Radiologic technologists and radiology technicians conduct diagnostic imaging procedures to produce medical images of patients’ internal organs. Radiologists use these images to diagnose various medical conditions.
Radiologic professionals use radiographic and digital modalities, such as X-ray, sonography, computed tomography (CT), ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), and mammography.
Aspiring students may pursue a certificate program, associate’s, or a bachelor’s degree before acquiring a license and applying for employment.
Upon obtaining a degree and a license, graduates may qualify for entry-level positions, such as X-ray or sonography careers. Individuals who aim for specialized and advanced positions may pursue further training and certification.
Radiologic professionals who completed advanced training may specialize in more complex modalities, such as nuclear medicine, fluoroscopy, and radiation therapy.
Best Radiology Schools in Mississippi
The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) is a government-recognized accreditation agency for learning programs in radiography, magnetic resonance, radiation therapy, and medical dosimetry.
JRCERT measures an academic program’s effectiveness through its completion rate, exam pass rate, and job placement rate.
The program completion rate refers to the number of students who accomplished the program within 150% of the stated program duration(1).
The exam pass rate assesses the number of students who pass the licensure examination on their first attempt(2).
The licensure examination is known as the National Registry Examination (NRE), which is managed by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).
The job placement rate evaluates the number of students currently employed in the discipline against the number of students actively seeking employment(3).
JRCERT annually releases the results of each school’s program effectiveness, and all values below are data provided by the said agency at www.jrcert.org.
|Colleges||Program Name||Degree Level||Duration||Program Effectiveness(4)||Annual Tuition and other Fees(5)|
|ProgramCompletion Rate||Exam Pass Rate||Job Placement Rate|
|Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Wesson||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||24 months||63%||95%||100%||Resident: $2,100Non-Resident: $3,900|
|Hinds Community College in Raymond||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||24 months||89.47%||86%||100%||Resident: $3,762.50Non-Resident: $7,375|
|Itawamba Community College in Tupelo||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||22 months||81%||92%||100%||Resident: $2,300Non-Resident: $4,500|
|Jones County Junior College in Ellisville||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||24 months||86%||93%||100%||Resident: $3,880Non-Resident: $6,245|
|Meridian Community College in Meridian||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||24 months||62%||81%||100%||Resident: $3,150Non-Resident: $4,714.50|
|Mississippi Delta Community College in Moorhead||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||22 months||55%||75%||87%||Resident: $2,490Non-Resident: $4,980|
|Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Gautier||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||24 months||90%||93%||98%||Resident: $3,910Non-Resident: $6,834|
|Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||22 months||75%||81%||96%||Resident: $3,150Non-Resident: $6,306|
|Pearl River Community College in Hattiesburg||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||24 months||82%||91%||100%||Resident: $3,000Non-Resident: $3,600|
|University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson||Magnetic Resonance||Master of Science||12 months||100%||100%||100%||$11,016|
|University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson||Radiography||Bachelor of Science||22 months||96%||98%||100%||Resident: $8,745Non-Resident: $23,805|
Copiah-Lincoln Community College
Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s (CLCC) offers a medical radiologic technology degree program. The associate degree program prepares students to become radiologic technologists.
The program provides aspiring radiographers a firm foundation for acquiring higher educational degrees or placement in advanced imaging or treatment modalities through its encompassing curriculum.
The college requires prospective students to have a score of 18 in the American College Testing (ACT) and with accomplished ACT subscores indicating the needed developmental courses. The school also assesses students based on general point averages (GPA) and interviews with the selection committee.
Hinds Community College
Hinds Community College (HCC) trains students to produce consistent radiographic images and maintain personal and patient safety from unnecessary radiation exposure.
HCC equips its students with a working knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, physics, imaging protocols, strong communication skills, and primary patient care.
Candidates must submit a high school transcript or transcripts from any high school equivalent program, such as General Education Degree (GED) or the Mississippi Competency-Based High School Equivalency.
HCC also requires applicants to attend an orientation session with the application committee, during which a written communication exam is administered.
Itawamba Community College
Itawamba Community College (ICC) offers a two-year radiologic technology program spaced between five semesters. The program prepares students to take the NRE and become a registered radiologic technologist.
The application process begins every fall each year. Applicants must first apply and get accepted at the ICC application before applying for the rad tech program.
The college has branches in both Tupelo and Fulton, Mississippi.
Jones County Junior College
The Jones County Junior College (JCJC) provides students with essential academic knowledge, clinical experience, and problem-solving skills to become a dependable and highly-skilled radiologic technologist.
Prospective students must have a minimum score of 17 on their ACT and have a 2.5 GPA or higher.
Additional information and resources regarding JCJC’s admission policy are available at the college’s official website.
Meridian Community College
The Meridian Community College (MCC) offers an Associate of Applied Science degree to graduates of its radiologic technology program. The program equips students with necessary skills, such as radiation protection and safety, exposure techniques, patient assessment, and patient care.
MCC requires prospective students to have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and above on all previous college coursework. Applicants must also have completed the introductory coursework on anatomy and physiology and college algebra with a grade of C or higher.
Mississippi Delta Community College
The Mississippi Delta Community College (MDCC) offers students an associate’s degree in radiologic technology. The school’s radiologic technology program combines theoretical, laboratory, and clinical experience to help students develop skills critical to their profession.
Prospective students entering college for the first time must have an ACT score of 18 or higher.
Meanwhile, applicants who have completed at least 12 semester hours must have an ACT score of 16 to 17 and an average grade of C or higher in the school-approved prerequisite courses.
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (Jackson County Campus)
The Jackson County Campus of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC) offers an associate’s degree program in radiologic technology.
The program aims to aid students in becoming competent members of a healthcare team. Upon graduating, students are expected to have in-depth knowledge of equipment handling, image-taking, personal and patient safety, and performing administrative tasks.
Northeast Mississippi Community College
The radiologic technology program of the Northeast Mississippi Community College is designed to train students in the scientific principles of radiography through a series of in-classroom, laboratory, and clinical training sessions.
The program is full-time and competitive, admitting only 12 applicants each fall semester. Upon graduating, students are eligible to take the NRE.
Pearl River Community College
Pearl River Community College’s (PCC) radiologic technology program begins every summer semester, wherein the first semester is entirely devoted to classroom training. Clinical training follows soon afterward.
The college is affiliated with various medical institutions, such as the Forrest General Hospital, Hattiesburg Clinic and Memorial Hospital, Wesley Medical Center, Highland Community Hospital, and Marion General Hospital.
These institutions provide PCC students with clinical training experience integral to their studies.
University of Mississippi Medical Center
University of Mississippi Medical Center is the only accredited academic institution that provides a Bachelor’s Degree in Radiologic Sciences. The program is full-time, runs for 22 months, and spans five semesters.
Licensed radiologic technology professionals may also further their education with the university’s master’s degree program in magnetic resonance imaging.
Students can apply for financial aid in paying for their tuition and other fees. Assistance comes in various forms, such as scholarships, grants, student employment, and loans.
The Northwest Mississippi Community College also offers a bachelor’s degree program on radiography.
However, the school is not yet accredited with any of the three prominent accreditation organizations on radiography.
JRCERT cautions aspiring radiography students to avoid academic institutions that grant educational degrees without regard for quality education.
Instead, JRCERT invites students to seek education from accredited colleges that follow a standardized radiography curriculum.
The three leading organizations that grant accreditation to colleges in the country are:
- Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT)
- Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
- Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT)
JRCERT is the only accreditation agency recognized by both the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)(6).
The CHEA is an independent organization that champions academic self-regulation through accreditation.
CAAHEP focuses on the accreditation of health sciences professions. It reviews and accredits more than 2,100 individual education programs in more than 30 health sciences occupations.
CAAHEP is a member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA) and is recognized by the CHEA(7).
Meanwhile, JRCNMT provides accreditation to nuclear medicine technology programs(8).
Mississippi Licensure Requirements
The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) governs the Mississippi licensure laws on radiologic health. The MSDH issues licenses to all aspiring radiologic technologists or radiologic technicians.
Radiologic technology graduates may receive a license given that they have successfully passed the NRE and are a member of the ARRT(9).
MSDH also issues licenses to prospective nuclear medicine technologists, provided they are registered in ARRT or the Nuclear Medicine Technologist Certifying Board (NMTCB)(10).
Meanwhile, radiation therapist technology applicants must submit satisfactory proof that they are ARRT-registered radiation therapist technologists(11).
The Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure grants licenses to Limited X-Ray Machine Operators(12).
Career Opportunities and Salary
Radiologic technologists and radiology technicians have similar job descriptions. Both professions operate medical diagnostic equipment to produce medical images.
The distinction lies in their level of education. Radiologic technologists typically hold a four-year bachelor’s degree, while technicians have a two-year certification or degree(13).
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated a positive growth in employment opportunities for radiologic and MRI technologists from 2019 to 2029 with a 7% job outlook rate(14).
Based on the results of its 2019 survey, the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) reported that radiologic technologists’ mean yearly salary is $69,266(15).
Meanwhile, according to another source, a radiology technician has an average wage of $59,901(16).
In the state of Mississippi, a radiologic technologist’s average income is $55,898 across all disciplines. On the other hand, radiology technicians may earn an average of $53,701(17).
ASRT computes the average hourly salary rate for radiologic technologists by dividing the annual compensation by the average number of hours worked per year. In ASRT’s report, radiologic technologists render a yearly average of 2,080 hours.
Dividing technologists’ yearly mean income of $69,266 by 2,080 makes their average hourly salary $33.30(18).
Radiologic technologists and radiology technicians typically work in hospitals. However, techs may work in different healthcare facilities, such as imaging centers, medical centers, mobile clinic units, private clinics, or corporate settings.
Radiologic technology programs typically last up to 24 months. Aspiring technologists may earn an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree before pursuing further training and certification.
Accredited radiography programs prepare students to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists’ (ARRT) licensure exam. Some states, such as Mississippi, use the ARRT as a basis for granting state licenses.