- Radiology is the field of medicine where physicians use medical imaging to diagnose and treat various health conditions. These doctors, also called radiologists, are assisted by radiologic technologists who perform the diagnostic imaging procedures.
- Carteret Community College, Edgecombe Community College, and Forsyth Technical Community College are some institutions that offer an associate’s degree in radiologic technology(1).
- Radiography students can expect their coursework to include studies on radiographic procedures, patient care, image processing, radiation safety, and anatomy.
- X-ray and radiologic technologists working in North Carolina were estimated to have an average annual wage of $56,260 in 2019(2).
Best Radiology Schools in North CarolinaThe following are the top educational facilities in North Carolina offering bachelor degree, associate degree, and certificate programs accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT)(3)*
|Colleges||Program Name||Degree Level||Duration||Program Effectiveness||Tuition|
|Program Completion Rate||Exam Pass Rate||Job Placement Rate|
|Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College||Medical Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||21 months||79%||100%||97%||Resident: $3,097 Non-resident: $9,168|
|Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||21 months||80%||78%||100%||Resident: $2,771 Non-resident: N/A|
|Cape Fear Community College||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||21 months||82%||100%||98%||Resident: $3,460 Non-resident: $10,180|
|Carolinas College of Health Sciences||Radiologic Technology||Certificate and Associate of Applied Science||21 months||78%||100%||100%||Resident: $11,033 Non-resident: $11,033|
|Carteret Community College||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||19 months||89%||97%||97%||Resident: $2,681.25 Non-resident: $9,881.25|
|Edgecombe Community College||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||21 months||94%||90%||97%||Resident: $4,256 Non-resident: $16,544|
|Fayetteville Technical Community College||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||20 months||50%||99%||92%||Resident: $2,619 Non-resident: $9,531|
|Forsyth Technical Community College||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||21 months||90%||95%||100%||Resident: $2,062.25 Non-resident: $9,070.25|
|Guilford Technical Community College||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||20 months||72%||95.40%||91%||Resident: $2,736 Non-resident: $10,032|
|Johnston Community College||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||18 months||67%||96.46%||96%||Resident: $2,735.75 Non-resident: $10,031.75|
|Lenoir Community College||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||21 months||60%||92.30%||100%||Resident: $2,208 Non-resident: $8,352|
|Pitt Community College||Radiography||Certificate and Associate of Applied Science||21 months||70%||96%||94%||Resident: $2,522.25 Non-resident: $9,434.25|
|Randolph Community College||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||22 months||73%||92%||98.66%||Resident: $2,660 Non-resident: $10,340|
|Rowan Cabarrus Community College||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||21 months||83%||100%||100%||Resident: $2,964 Non-resident: $10,452|
|Sandhills Community College||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||21 months||67%||97%||100%||Resident: $2,208 Non-resident: $8,352|
|Southwestern Community College||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||21 months||64%||88%||100%||Resident: $2,128 Non-resident: $8,272|
|Stanly Community College||Radiography||Associate in Radiologic Technology||21 months||75%||97.60%||96.40%||Resident: $3,074.50 Non-resident: $11,330.50|
|Vance Granville Community College||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||21 months||66.70%||92.50%||97%||Resident: $3,133 Non-resident: $11,561|
|Wake Technical Community College||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||21 months||100%||98%||98%||Resident: $3,147.50 Non-resident: $10,827.50|
|Wilkes Community College||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||21 months||60%||94%||78%||Resident: $3,432 Non-resident: $12,648|
Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College in AshevilleThe radiography curriculum of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College prepares graduates to become entry-level radiographers. Students should expect coursework to include radiographic exposure, radiographic procedures, image processing, patient care, physics, and pathology. Undergraduates are also expected to do clinical rotations in local health care facilities. Upon graduation, individuals are eligible to apply for the national exam provided by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Graduates may then apply at clinics, physicians’ offices, hospitals, government agencies, and medical laboratories in the United States.
Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute in HudsonCaldwell Community College and Technical Institute offer a five-semester radiography program involving both classroom and laboratory experiences. Additionally, students can gain experience in regional clinical settings. Those who complete the program receive an Associate in Applied Science degree and are allowed to take the ARRT certifying exam. However, candidates should comply with the ARRT Rules of Ethics first before they can take the test.
Cape Fear Community College in WilmingtonThe radiography program of Cape Fear Community College (CFCC) lasts for five semesters. It starts in the fall of each year. This full-time program teaches students how to use X-ray machines for diagnosing and treating health conditions. Undergraduates can expect a curriculum that includes instructions on patient care, radiographic procedures, imaging techniques, and radiation protection. All courses are carried out through a combination of laboratory, classroom, and clinical education.
Carolinas College of Health Sciences in CharlotteCarolinas College of Health Sciences offers a radiologic technology program where students are taught how to use state-of-the-art equipment. Undergraduates are trained to safely utilize X-ray equipment so that they can accurately perform diagnostic imaging procedures on patients. The college is known for its 100% pass rate of graduates taking the national certification exam. Individuals can also take on classes to learn advanced imaging techniques, including magnetic resonance imaging (MR), sonography, radiation therapy, and computerized tomography (CT).
Carteret Community College in Morehead CityCarteret’s radiography curriculum prepares students to become skilled radiographers. Coursework typically includes learning about radiographic exposure, physics pathology, quality assurance, and radiation protection. Undergraduates should also expect clinical rotations to various healthcare facilities as part of their training. Besides learning how to use radiographic equipment, students are also taught effective communication and critical thinking skills.
Edgecombe Community College in Rocky MountEdgecombe Community College offers a radiography curriculum that prepares graduates to become professional radiographers. The coursework provided by the institution includes studies in image processing, radiographic exposure, pathology, patient care, and management, radiation protection, and anatomy. Students undergo training by way of rotations at local medical centers and clinical education facilities. After completing the training, graduates may then take the ARRT exam to become certified and registered medical radiographers.
Fayetteville Technical Community College in FayettevilleFayetteville provides students with a curriculum in allied health to help them become healthcare professionals. Their radiography program is in compliance with the standards of the JRCERT (www.jrcert.org). The program supports the development of professional communication, ethics, and problem-solving skills. Graduates are awarded an associate degree upon completion.
Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-SalemAdmission to the radiography program of Forsyth Technical Community College begins in the fall and only admits a maximum number of twenty individuals each year. Students are taught a range of educational experiences, allowing them the tools to become skilled healthcare professionals. Those who wish to apply should have strong basic math and reading backgrounds. Knowledge in human anatomy, physics, and physiology are also highly suggested. Forsyth Technical Community College has higher passing, completion, and job placement rates than the other institutions. They also offer affordable tuition for both residents and non-residents, making it one of the best radiologic technology schools.
Guilford Technical Community College in JamestownGuilford Technical Community College aims to produce competent entry-level radiologic technologists by providing quality education in radiography. Upon completing their program, graduates are expected to demonstrate skills in radiography, proper communication, and critical thinking. The radiography program only has limited enrollment, and acceptance may be competitive.
Johnston Community College in SmithfieldAspiring radiographers will enter the associate degree program of Johnston Community College in the fall semester. Their radiography curriculum lasts for five semesters and is highly selective of its applicants. Some of the coursework students should expect include physiology, anatomy, patient care, and radiographic exposure. Note that those enrolled in the radiography program are allowed to take their classes only during the day.
Lenoir Community College in KinstonLenoir Community College applicants are assessed and accepted in September. Before applying for Associate of Applied Science in Radiography, individuals must first satisfy the math and Psychological Services Bureau (PSB) exam. Before applicants are given the application packet, they are required to have a high school GPA of 2.8 and above. An alternative is to have a Miller Analogies Test (MAT) 080 grade of “C” or higher in the past ten years to be accepted.
Pitt Community College in WintervilleCareer opportunities in hospitals, physicians’ offices, clinics, medical laboratories, and government agencies await students who graduate from the radiography program of Pitt Community College. Some of the significant study courses include radiation safety, image analysis, image production, and patient care. First-year radiography students participate in clinical experiences one to three days a week. Those in their third, fourth, or fifth semester are expected to complete evening and weekend rotations.
Randolph Community College in AsheboroRandolph Community College‘s (RCC) mission is to provide radiography students with quality education and training for them to become competent, ethical imaging professionals. Students learn how to position patients for diagnostic imaging, provide appropriate patient care, and apply critical thinking skills to solve problems. Although the college follows the open-door policy for general admission, not all radiography applicants may be allowed to enter the program. Randolph Community College is affiliated with the Cabarrus College of Health Sciences. This partnership allows RCC radiography graduates to proceed and complete their bachelor’s degree at Cabarrus.
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in SalisburyThe radiography program at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College offers a competency-based education in medical imaging that lasts for five semesters. Radiography students with grades below 70% may not be allowed to progress in the program. The college teaches and values compassion, clinical skills, knowledge, ethical professionalism, and quality care in all applicants. All of these aspects prepare students to qualify as entry-level radiographic professionals upon graduation.
Sandhills Community College in PinehurstThe selection of radiography students at Sandhills Community College is competitive and based on their college admission exam scores. A cumulative score of 75% and above is required. To attend clinical rotations, students must undergo drug screens and background checks. Those with criminal charges, criminal convictions, and positive drug tests are not allowed to progress in the radiography program.
Southwestern Community College in SylvaSouthwestern Community College follows a curriculum developed by the American Society of Radiologic Technology (ASRT). This standard assures students that they receive the best foundation necessary to become experts in the various aspects of radiologic sciences. The college’s radiography program is also accredited by the JRCERT, allowing graduates to take the national exam for certification and registration as radiographers.
Stanly Community College in LocustThe college is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the JRCERT. Graduates are expected to demonstrate accurate patient positioning and evaluation of radiographic imaging. Applicants must complete a course of high school, algebra, biology, and chemistry with a grade of “C” or higher to be accepted. Those accepted for admission at Stanly Community College should undergo criminal background and drug screening tests before participating in on-site training.
Vance-Granville Community College in CreedmoorThe radiography program at Vance-Granville Community College uses various clinical affiliates to educate and train their students. Undergraduates can obtain experience through orthopedic offices, hospitals, and outpatient centers, exposing them to different occupational environments.
Wake Technical Community College in RaleighRadiography students at Wake Technical Community College are assigned at their approved clinical sites, such as Duke Health Raleigh and Rex Healthcare. They may also be placed at WakeMed facilities located at their Raleigh, North, or Cary campuses. The radiography program is provided at the Perry Health Sciences Campus, situated near WakeMed in Raleigh. It begins around the Fall and Spring semesters, and all classes are held only during the day.
Wilkes Community College in WilkesboroWilkes Community College is committed to providing students with quality education in radiologic technology through its radiography program. The program prepares students to become competent and professional radiographers after graduation. The typical courses are basic anatomy, physiology, patient care, radiation protection, clinical education, principles of imaging, physics, image analysis, and patient positioning. The college also offers financial aid and scholarships to qualified students.
What is the Difference Between a Radiology Program and a Radiography Program?Doctors who specialize in evaluating diagnostic images using imaging techniques, such as X-rays (mammography) and MRIs, are called radiologists. A radiologist is a fully-licensed doctor who has completed an undergraduate degree (preferably Bachelor of Science), took additional radiology studies, and graduated from medical school. They have also completed the necessary internship and residency to become qualified radiology physicians. After completing at least four years of residency, some radiologists may pursue a fellowship. Radiology fellowships allow radiologists to specialize in certain areas, such as cardiovascular imaging and nuclear medicine. Radiologists are required to have state-issued licenses to practice in medicine. These requirements may only be acquired after they have completed medical school. Besides teaching imaging techniques, radiology programs also educate radiology students to perform procedures, such as conducting biopsies using advanced imaging equipment. The professionals who operate the equipment to produce these images are called radiographers or radiologic technicians. Compared to radiologists, radiographers can earn an associate’s degree in radiologic technology to be considered for employment. Possessing a high school diploma, earning an associate or bachelor’s degree, and obtaining licensure are the primary steps to become a radiologic technologist in North Carolina. Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory and Cleveland Community College in Shelby are some examples of schools that offer radiography programs in the state. However, there are also additional studies in radiologic technology that allows technologists to become a radiologist assistant. These professionals are advanced radiologic technologists who work primarily under the supervision of a radiologist. The radiologist assistant program typically takes twenty-four months to complete. Aspiring radiologist assistants may forward their applications to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage of X-ray and radiologic technologists in North Carolina in 2019 was $56,260(4). MRI technologists nationwide earn an average of $73,410 yearly(5).
ConclusionThere are many institutions in North Carolina available for students who wish to study radiography. The table provided shows a range of statistics, including the program effectiveness data for each school. Some of the top institutions in the list are Carteret Community College, Edgecombe Community College, and Forsyth Technical Community College. Most radiologic technology coursework involves studies on radiographic procedures, patient care, radiation safety, radiobiology, anatomy, and image processing. Graduating from a program accredited by the JRCERT is required when taking the national certification exam. A radiologist is a licensed doctor who uses imaging techniques and interprets them to treat illnesses. Radiographers work with radiologists, operating the required radiography equipment to produce images required by doctors. To become a radiologist, a person must first complete an undergraduate degree, take additional radiology studies, graduate from medical school, and complete the necessary residency and fellowship. Radiologic technologists can pursue additional specialties to become radiologist assistants. These experts are considered more advanced radiologic technologists who work primarily under a radiologist.
- Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. Retrieved from: https://portal.jrcertaccreditation.org/accredited-educational-programs/search
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2019 29-2034 Radiologic Technologists and Technicians. Retrieved from: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292034.htm
- Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. op. cit.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. op. cit.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Radiologic and MRI Technologists. Retrieved from: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/radiologic-technologists.htm