Chances are that you’ve explored healthcare careers – not only because of their rapid growth and higher-than-usual salaries but because helping people achieve a healthier future feels like a perfect career fit. A two-year radiologic technology program can give you that, plus plenty of options for the work setting that fits you best.
You’d expect to see graduates of a radiologic technology program (a rad tech) in a hospital or urgent care center – their job is to produce the precise medical images physicians need for an accurate diagnosis. The New England Journal of Medicine ranks the development of human body imaging as one of the top medical innovations over the past 1,000 years.
The Wide-open Future of Radiologic Technology Programs
Physicians know and respect the unique talents of a rad tech. Radiologic technologists are highly skilled in setting up and managing some of the highest-tech equipment around, which goes beyond X-rays to other imaging technologies that physicians use in the diagnosis of disease or trauma.
Because diagnostic imaging is an external procedure, amazingly intricate views of the inside the human body are possible without having to resort to invasive procedures or surgery. The detail possible with today’s imaging technology and the effectiveness of these “inside stories” give to medical teams is leading to increased use of diagnostic imaging throughout the healthcare environment.
No wonder radiologic technologists are on the U.S. News list of top healthcare support jobs. Rad techs come in at #27 because of an attractive combination of salary, low unemployment, career outlook, and work-life balance. Rad techs can work full-time, part-time, or go on-call.
Radiologic Technology Program Degree: Where Rad Techs Work
The 2019 Wage and Salary Survey by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) confirms the full range of places a radiologic technologist can find employment:
What Radiologic Technologists Do
Regarding job duties, remember this: there’s a difference between a technician and a technologist.
Radiology technicians operate an employer’s specific equipment and train to follow established procedures only from that employer’s point of view. Technicians typically have little or no formal education on how the equipment works, how to troubleshoot issues, understanding of underlying imaging principles and theories, and protecting the patient and other personnel from unnecessary radiation exposure.
The depth of the education for a radiologic technologist goes far beyond learning to operate an equipment system. Radiologic technologists learn the underlying principles and strategies of diagnostic imaging in the broadest sense, plus the technical know-how to operate various imaging equipment.
The classes, labs, and practice sessions in an accelerated two-year A.A.S. degree program all work together to ensure students in a radiologic technology program are fully ready to enter the workforce.
A radiologic technologist-centered education includes
According to data from the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT), nearly 52% of students choose the (two-year) Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Radiologic Technology over other program formats. A.A.S. degree-earners enter the rad tech workforce two years ahead of those in a four-year bachelor’s degree program.
Becoming a Rad Tech: How to Begin
All career choices are personal, so always do a careful examination of the pros and cons of any radiologic technology program.
Asking questions is an excellent first step in any decision, and college degree options for a rad tech career can be confusing. Two-year or four-year option for a radiologic technology degree? Did radiology department managers and technologists help guide the design of the rad tech program? How much do radiologic technologists earn?
The essential role of the profession shows up in yearly salary expectations, which varies by specialization, work setting, and demand within a geographic area. According to data from the 2019 Wage and Salary Survey by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), a full-time rad tech with two years of employment could expect an average yearly compensation between $44-48,000.
The CUKC Radiologic Technology Program
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, healthcare-focused university in the Overland Park, Kansas, area of the Kansas City metro.
CUKC offers an accelerated, Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Radiologic Technology degree. Our two-year program features eight-week evening courses designed for deep understanding. In combination with integrated classroom learing, CUKC delivers hands-on training through on-campus radiologic equipment rooms, two demonstration suites, and clinical experiences in our surrounding communities. New classes begin in the fall and spring.
Receive more information about the CUKC radiologic technology program and the profession with a free ebook titled Your Complete Guide to a Career as a Radiologic Technologist.