Medical Radiography Associate's Degree
While a doctor doesn't have X-ray vision, they do have the services of a radiographer, also known as a radiologic or X-ray technician. These healthcare professionals perform diagnostic medical imaging procedures and administer radiation treatments. Learn about where to find medical radiography associate's degree programs, how long a program will take, if these programs are offered online, whether you need to be licensed and what the job outlook is.
Where Can I Find a Medical Radiography Associate's Degree Program?
You might want to check out the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology's (JRCERT) list of schools offering accredited associate's degree programs in radiography or radiation therapy. JRCERT also maintains a list of schools offering accredited distance education programs.
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) may also be a useful source for locating appropriate programs. It maintains an online database of postsecondary schools that can be searched according to program type or major.
|Program Considerations||Students should look for programs accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology|
|Common Courses||Patient care, radiologic technology, medical ethics, pathology|
|Online Programs||Some classes are available online; clinical experience must still be completed in person|
|Certification/Licensure||Required in most states, either through a state agency or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists|
|Median Salary (2018)||$59,520 (for radiologic technologists)*|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||12% growth (for radiologic technologists)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Does a Program Entail?
These 21-24-month programs lead to an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science in Radiologic Technology or Radiography. Typical coursework includes topics in radiologic anatomy, patient care and assessment techniques, medical ethics, computerized imaging, pathology and radiation safety. You'll also learn the appropriate procedures for taking images of the upper and lower extremities, torso, head and face. These programs require you to complete lab sessions and clinical practicums or internships as well.
What About Online Programs?
There are a few hybrid programs out there that allow you to complete lecture courses from home using course management software. However, you will still need to complete clinical or internship requirements in a healthcare setting. Some schools also require you to complete exams on campus.
Once I Graduate, Do I Need Licensure?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most states require radiologic technicians to be licensed (www.bls.gov). In some cases, this can entail completing a JRCERT-accredited associate's degree program in radiography or radiologic technology and passing a written exam administered by the state.
Other states grant licenses to individuals who have earned certification through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (www.arrt.org). This process also entails completing an approved associate's degree program and passing a written exam.
How Is the Job Outlook?
The BLS projected a 12% increase in employment opportunities for radiologic technologists through the 2016-2026 decade. This is due in large part to an aging population who will create a growing need for diagnostic services.