Radiology technician program graduates who satisfy all appropriate educational and eligibility requirements to perform medical imaging scans are known professionally as radiologic technologists. Often called rad techs, they perform X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and other diagnostic scans.
In 2022, these healthcare professionals conducted more than 3.6 billion diagnostic X-ray exams, nearly 84 million CT procedures, and an estimated 40 million MRI scans.
It’s a great time to explore how to become a radiologic technologist! Their work helps doctors diagnose disease or trauma by providing insight into the human body without invading it. Diagnostic imaging provides the precise information doctors need for diagnosing conditions and diseases. (Learn more about what they do here.)
Radiologic technologists are in a rewarding, always interesting healthcare career field, one that continues to become more valuable to achieve next-level patient care.
Some careers can look promising and then start to fade if new technologies replace them. That’s not true for those looking to become radiologic technologists. That’s because the knowledge and principles learned in a comprehensive, accredited radiologic technology program allow you to expand your abilities as the profession does.
You can start your search by going to the “find a program” link on the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) website. JRCERT accredits more than 700 educational programs in the radiologic sciences.
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? The average salary range for all rad techs is $54,000 – $57,450 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Starting out, rad techs in the Midwest earn between $43,827 and $47,000. Adding new certifications and experience in the field often results in wage increases. Additional certifications include MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), Nuclear Medicine Technology, Radiation Therapy, and Sonography).
One good way to evaluate this career path is to consider the annual US News & World Report job survey, which puts being a rad tech in the top-25 list of healthcare support jobs.
Many rad techs in the workforce today chose to earn the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S. degree) in Radiologic Technology. In this 2-year program, the learning plan is entirely focused on preparing students for the national certifying exam by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) and meeting state licensing requirements.
In a typical A.A.S. in Radiologic Technology program, students complete about 24 hours of required and prerequisite classes. Foundational courses often include:
After that, the remaining classes, labs, and group sessions focus on practical skills and abilities used by the rad tech workforce:
After meeting specific skills competencies, rad tech students advance to clinical experience at work sites associated with the university’s program. Having that clinical experience helps rad tech students ready to contribute as soon as they graduate and are certified. Radiologic technologists are employed by
Here’s a quick quiz you can take to see if your interests and abilities indicate a good match for a career as a radiologic technologist. The more boxes you can check, the more perfect the fit.
|PERSONALITY TRAIT||YES, THAT'S ME!|
|I like mastering technology, and I also want to interact with people|
|I’m interested in a 2-year college degree|
|I’m considered a caring, compassionate person|
|I’m an effective communicator with people of ages and backgrounds|
|I’m highly organized and have good attention to detail|
|I’m eager to be part of a team in the healthcare field|
|I’m looking for a career that offers different challenges from day to day|
|I’m comfortable with constantly changing scenarios|
|I’m looking for a career where I can continue to expand my abilities|
At Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC), our 2-year radiographer program is the A.A.S. in Radiologic Technology. Our students complete this program in two years or less and become eligible for a national exam by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
CUKC is a private, nonprofit, chiropractic and health sciences university in Overland Park, Kansas. Our radiologic technology program features:
Students eligible for a Kansas Promise Scholarship can use those scholarship funds for the CUKC radiologic technology program. Learn about the CUKC 2-year program to become a radiologic technologist by requesting this free, updated eBook: Your Complete Guide to a Career as a Radiologic Technologist.