Those who are ready for a job that’s personally rewarding and important in the future of healthcare really do need to scope out rad tech careers. Step one is to ask the question, “What’s it like to be in a radiologic technology (rad tech) program?”
With a title like radiologic technology, the job sounds more daunting than it is. Sure, it takes an ability to understand the sciences, but the technical aspects can be taught. What’s most important is a desire to work with people and the drive to succeed.
Whether right out of high school or switching careers for personal reasons, those who’ve chosen to become a certified radiologic technologist say it fulfills their desire to enter a well-paid healthcare career and perform non-invasive, life-saving diagnostic imaging. They also like getting into the job market after two years of school instead of the traditional four (B.S. degree).
The two-year degree is called the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Radiologic Technology. All the knowledge and skills needed to enter the diagnostic imaging profession are packed into a two-year format. The career site ONet reports nearly 63% of rad tech grads in today’s workforce chose the A.A.S. degree.
Even so, this in-demand medical role has a substantial reward. Starting salaries for newly certified rad techs range from $45,000 to $47,000 but go up with experience and certifications in other areas, such as computed tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
The data site Salary.com puts the national median wage for all radiologic technologists at $58,520. The 2021 U.S. News & World Report survey of the profession says rad techs are in the top 20 in healthcare support jobs.
Think about a radiologic technology program as having two essential areas, all wrapped up in a two-year scheduled. The two areas are
Significant foundational courses for a student wanting to be a radiologic technologist include anatomy, human biology, chemistry, physics, and physiology – the study of organisms from the molecular to system levels.
However, this career is also very hands-on. Becoming a radiologic technologist is like having the best of both worlds: yes, you’re highly involved with people, and yes, you’re in charge of operating some of the most innovative medical technology available.
Once admitted into a professional radiologic technology program (see qualifications here), your time in gaining clinical education and experience begins. Clinical education means time working with patients – and a high percentage of time as a rad tech will be interacting one-on-one with people of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures.
Being part of a high-functioning diagnostic team takes more than classroom time. Rad techs must:
Rad tech students at Cleveland University-Kansas City complete their Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Radiologic Technology in as little as two years using a year-round format.
In the CUKC radiologic technology program, focused eight-week evening courses deliver deep understanding. Students receive hands-on training and gain experience in the University’s own radiologic equipment rooms, two demonstration suites, and clinical experiences at facilities in the greater Kansas City area and the surrounding region.
Find out more about being a rad tech by contacting our admissions advisors. You’ll also want to download a free eBook about the profession: Your Complete Guide to a Career as a Radiologic Technologist.