Could a two-year degree in healthcare offer just as much satisfaction as one requiring four years or more? If so, what are my options? Choosing the right career requires you to consider many factors, especially the salary you’ll earn, if it’s an in-demand occupation, and personality/talent fit. For many, a two-year radiologic technologist school is the right answer.
When looking into careers, some people say to decide between one that’s either people-focused or one that’s task-based. But when you learn about being a radiologic technologist – better described as a diagnostic imaging professional – you’ll discover that what they do is both people-focused and task-based. It’s a unique role that requires a unique mix of skills.
Is becoming a radiologic technologist – a rad tech – a good fit for you? Here are answers to five questions that should tell you that a radiologic technologist degree should be a part of your future.
What does a radiologic technologist do?
Even if you haven’t heard the term radiologic technologist, you probably know what they do. They are the professionals given the responsibility to set up and operate the diagnostic medical imaging equipment that’s so vital in healthcare today to capture the X-ray or other images physicians require.
Rad techs, as a member of a patient’s healthcare team, generate the precise body images a physician requires for an accurate diagnosis. In that respect, radiologic technologists are essential in the medical team’s task of hope, help, and healing.
How is a radiologic technologist position both task-based and people-focused?
Sure, the term radiologic technologist sounds like a completely tech-focused job. Still, one of the first things students learn in radiologic technologist school is that being a capable rad tech also requires a high level of people-focused abilities.
Because many rad techs work in hospital emergency rooms or urgent care centers, they are often some of the first members of the healthcare team a patient encounters.
You can imagine how valuable it is to a patient in pain or discomfort for rad techs to demonstrate a calming presence and a pleasant attitude. Your patient might be a six-year-old who finds the equipment scary or a senior adult who needs extra help in understanding the procedure about to happen.
Will going to a radiologic technologist school keep me in step with today’s healthcare industry?
Some careers look promising but fade away in importance as best practices and technology evolve. Digital imaging is different, as it’s an industry that continues to expand as new technologies emerge.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the demand for radiologic technologists to increase 9% over the next decade. New procedures include 3D ultrasonic holography, hyperspectral imaging, and Polarized Nuclear Imaging (PNI). Another is PET scanning, which is proving useful for early diagnosis of dementia, cancer, and other conditions.
In addition, new mobile imaging equipment is now available, and this technology increases patient access, reduces transfers to and from a hospital, and increases the number of examinations possible.
Because non-invasive imaging assists physicians in detecting health problems before they become serious, plenty of places want imaging professionals available to them. While more than half of all rad techs work in hospitals, you’ll increasingly find them on staff or available in many healthcare settings:
Learn more about what it’s like to work as a rad tech in this blog.
How can a radiologic technology school accomplish this specialized education in just two years?
The majority of rad techs enter the profession by choosing an accelerated, two-year Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program.
Think of an Associate of Applied Science degree as a specialized “hands-on, ready-for-work degree.” It’s the right degree option for those who have a laser focus on learning all there is to know about a specific occupation.
After completing a semester of basic required courses, an A.A.S. in radiologic technology degree focuses on the principles, strategies, and practical applications needed in a rad tech career. Students take classes in anatomy, pathology, patient positioning, image evaluation, and radiation safety.
Much of the learning happens in on-campus labs, guided practice sessions, and clinical experiences arranged by the radiologic technology school.
Is the salary for a radiologic technologist competitive?
Yes, according to national statistics and educational surveys. A rad tech with two years or less experience earns between $48,175 and $51,763, says the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT). The U.S. states with the highest median compensation per year are California and Hawaii, which can increase salaries by up to 30%.
The annual U.S. News survey of occupations ranks radiologic technologists as #15 in its list of the “best healthcare support jobs,” noting salary, career growth, high demand, and work-life balance.
The Radiologic Technology School at CUKC
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) — a nonprofit, private, healthcare-focused university — offers an accelerated Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S. degree) in Radiologic Technology. For nearly 100 years, CUKC has been on a mission to create a healthier world. It’s a mission where we’re seeking to deliver everything we do at a higher level.
Imaging center professionals guided the design of our rad tech program. Instructors have real-life experience doing the imaging work they’re teaching. As students move through the program and gain competencies, they get clinical experience in various healthcare facilities within Kansas City and the surrounding region.
Other advantages of earning your radiologic technology degree at CUKC:
Request more details here about our radiologic technology program, and download a free eBook: Your Complete Guide to a Career as a Radiologic Technologist.