How to Get a Radiology Certificate
Find out about radiology and radiologic technology programs. Get information about admission requirements, as well as certification and subspecialty options.
What Is a Certificate Program in Radiology?
Certificate programs are typically in radiography or radiologic technology rather than radiology, and they generally last two years. These programs can prepare you for a career as a radiologic technician or technologist. While enrolled in a radiography certificate program, you'll attend lectures and clinical observations, studying topics such as patient care, radiation physics, image production and image analysis.
|Certificate Options||Radiography or radiologic technology|
|Program Preparation||Science and math courses, competitive GPA, may require associate's degree|
|Other Requirements||Licensure required in some states; voluntary certification through American Registry of Radiologic Technologists available|
|Professional Certification||American Board of Radiology offers physicians certification in diagnostic radiology, medical physics and radiation oncology; requires Maintenance of Certification exam after ten years|
|Median Salary (2020)||$61,900 (radiologic technologists)*|
|Job Outlook (2019-2029)||7% growth (radiologic technologists)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Are the Prerequisites?
You may begin preparing for admission to a certificate program in high school. You may want to consider taking as many science and math courses as you can, including chemistry, biology, algebra, calculus and physics. You should maintain a competitive GPA and take practice tests for your college admission exams. Some programs may also require that you take some college-level classes or earn an associate's degree prior to admission.
Are There Any Other Career Requirements for Radiologic Technicians?
Some states require radiologic technicians and technologists to earn licensure. Since licensure requirements vary by state, check with your state's health board to determine any requirements that you'll need to fulfill.
Professional certification is generally not required for radiologic technicians and technologists. However, the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) offers voluntary certification, which may improve your chances of finding employment or advancing in your career (www.arrt.org). To earn certification from the ARRT, you must meet certain ethical standards, graduate from an approved education program and pass an examination. You must then complete continuing education credits and renew your certification every two years.
What Is Professional Certification in Radiology?
If you choose to go to medical school and become a physician, you can then complete residency training in radiology and earn board certification. The American Board of Radiology (ABR) awards certificates in diagnostic radiology, medical physics and radiation oncology to licensed physicians who have completed radiology residencies and passed the certification exam (www.theabr.org). If you receive your initial certification in diagnostic radiology, you may also earn certification in one of the following diagnostic radiology subspecialties: nuclear radiology, pediatric radiology, hospice and palliative medicine, vascular radiology or neuroradiology.
While voluntary, board certification demonstrates that you have met training requirements and proven your cognitive abilities in your specialty area of radiology. Certification is good for ten years, after which time you'll need to take a Maintenance of Certification (MOC) exam to earn a new certificate.