- Idaho has five colleges and universities with radiologic technology degree programs accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT)(1).
- Colleges that offer JRCERT-accredited radiologic technology programs are Boise State University, College of Southern Idaho, Idaho State University, Lewis-Clark State College, and North Idaho College.
- To become a radiologic technologist in the state, one needs to complete a program accredited by the JRCERT and pass the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam.
- Mammography technologists in Idaho must meet the training and certification requirements of the federal Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA).
- There are approximately 980 rad tech professionals employed in Idaho(2). However, radiology tech jobs have a projected growth rate of 23.3% by 2026(3).
Best Radiology Schools in IdahoThere are five colleges with radiology technology degree programs in Idaho. These colleges are mostly located in the major cities in southern Idaho, including Boise, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, and Twin Falls. Students may choose from a certificate program, an associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s degree. Most of these schools require a high school diploma and a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.5 to get into the radiology tech program. The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology is the organization responsible for accrediting programs in medical imaging, radiography, sonography, and radiation therapy. JRCERT-accredited programs are rated using the program effectiveness data, including completion rate, credential exam pass rate, and job placement rate. Here are the best radiology schools in Idaho for aspiring rad tech professionals.
|Name of Colleges||Program Type||Degree Level||Program Duration||Program Effectiveness(4)*|
|Completion Rate||Pass Rate||Job Placement Rate|
|Boise State University (Boise)||Radiography||Bachelor of Science||38 months||96%||99%||100%|
|College of Southern Idaho (Twin Falls)||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||22 months||0%||0%||0%|
|Idaho State University (Pocatello)||Radiography||Bachelor of Science||18 months||100%||94%||99%|
|Lewis-Clark State College (Lewiston)||Radiography||Associate in Radiologic Sciences||22 months||100%||97.4%||100%|
|North Idaho College (Coeur d’Alene)||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||19 months||90%||100%||100%|
Boise State UniversityBoise State University offers a Bachelor of Science in radiography. This degree program takes 38 months to complete. Students may choose to specialize in computed tomography, diagnostic medical sonography, diagnostic radiology, or magnetic resonance imaging. The program’s curriculum focuses on both traditional radiography (analog) and current technology (digital). General courses include human anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, humanities, social sciences, health services administration, and pathophysiology. Coursework is also enhanced in the on-campus lab and during clinical rotations at medical facilities and local hospitals. Before applying to the program, students need to complete 30 credits in prerequisite courses. The admission is competitive, with a maximum of 24 students accepted each year. Application requirements include the submission of transcripts and test scores, official application forms, and personal statement letters. Aside from the radiography program, Boise State University also offers a bachelor’s degree completion program in imaging sciences that can be completed online. The program costs $6,876 for resident students(5). Boise State University offers financial aid for resident and non-resident students, which can be applied for on the school’s official webpage.
College of Southern IdahoThe College of Southern Idaho offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in radiologic technology, which takes 22 months. This five-semester program requires students to complete a full range of coursework in general education and radiologic technology. On-campus coursework covers radiographic procedures, imaging and processing, image analysis, and radiation protection. The curriculum also includes a short summer session of clinical rotations between the first and second academic years. Over the course of the program, students receive hands-on experience at three local hospitals and work a total of 1,170 hours. Applicants must submit a completed application form, letter of intent, one-page resume, point checklist and calculation form, transcript of records, and two letters of reference. Interviews are conducted to assess the top 24 ranked applications and officially select 12 students. The program costs $1,320 for resident students and $3,360 for non-resident students(6).
Idaho State UniversityIdaho State University offers a bachelor’s degree in radiographic science, which takes 18 months to complete. This program prepares students for a career as a radiologic technologist. The curriculum includes patient care, patient interactions and management, radiation physics and radiobiology, radiation protection, image acquisition and technical evaluation, equipment operation and quality assurance, and imaging procedures. Students also complete over 1,500 hours of clinical experience in affiliated hospitals, such as Bingham Memorial Hospital, Eastern Idaho Regional Medical, Madison Memorial Hospital, and Portneuf Medical Center. Admission to the program is highly competitive. Openings are also scarce due to limited clinical education centers available. Idaho State University gives preference to Idaho residents. After completing the program, graduates are qualified to take the ARRT exam to become certified radiologic technologists. The program costs $6,566 for resident students and $17,870 for non-resident students(7).
Lewis-Clark State CollegeLewis-Clark State College’s Nursing and Health Sciences division offers an Associate of Science in radiographic science. It requires 99 credits to complete. This 22-month program prepares students for the ARRT certification exam and a career in the diagnostic imaging field. Coursework includes radiographic methods, medical terminologies, patient care in radiography, special procedures, radiobiology, technical imaging, radiographic pathology, and applied radiography. During the first two semesters, students take on-campus classes on Mondays and Wednesdays. They also attend clinical training at assigned clinical sites for the rest of the program. Pre-application requirements include a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, completed prerequisite courses, and a minimum score of 75% in the Health Professions HESI Admission Assessment Exam (HESI HP A²). Due to its limited capacity, the radiographic science program only accepts 18 students per year. The program costs $6,000 for resident students(8).
North Idaho CollegeNorth Idaho College offers an associate’s degree in radiography. This 19-month program prepares students for entry-level positions as radiologic technologists. Students complete general education requirements and radiologic technology courses. The first two semesters also require students to work at a clinical rotation two to three days a week. Courses include an introduction to radiography, radiographic procedures, principles of radiation biology and protection, radiologic physics and equipment, clinical radiography, radiographic imaging, and radiologic technology review. Clinical rotations are held at affiliated institutions, such as Mountain Health Care, Bonner General Hospital, and St. John’s Lutheran Hospital. Applicants must submit their high school diploma or general educational development (GED) results, application, and prerequisite courses. Admission to the program is competitive. Selected students must also complete a personal statement, entrance assessment, and mandatory program orientation. Upon completing the program, graduates are eligible to take the ARRT certification exam. The program costs $4,913 for resident students and $6,150 for non-resident students(9).
Radiography Program vs. Radiology ProgramRadiography programs are usually completed within one to four years. A prospective student must be a high school graduate to pursue available degree programs in radiography. Aspiring radiologic technologists or radiographers may choose from a one-year certificate program, one to two-year associate’s degree, or a four-year bachelor’s degree. The general courses for this program include anatomy, pathology, patient care, medical ethics, radiation physics, and radiation protection. Radiography students may also pursue specializations, such as X-ray, computed tomography (CT), mammography, or sonography (ultrasound). Meanwhile, radiology programs focus on advanced modalities and procedures. Some of the best majors for radiology programs are chemistry, physics, and biology. A registered radiologic technologist may gain certification in various modalities. They include fluoroscopy, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), radiation therapy, nuclear medicine, contrast medium injection, interventional cardiac radiography, or vascular radiography. Graduates of a radiology program may apply for higher-paying positions or pursue further studies through a master’s or doctoral degree. These advanced degrees prepare individuals to become radiologists.
How to Become a Radiologic Technologist in IdahoIdaho currently does not have any license or certification requirements for radiology techs in the state. However, mammography technologists must meet the training and certification requirements of the federal Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA)(10). Most employers also look for candidates who are certified by the ARRT. This certification allows rad tech graduates to work in all states in the United States. Moreover, certified radiology professionals are more likely to experience increased job security and receive competitive salaries. To become ARRT-certified, a rad tech graduate must first complete a JRCERT-accredited program and pass the ARRT credentialing exam. Radiologic technologists and radiology technicians who possess ARRT certification must renew their certification every two years by completing 24 continuing education credits and paying associated fees. The Idaho Society of Radiologic Technologists (ISRT) is the state affiliate of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT). The ISRT provides support, networking, and continuing education opportunities for radiologic technologists in the state.
Career and SalaryRad tech graduates may become radiographers, X-ray technicians, sonographers, MRI technologists, or nuclear medicine technologists. Employment opportunities are also available in the top imaging centers, physician’s offices, hospitals, and medical facilities in Idaho. They include Idaho Medical Imaging, Intermountain Healthcare in Boise, Portneuf Medical Center, Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center, West Valley Medical Center in Nampa, and St. Joseph Regional Medical Center. As of 2019, there are approximately 980 radiologic technologists and radiology technicians working in the state(11). According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), they earn an average annual salary of $60,680(12). Despite the relatively low number of rad techs in Idaho, Projections Central reported 23.3% job growth between 2016 and 2026(13).
ConclusionIdaho has five schools with JRCERT-accredited programs. They are determined using the program effectiveness data, including completion rate, credential exam pass rate, and job placement rate. Schools with the best radiology programs are Boise State University, College of Southern Idaho, Idaho State University, Lewis-Clark State College, and North Idaho College. Students may pursue a one-year certificate program, a two-year associate’s degree, or a four-year bachelor’s degree. Idaho does not have specific licensing or certification requirements. However, most employers require rad techs certified by the ARRT. Rad techs must complete a JRCERT-accredited program and pass the certification exam to become ARRT-certified. Certified rad techs must also renew their license every two years. The federal Mammography Quality Standards Act also requires mammography technologists to meet the training and certification requirements According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 980 radiologic technologists and radiology technicians currently employed in Idaho. They earn an average annual salary of $60,680. Despite few rad techs in the state, Projections Central reported that Idaho’s rad tech career opportunities could experience a 23.3% increase between 2016 and 2026.
- Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. (Accessed 2020). Program Effectiveness Data. Retrieved from: https://www.jrcert.org/resources/program-effectiveness-data/
- US Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS). (May 2019). Idaho May 2019 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimate. Retrieved from: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_id.htm
- Projections Central. (Accessed 2020). Long Term Occupational Projections. Retrieved from: https://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
- Program Effectiveness Data. op. cit.
- Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. (Accessed 2020). Accredited Program Details. Retrieved from: https://portal.jrcertaccreditation.org/accredited-educational-programs/details/54d2e87c-6bec-46fe-b46b-391a7cceb9ef
- Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. (Accessed 2020). Accredited Program Details. Retrieved from: https://portal.jrcertaccreditation.org/accredited-educational-programs/details/a5cbae08-02b0-4707-b134-3374807a3362
- Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. (Accessed 2020). Accredited Program Details. Retrieved from: https://portal.jrcertaccreditation.org/accredited-educational-programs/details/3571f6cc-d2f1-455f-9235-f857f3b69cb6
- Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. (Accessed 2020). Accredited Program Details. Retrieved from: https://portal.jrcertaccreditation.org/accredited-educational-programs/details/7628b060-983b-455d-a77e-01249f991c31
- Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. (Accessed 2020). Accredited Program Details. Retrieved from: https://portal.jrcertaccreditation.org/accredited-educational-programs/details/18bad587-590b-49e9-81b3-6749ab559160
- Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. (February 27 2016). 16.02.27 Idaho Radiation Control Rules. Retrieved from: https://adminrules.idaho.gov/rules/current/16/160227.pdf
- US Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS). op. cit.
- Projections Central. op. cit.