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Associate Programs
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Associate's Degree Programs in Medical Imaging

An associate's degree program in medical imaging can teach you how to use computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines, while also giving you a sound understanding of more general medical principles. Read on to learn more about the available programs, common coursework and career prospects.

What Associate's Degree Programs Are Available for Medical Imaging?

Not only can you find medical imaging programs, but radiography programs also provide the same content and prepare students for similar careers. These are 2-year programs that often result in an Associate of Applied Science or Associate of Science degree. You will most likely find these programs at technical and community colleges.

You won't be able to find any distance education programs available due to the amount of hands-on experience required. You can be expected to complete clinical work, practicum or internship. Hands-on training can teach you how to operate imaging machines and work with patients.

Related Programs Medical imaging, radiography
Online Options No, since the program is largely a practical one
Common Courses Radiologic equipment operation, radiographic procedures, radiologic physics, anatomy
Career Opportunities Medical Resonance Imaging (MRI) technologist, mammography technician, radiological technologist
Continuing Education Certifications available
Certification Categories Bone densitometry, CT scanning, mammography

What Courses Can I Expect?

A program in this field can train you to position imaging equipment, protect yourself and patients from radiation, maintain patient records and follow directions from a physician. This program may offer courses in radiologic equipment operation, patient care, radiation protection, radiologic physics, modalities, anatomy, pathology, physiology and medical terminology. Other courses in this field may include medical issues, sectional anatomy, radiographic procedures and exposing images. You may also be required to complete general education courses in humanities, English composition, mathematics, economics and sociology.

What Can I Do With My Education?

Completing an associate's degree program may qualify you for a career as a medical resonance imaging (MRI) technologist, mammography technician, radiological technologist, computed tomography (CT) technologist or radiographer. If you want to advance your career, you may be able to focus and earn advanced certifications in specialized areas, including bone densitometry, CT scanning or mammography. Advanced certifications can be earned through experience and additional education.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), certification is voluntary and preferred by most employers (www.bls.gov). Certification is offered through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) and stays active for two years. To renew, you may need to complete continuing education hours. Depending on where you are employed, your state may require you to earn licensure.

What's the Employment Outlook?

According to the BLS, a 13% increase in employment was expected between 2016 and 2026 for radiologic and MRI technicians. This growth may be caused by an aging population. As of May 2018, the BLS also estimated that the median salary for radiologic technologists was $61,240.