Radiologist Education, Training and Career Facts

Learn what education you'll need to become a radiologist. Find out about licensure requirements, board certification and employment outlook in this field. Schools offering Cardiovascular Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Radiology is a technical term that describes an assortment of equipment that utilizes radioactive wavelengths, such as x-rays, to take detailed images of the human body. A radiologist uses these images to better understand what could be wrong with the patient, such as internal organ or bone damage. Practicing as a radiologist requires completing undergraduate study, medical school and a residency to obtain a physician's license.

Training Residency training covers various modalities, like nuclear radiology, pediatric radiology, neuroradiology and vascular-interventional radiology
Education Undergraduate degree, medical degree and a residency in order to practice medicine
Median Salary (2018) $295,642

Source: *Payscale.com

What Educational Requirements Are Needed to Become a Radiologist?

Like all doctors, a radiologist needs to complete a bachelor's degree to enter medical school. Typical pre-medical classes include:

  • Anatomy
  • Biology
  • Chemistry

To enroll in medical school, you need to have two years of organic chemistry and one year each of English, biology and physics on your academic transcript. Admission to medical school is based on passing the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and having most of the previously listed courses on your academic record. Undergraduate classes may be taken online, but only a few classes should be taken this way. There are no online medical schools since hands-on training is necessary.

What Additional Training Is Required to Become a Radiologist?

After medical school, you need to complete a residency. A residency is a 4-year job placement where you train with licensed radiologists in a hospital setting. While the residency offers some courses, you mostly take care of patients directly and learn how to use the equipment. Once you finish, you may take the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) to become a licensed doctor.

Many fellowships are available after a residency. A fellowship is further training and specialization for your career. Usually lasting only one year, most fellowships as a radiologist may focus on chest imaging, using x-rays for the muscular-skeletal system or training to use radiological equipment on children or the elderly.

What Is a Career as a Radiologist Like?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for physicians, which includes radiologists, is projected to increase by 13% from 2016-2026 (www.bls.gov). This job growth is a result of the aging baby boomer generation who will need specialists to provide care.

Career opportunities may increase if you have board certification. The American Board of Radiology (ABR) provides certification in four different specialties of radiology, each with their own training and education requirements. These include diagnostic radiology, radiation oncology, interventional radiology and medical physics.

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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  • Fortis College

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    • Certificates

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    • Florida: Cutler Bay, Orange Park, Port St Lucie
    • Tennessee: Cutler Bay, Orange Park, Port St Lucie, Cookeville, Nashville
    • Texas: Cutler Bay, Orange Park, Port St Lucie, Cookeville, Nashville, Houston
    • Utah: Cutler Bay, Orange Park, Port St Lucie, Cookeville, Nashville, Houston, Salt Lake City
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    • Texas: Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio
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    • Master

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  • Independence University

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • Grand Canyon University

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  • Purdue University Global

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  • Keiser University

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  • Regent University

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