Radiologic technologists are medical imaging professionals who perform X-rays, computed tomography (CT), and other diagnostic scans. Their work helps doctors diagnose diseases or conditions by providing insight into the human body without invading it. The New England Journal of Medicine ranked medical imaging as one of the top medical developments in the past 1,000 years. It’s a great time to explore how to earn a medical imaging degree!
Radiologic Technologists – also known as radiographers or “rad techs” – are in a rewarding healthcare career field, one that’s getting more important over the next decade. Diagnostic imaging provides terrifically detailed information that often indicates problems at earlier stages.
Healthcare employers depend on radiologic technologists to make sure this information happens. Odds are, more people than you realize have benefited from diagnostic scans.
In 2021, these healthcare professionals conducted some 3.6 billion diagnostic X-ray exams worldwide. In the U.S., there were nearly 84 million CT procedures and 10 million MRI scans in the past year.
Some careers can look promising and then fade as new they are replaced by new technologies. That’s not true for those seeking to become radiologic technologists. That’s because the basic knowledge and principles gained with a medical imaging degree can apply to many scanning technologies.
One good way to evaluate this career path is to consider the annual US News & World Report jobs report, which puts being a rad tech in the top-25 list of healthcare support jobs.
Deciding to become a radiologic technologist is a commendable goal…and this career path is personally rewarding, too. How much does a radiologic technologist make? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary range for all rad techs is $54,000 – $61,370 per year.
Starting out, rad techs in the Midwest earn between $43,827 and $47,000. Adding new certifications and having experience in the field typically bring wage increases. Additional certifications include MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), Nuclear Medicine Technology, Radiation Therapy, and Sonography).
Many rad techs in the workforce today choose the two-year path to a medical imaging degree. That 2-year degree is the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Radiologic Technology. The learning outcomes are designed to prepare students for the national certifying exam by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) and to meet state licensing requirements.
In a typical A.A.S. in Radiologic Technology program, students complete about 24 hours of required and prerequisite classes that prepare them for success. Among the foundational courses:
After that, the remaining classes, labs, and group sessions focus on practical skills and abilities used by the rad tech workforce:
A vital part of the A.A.S. degree program is the clinical experience. Students who achieve certain competency levels qualify for clinical assignments at work sites associated with the program.
Having that clinical experience helps rad tech students be ready to contribute as soon as they graduate and are certified. After you become a radiologic technologist, employment sectors include
To learn more about what rad techs do, read this blog.
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, chiropractic and health sciences university in Overland Park, Kansas, a part of the Kansas City metro. Within our College of Health Sciences, CUKC offers an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Radiologic Technology. Most students earn their degree within two years.
Features of the CUKC Radiologic Technology program include:
Want to know more about how to become a radiologic technologist? Connect with a CUKC admissions advisor and get our free eBook: Your Complete Guide to a Career as a Radiologic Technologist.