UPDATED MAY 5, 2020
No one wants to miss out on a promising career opportunity. One of the reasons for not knowing about the explosive growth of imaging technology in health care may be the many job titles there are for those who graduate from “X-ray tech programs” or say they’re getting a radiography degree. For most people, what that actually means is going to school for two years and becoming a radiologic technologist.
Other names for a radiologic technologist include radiographer, rad tech, and X-ray technologist. It can be confusing, but just in case you’re wondering, a radiologic technician is not another name for a radiologic technologist. A radiologic technologist, unlike a technician, is a medical professional who is certified and registered to perform diagnostic imaging examinations, such as X-rays, for physicians to assist in the diagnosis of a disease or trauma.
Why be interested in an X-ray tech program that results in becoming a radiologic technologist? It’s one of the top-15 health care support jobs for 2020, according to the annual jobs report int U.S. News. The question is, where do you get the straight answers you need about a career that has what you’re looking for? Right here.
The Medical Imaging Profession: Q&A
Q. Why is this an attractive, long-term profession?
A. It starts with the pace of scientific innovation. Few industries are growing faster than health care, medical imaging is one of the areas that is in big demand. Because of the risks of invasive procedures and surgeries, both physicians and patients are first choosing noninvasive, more precise ways to diagnose medical and health programs.
By getting a radiography degree and becoming a radiologic technologist, you’re on the front lines of where health care is going over the next few decades.
Q. Is it a worthwhile career choice?
A. A radiography degree comes with a good paycheck. The data site Salary.com in 2020 reported a median salary for radiologic technologists (X-ray technologists) of more than $58,000. Starting salaries for “rad techs” is in the $45,000 range, depending on location. That salary is more than 25% higher than the average salary for non-specific associate degrees.
Q. What type of two-year associate degree does a “rad tech” get?
A. Whether you think of it as an X-ray tech program or a rad tech program, the two-year degree to have is an associate of applied science degree (A.A.S.) in radiologic technology. Considered the most “hands-on” of all two-year college degrees, the A.A.S. meets requirements for specific skill sets in the workplace. It is designed to make students eligible for industry certifications or professional registrations required by those employers.
Q. How soon can I get started in this career?
A. The accelerated nature of an A.A.S. in radiologic technology results in you getting the necessary knowledge, skills training, and patient interaction experience in two years (four semesters).
After graduating with an A.A.S. in radiologic technology, you’ll have a radiography degree that prepares you for the national certification exam by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Employers will expect ARRT certification, and this is typically needed for a state-issued license.
Discover the Radiologic Technology Degree Program at CUKC
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, healthcare-focused university located in Overland Park, Kansas. CUKC offers an accelerated, two-year Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Radiologic Technology degree. Our advantages in a radiography degree include:
When you’re ready to become a radiologic technologist in a growing profession, you’re ready to team up with CUKC. Why wait? Connect with a CUKC advisor today, or learn more about a career in radiologic technology by downloading the free ebook, Your Complete Guide to Becoming a Radiologic Technologist today!