Nine decades after the birth of medical imaging programs, there are more than 330,000 registered radiologic technologists, often known as “rad techs” to healthcare insiders. You might want to be a part of the diagnostic imaging profession when you see all that a degree in radiologic technology delivers.
The term radiologic technology or “radiography” can be confusing. A radiologic technologist is a healthcare support professional on a patient’s team who is certified to perform diagnostic imaging exams. Examples include X-rays, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRIs), sonograms, and other specialties.
As you might expect, medical imaging programs teach how to set up and operate a variety of imaging technologies. In addition, radiologic technology degree programs ensure their graduates understand diagnostic imaging principles and follow patient care standards expected by employers.
That means next-level medical imaging programs will have rigorous education standards and a strong and diverse network of clinical sites to ensure their grads are ready for the workforce. They know:
When you go for the rad tech degree, you choose a primary pathway into the profession. Of the five pathways, “radiography” is the most popular launch point and is delivered via an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree.
From there, most radiologic technologists choose to expand their skills because additional certifications increase employability and salary potential. The other pathways are more specialized: (MRI, Nuclear Medicine Technology, Radiation Therapy, and Sonography).
As noted earlier, the degree of choice for a degree in radiologic technology is the two-year Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S. degree) in Radiologic Technology.
The A.A.S. degree uses a highly focused format, often presented in a year-round schedule. Students complete about 24 hours of introductory classes, including
The remaining credit hours for the A.A.S. degree are in classes, labs, and hands-on experiences focusing on practical skills and abilities used by rad techs in various healthcare settings.
It’s easy to think that rad techs work in hospital imaging units and emergency rooms. However, rad techs work in an increasing number of work settings. Here’s a breakout of where those with a medical imaging program degree work:
|Job Environment||% of Rad Techs who work there|
|Outpatient care centers||7%|
|Data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Oct. 2021|
Nearly everyone knows the healthcare sector is expanding. It’s now 16% of the U.S. economy.
In September 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported: “The healthcare and social assistance sector is projected to add about 2.6 million jobs from 2021 to 2031, the most of any sector…Employment growth in this industry and other healthcare and social assistance industries is expected to be driven by the aging baby-boom population and a higher prevalence of chronic conditions.”
This projection shows the relevance of healthcare support professionals like radiologic technologists. They deliver services centered on identifying, evaluating, and preventing diseases and disorders. An annual review of occupations in U.S. News and World Report shows radiologic technologists at #21 in its “Best Healthcare Support” jobs list.
A new radiologic technology graduate earns an average salary from $43,827 to $48,000 in the Midwest. Salaries can be 20-25% higher in high-need regions.
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, chiropractic and health sciences university in Overland Park, Kansas. CUKC offers a 2-year Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S. degree) in Radiologic Technology.
Attractive features of our radiography degree include:
Is a medical imaging program right for you? Find out by connecting with a CUKC advisor today. You’ll also want to download our free eBook: Your Complete Guide to Becoming a Radiologic Technologist.