What Are the Requirements of a Radiologist Assistant Degree Program?

The radiologist assistant (RA) position was developed in 1995 to meet the needs of a growing patient base in radiological procedures. Radiologist assistants must adhere to very specific educational requirements involving the degree level obtained, the RA exam and a clinical portfolio in order to practice as RAs. Schools offering Cardiovascular Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Radiologist Assistants Do

A radiologist assistant bridges the gap between radiology technologists and radiologist physicians. It is a mid-level position that works under the supervision of a radiologist, performing patient assessment, patient management, and selected clinical imaging procedures. The position was created to enhance the quality of patient care in radiology.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Degrees Bachelor of Science in Radiation Sciences or Clinical Radiation Sciences, Master of Health Science in Radiologist Assistant Education
Continuing Education 24 credits of continuing education every two years
Online Availability Fully online and hybrid programs available
Median Salary (2019) $85,474 (radiologist assistants)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 37% (all physician assistants)

Sources: PayScale.com, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Radiologist assistant degree programs include course study in subjects such as imaging fundamentals, cross-sectional anatomy, pathophysiology and radiological pharmacology, in addition to radiation safety, interventional procedures and patient care. Candidates in a radiologist assistant program must complete a preceptorship, which is a period of training during which an experienced radiologist trains and observes students. Students must complete mandatory and elective procedures to prove their capabilities. In addition, clinical procedures, professional activities, accomplishments, case studies, and evaluations will be documented in a clinical portfolio.

Course topics in such a program might include:

  • Patient communication, assessment, and management
  • Drugs and contrast materials
  • Anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology
  • Radiologic procedures
  • Radiation biology, radiation safety, and fluoroscopic operation
  • Medical, legal, governmental and professional standards

Qualifications of a Registered Radiologist Assistant

Once a bachelor's or master's degree in radiologist assisting is acquired, graduates are eligible to be certified as a Registered Radiologist Assistant (RRA), which is a professional credential from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (AART). This certification does not empower the RRA to diagnose or prescribe to radiological patients. In addition to a degree and certification, students must present a record of one year of clinical experience and evaluations to obtain employment as an RRA.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Fortis College

    Fortis College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Fortis College:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Tennessee: Cookeville, Nashville
  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

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    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

  • Herzing University

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    Online Programs Available

  • University of the Southwest

    University of the Southwest responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at University of the Southwest:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Keiser University

    Keiser University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Keiser University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

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    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

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  • University of Iowa

    Campus Locations:

    • Iowa: Iowa City
  • University of South Alabama

    Campus Locations:

    • Alabama: Mobile