Have you ever assumed something and then realized that you missed an opportunity that would have made a huge difference in your life? You don’t want to make that error when searching for that “right fit” career. That’s a good reason to question your assumptions when you hear people talking about earning a radiologic technologist degree.
So maybe, just maybe, earning a radiologic technologist degree deserves a bit more exploration. After all, there are more than 200,000 radiologic technologists working today. The profession has made the U.S. News & World Report annual list of “top healthcare support jobs” every year since 2017.
In 2022 radiologic technologists – often called rad techs – are the #21 on that list, thanks to plentiful job opportunities, career relevancy, and excellent salaries, even for newly graduated rad techs.
Need more convincing? Here are 5 powerful reasons to earn your radiologic technologist degree.
Although the job title “radiologic technologist” may sound like it’s far from the people side of things, it actually involves lots of people contact. You see, sometimes a physician will send a complex injury due to trauma directly to the imaging suite.
That means a rad tech may be among the first member of a healthcare team to interact with the patient. Often, the patient is unfamiliar with the imaging process, in pain, or both. It’s the rad tech who reads the situation and provides as much comfort and empathy as possible.
So yeah, think of those with a radiologic technologist degree as being as talented with calming words as they are with making all the right tech adjustments to diagnostic imaging equipment.
Yet another role for rad techs is patient safety. In the pre-exam process, the rad tech reviews the patient’s medical records to ensure existing scans are not duplicated. He or she will ensure the imaging order is appropriate for the desired result.
For the imaging session itself, the rad tech oversees safety protocols for the patient and the other members of the patient care team.
Hospital imaging suites and emergency rooms are obvious work settings. Because of the high value that imaging brings to healthcare, rad techs are in demand in various places.
Here’s a chart showing where those with rad tech degrees work.
|Job Environment||% of Rad Techs who work there|
|Outpatient care centers||7%|
|Data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Oct. 2021|
After earning a radiologic technology degree, you can add additional credentials, which expand job possibilities and increases your income.
Here’s how that works. Once you decide to go for the rad tech degree, you choose a primary pathway into the profession. Of the five pathways, “radiography” is the most popular choice because it covers medical imaging basics, from X-rays to the C-arm technology used in operating rooms.
From there, many rad techs find an area of specialization. Among the options:
With the right degree set up, you can earn a college degree in two years, and that’s the preference of more than 50% of rad techs in today’s workforce. These graduates chose to earn their degree in two years through continuous academic terms. This concentrated format is the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S degree) in Radiologic Technology.
In an A.A.S. program, students complete required general education courses, then advance into professional radiologic technology courses and labs. When ready, students are assigned clinical experiences in their university’s network of affiliated employers.
In radiologic technology programs using experienced rad techs, there’s an emphasis on teaching high-tech competencies and soft-skill abilities like communicating effectively, active listening techniques, demonstrating empathy, and team-based problem-solving.
“I do find the combination of patient care and technology appealing,” says Abby Loudon, who earned her 2-year radiologic technologist degree in 2020. “I have a passion for wanting to help people. Now I get to take the X-rays that help diagnose an ill or injured patient, which gets them the proper help they need to get better.”
One occupation data site that uses employee interviews for its ratings gives the radiologic technologist profession five-of-five stars for job growth and four-of-five stars for job satisfaction.
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, chiropractic and health sciences university in Overland Park, Kansas. CUKC offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Radiologic Technology degree. Coursework is delivered in eight-week modules, sequenced to maximize learning.
Attractive features of our radiography degree program:
When you’re ready to become a radiologic technologist, you’re ready to begin that journey at CUKC. Two things you should do: (1) Connect with a CUKC advisor. (2) Download this free eBook: Your Complete Guide to Becoming a Radiologic Technologist.