Sure, you know the familiar expression is “best of both worlds,” but that’s not enough to describe why you’d want to become a radiologic technologist. These highly skilled professionals operate the sophisticated equipment required for diagnostic medical imaging. These astonishingly detailed images allow physicians to see inside the human body without invading it through surgery and help them determine how well a patient’s body is responding to treatments.
The number one reason those interested in healthcare occupations find their way into radiologic technology is realizing how much they can contribute to high-level patient care.
When you become a radiologic technologist (often referred to as a rad tech), you ensure physicians get an accurate, highly detailed picture of what’s wrong. With this information, the physician can determine care priorities and develop a plan best suited to each patient’s diagnosis.
The COVID-19 situation proved how valuable radiologic technologists are in today’s healthcare environment. In a 2021 GE Healthcare report, the significance and scope of what radiologic technologists do became clear.
“During the global pandemic, radiologic technologists worked tirelessly to image many sick patients so clinicians could quickly diagnose and treat patients infected with the virus. The frantic pace and high volumes of patients coming to ED (Emergency Departments) became the new normal for hospitals and health facilities. Many patients received X-Ray or CT exams that were critical to the detection of COVID-19.”
An estimated 4.2 billion imaging procedures were performed in 2019, with X-Ray and ultrasound tests making up more than 80% of the total. More than 8 of 10 hospital and health system visits include at least one diagnostic imaging exam.
Radiologic technologists love how they get to work on high-tech equipment. That means when you become a radiologic technologist, you’re at the center of innovative technology. The capabilities of diagnostic medical imaging are expanding every day, which points to a career with considerable upside.
As a rad tech, you’re the diagnostic medical imaging specialist on the healthcare team. You’re in charge of setting up, adjusting, and using various diagnostic imaging equipment, including portable units used in patient rooms.
You’re the professional who has the knowledge and skills to
If you’re not aware of the trend for highly specialized 2-year college degrees, now’s a good time to catch up on the news about a 2-year associate of applied science (A.A.S.) degree. This degree category focuses on gaining comprehensive knowledge and skills for specific occupations and preparing students for professional certification in those occupations.
One way to be on the right 2-year track is to earn an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Radiologic Technology. In fact, a report by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) says 51.7% of those who have become radiologic technologists chose the A.A.S. degree.
After completing preliminary coursework similar to all college degrees, the majority (75%) of classes, labs, and experiences with the A.A.S. in rad tech degree focus on professional skills and knowledge.
In addition, universities will integrate soft-skills knowledge (showing empathy, active listening, etc.) with the professional coursework.
With the right high-quality education comes high-level employment expectations.
Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show the demand for radiologic technologists will increase by at least 9% through 2030. Data from Salary.com indicates experienced rad techs can earn more than $55,000 per year.
Newly certified rad techs typically find salaries in the $43,800-48,000 range, although salaries can skew higher for areas where demand is higher.
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, healthcare-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas.
Our two-year A.A.S. degree in Radiologic Technology program was designed with the guidance of imaging center professionals. Instructors have real-life experience doing the imaging work they’re teaching. By achieving specific competencies, you can be involved in patient care as early as the third semester. Click here to connect with someone who can answer your questions.
The CUKC program meets the educational requirements needed to take the national exam to be recognized as a registered and certified radiologic technologist.
Our program places an equal emphasis on the soft skills needed today – patient interaction skills, active listening, etc. – and technical competency.
Our radiologic technology program also features:
Learn how to become a radiologic technologist by getting this free eBook: Your Complete Guide to a Career as a Radiologic Technologist.