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Computed Tomography Technology Training Programs

Pursuing a computed tomography (CT) technology training program will teach you how to take cross-sectional pictures of a patient's body in a healthcare setting. Read on for program, certification and licensing information, and the career outlook for practitioners of this kind of medical diagnostic procedures.

What Computed Tomography (CT) Technology Training Programs Are Available?

Certificate programs are the only programs dedicated to CT technology. These programs usually take about a year or two to complete, and you will be able to find this type of program at universities, community colleges and technical colleges. Schools will also offer on-campus or online programs. If you do enroll in an online program, you still have to complete an internship or participate in clinical work.

Program LevelsCertificate
PrerequisitesBackground in radiologic technology, associate or bachelor's degree
Common CoursesPathology, patient care, vascular technology, CT procedures
CertificationAdministered through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists
Career OptionsCT technician, CT technologist

Are There Any Prerequisites?

You may be required to have a background in radiologic technologies to enroll in the program. CT certificate programs serve as a means to develop a radiologic technology specialization. To pursue a CT certificate program, an associate's or bachelor's degree may be required. Some programs may also require you to be certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).

By completing an associate's or bachelor's degree in radiologic technologies, you will learn about safety procedures, the human body, reading patient results, using X-ray machines, sterilizing equipment and preparing patients for testing. You can expect to complete courses in anatomy, physiology, radiation physics, radiation protection, procedures, radiation exposure and image analysis. Some programs may provide basic training on CT machines.

What Courses Can I Expect?

After completing your certificate program, you will understand how to properly scan a patient, keep you and your patient safe, prepare equipment and read a patient's charts. You can also learn how to properly position your machine to create an accurate 3-dimensional representation of a patient's organs. Certificate courses rely heavily on the application of theory and methodology in a live setting. Certificate programs may include courses in vascular anatomy, CT procedures, physics and equipment, pathology and patient care.

Do I Need Certification or Licensure?

If you have enrolled in a certificate program, it is possible that you already have earned certification for radiologic technology. Although it isn't required, you have the option to pursue an advanced CT specialist certification through the ARRT. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that companies are more likely to hire you if you are certified. Depending on the state you live in, you might also be required to earn licensure.

What Is My Job Outlook?

Earning an associate's degree and certificate may qualify you for a career as a CT technician. If you have earned a bachelor's degree and certificate, you might be qualified for a technologist position. The BLS predicts that radiologic and MRI technologists can expect a 13% increase in openings between 2016 and 2026 (www.bls.gov). This increase might be caused by an aging population. The BLS also estimated that professionals in this field earned a median salary of $61,240 in 2018.