radiation. Coursework will be heavy in science, and students will have several opportunities to continue their education throughout their careers.

A.A. Programs for X-Ray Technicians

Students enrolled in this degree program are taught about administering controlled levels of radiation and operating machinery aimed at detection of internal medical issues in a manner consistent with industry standards. The Associate of Science degree is generally awarded to students who are expected to participate in a mix of classroom lectures and laboratory studies.

Education Requirements

Students are required by most schools to gain certification in basic lifesaving skills before allowing them to begin a degree program. Additionally, students may be required to prove their readiness through submission of documents proving achievement of at least a grade ‘C’ in advanced high school level science classes, including chemistry and physics.


Competence in the field can be acquired by students through enrollment in a combination of classroom lectures and clinical experiences. Coursework may commonly include topic areas such as:

•Patient ethics
•Effective radiographic positioning
•Human physiology
•Radiation safety

Job and Wage Outlook

A faster-than-average job growth rate of 21% has been projected for radiologic technologists, including x-ray technicians, during the decade from 2012 to 2022 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, radiologic technologists took home an average annual wage of $55,910.

Continuing Education, Certification and Licensure Choices

Licensure is mandatory for these professionals in most states. Licensure norms vary by state and can be clarified through enquiry with the health board of the respective state in which they seek employment. Graduates are required by many employers to obtain certification issued by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) by completing an accredited degree program. Candidates are also required to submit to a background check, adhere to ethical standards and pass a certification examination.

After certification, graduates are required to maintain the credential by participating in the registration process every year. To become eligible for registration, students must show evidence of having completed continued education pertinent to their professional needs. Individuals interested in continuing formal education can enroll in related Bachelor of Science degree programs.

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