Online Associate's Degree Programs in Health Physics

A health physics technician studies radiation and its effect on and interaction with the human body and environment. Read more about what the program entails, online study options, common course topics and career prospects. Schools offering Community Health Education & Advocacy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does An Associate's Degrees in Health Physics Entail?

The field of health physics explores how ionizing radiation can be used by society while minimizing radiological threats to humans and other living organisms. You may find associate's degree programs in health physics at a number of schools. These programs prepare you to work in a variety of settings where people may be exposed to radiation, such as hospitals, nuclear plants or laboratories. Admission typically requires a high school diploma or equivalent.

Due to the hands-on nature of the coursework, health physics associate's programs are primarily offered in a campus-based format. In rare cases, associate's degree programs may offer courses online; however, students are expected to complete the laboratory component of these programs on campus. Students who do not live in the immediate area may be allowed to complete laboratory work at either their place of employment or at a school-approved facility with the necessary equipment.

Online Options Online programs are rare
Common Courses Hazardous materials management, nuclear technology, physics of radiation
Career Opportunities Health physics technician in the healthcare, manufacturing, energy or environmental protection industries
Certifications Available National Registry of Radiation Protection Technologists (NRRPT)
Median Salary (2018) $59,520 (for all radiologic technologists)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 12% growth (for all radiologic technologists)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Are Required?

Associate's degree programs in health physics include general education courses like English composition and college algebra. You'll also take courses that examine the effects of radiation on the environment, how radiation affects living organisms and methods for detecting radiation. Additional topics might include safety standards and regulations, nuclear technology, hazardous materials management, nuclear chemistry and the physics of radiation.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

With an associate's degree in health physics, you may find a career as a health physics technician in the healthcare, manufacturing, energy or environmental protection industries. Job duties for health physics technicians may include studying levels of radiation in the environment, assisting in facility design, teaching people how to reduce the risk of radiation exposure or analyzing laboratory test results.

You might choose to become certified through the National Registry of Radiation Protection Technologists to demonstrate competency in this field. Certification applicants must be at least 21 years old and need to have a minimum of five years of experience in the field. Two years of experience may be substituted for an educational program.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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