- New Mexico has several schools offering radiologic technology programs for interested students. The Central New Mexico Community College, Clovis Community College, Doña Ana Community College, and Pima Medical Institute are all accredited by the JRCERT(1).
- To become an official rad tech in New Mexico, professionals must obtain their licensure from the Radiation Control Bureau. The state also provides licenses for X-ray machine operators and radiologic practitioners.
- Rad techs must maintain their licenses and renew it every two years to remain qualified. License renewal requires completing 20 hours of continuing education.
- Radiologic technologists in New Mexico earn an average yearly wage of $59,140(2).
Top Radiology Schools in New MexicoThe following are the educational facilities in New Mexico that offer radiography programs recognized by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT)(3)*.
|Institution||Program Type||Degree Level||Duration||Program Effectiveness||Tuition and Fees|
|Program Completion Rate||Exam Pass Rate||Job Placement Rate|
|Central New Mexico Community College||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||24 months||92%||93%||90%||Resident: $1,440 Non-resident: $3,240|
|Clovis Community College||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||22 months||93%||98%||94%||Resident: $975 Non-resident: $2,225|
|Doña Ana Community College||Radiography||Associate of Science||21 months||95%||81.80%||100%||Resident: $1,560 Non-resident: $4,968|
|Pima Medical Institute||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||24 months||78%||83%||96%||Resident: $15,686.50 Non-resident: $15,686.50|
*Data retrieved on September 2020. Changes may occur when new information comes in.
Central New Mexico Community CollegeCentral New Mexico Community College (CNM) offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in radiologic technology that prepares students for entry-level roles in the healthcare industry. The program offers education in anatomy, patient positioning, radiographic exposure, and the operation of specialized imaging equipment. CNM boasts affordable yet high-quality education in radiography. It prepares students to meet the requirements to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) exam and become qualified rad techs. Incoming registrants are required to submit prerequisite coursework and entrance exam scores, if applicable. The minimum required scores when completing the TEAS for Allied Health Entrance Exam are the following:
- Comprehensive: 60.00%
- English: 58.50%
- Math: 67.90%
- Science: 47.40%
Clovis Community CollegeThe radiology program at Clovis Community College equips students with the necessary knowledge and skills to become competent entry-level radiographers. Their faculty consists of professionals who are dedicated and highly qualified to educate students in radiologic technology. Students can benefit from advanced medical imaging equipment, small class sizes, and varied clinical settings. Laboratory time at Clovis Community College offers hands-on X-ray practice. Applicants interested in the rad tech program must first register at the Admissions and Records office. Prospective students are required to complete prerequisite coursework. Applicants are accepted based on the GPA of these prerequisite courses. Clovis program faculty teach in both classroom and lab settings. Nursing instructors assist with some of the courses and can also be guest speakers from time to time. Students can progress to the next semester by maintaining a grade of 75% on all classes. The program only accepts students in the fall. Clovis Community College offers financial aid to eligible students after they have completed the requirements. Students can receive multiple forms of assistance to help pay for their classes.
Doña Ana Community CollegeThe radiologic technology program at Doña Ana Community College (DACC) has been in existence and fully accredited by the JRCERT since 1975. The school offers students high-quality didactic and clinical radiologic education to develop their potential as competent technologists. The DACC is committed to providing students with the clinical skills and academic knowledge needed to become certified rad techs. Their program supports and complies with the educational philosophy of New Mexico State University (NMSU). Rad tech students at DACC receive training in both classroom and clinical settings. They work with physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to gain experience in the field. Classes typically involve learning about anatomy and the function of the human body, radiographic procedures, physics, and safe radiation exposures. Meanwhile, clinical work offers students the opportunity to experience the various imaging modalities. These can include studies in magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, mammography, and sonography. The DACC radiologic technology program accepts a limited number of students each year. The following are the primary criteria for selection in the program:
- Advanced math or science courses
- Background check, FBI fingerprints, and drug check
- Completion of prerequisite courses
- Completion of TEAS tests
- County of residence
- Prerequisite GPA
- Overall college GPA
- Successful interview
Pima Medical InstitutePima Medical Institute students study anatomy, equipment protocols, radiation safety, examination techniques, patient care, and radiation protection. The institute uses the same industry equipment in clinics and hospitals to teach students to become effective radiographers. The total number of hours for the radiography program is 2,728, with one extra class presented on-campus or online. Graduates are qualified to take the ARRT exam to prepare for licensure. A career as a radiology technologist, X-ray technician, or sonographer awaits graduates. They will be prepared to operate in various healthcare settings, such as outpatient care centers, physicians’ offices, hospitals, and diagnostic imaging centers.
Becoming a Radiologic Technologist in New MexicoA high school diploma is needed to attend an associate’s degree program in radiography. After graduating from the program, a person can earn licensure from the Radiation Control Bureau operated by the New Mexico Environment Department. The state provides licenses for radiography, radiologist assistants, radiation therapy, fusion imaging, and nuclear medicine. All licenses require individuals to complete the ARRT or state exams. A limited license for X-ray machine operators or radiologic practitioners can be obtained in New Mexico. Requirements include passing the ARRT limited scope exam or completing a state-approved training program. Rad techs must renew their documents every two years to keep their licenses. They must also complete at least 20 hours of continuing education to be qualified for license renewal. Most Bachelor of Science programs require applicants to be graduates of an accredited program before they can obtain a bachelor’s degree in radiologic sciences. Some universities allow students to complete their degrees through online programs. It is important to consult with the state licensing board to ensure that the selected degree or certificate programs meet licensure requirements.
Education for Radiologic Technologists in New MexicoRadiologic technologists must have completed at least an associate’s degree in radiology before they can be employed. Requirements to become a rad tech are different from that of a radiologist. Radiologists must study for a longer period to become licensed medical doctors. A radiologist must complete a four-year undergraduate degree, a four-year medical school, and a hospital residency in radiology. Residencies often take four more years to complete. Radiologists can also practice a subspecialty and pursue a fellowship for more specialized training. Meanwhile, aspiring radiographers must complete a rad tech program, usually accredited by the JRCERT, to gain entry-level employment. These programs often take two years to complete, while the bachelor’s degrees require four years. Graduates can then take the national certification exam administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Similar to radiologists, radiographers can choose to specialize in certain procedures, such as mammograms and ultrasounds.
Career Opportunities for Radiologic Technologists in New MexicoThe job growth for radiologic technicians and technologists in New Mexico is predicted to increase by 9% by the year 2028(4). New Mexico radiology technicians can find full-time employment at the University of New Mexico (UNM) Hospital, Presbyterian Hospital, or Heart Hospital of New Mexico. They may also find opportunities at private facilities such as El Camino Imaging Center in Albuquerque, Alamogordo Imaging Center, Santa Fe Imaging, and X-ray Associates. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) database, approximately 1,280 radiologic technologists and technicians are employed in New Mexico(5). These professionals earn an average salary of $59,140 in the state of New Mexico each year. Entry-level rad techs earn a wage lower than this amount.
Professional Organizations for Radiologic Technologists in New MexicoRad techs in New Mexico can join professional organizations to be part of a group that supports radiographers statewide. The New Mexico Society of Radiologists (NMSR) is an organization committed to the socio-economic interests of its rad tech members, radiologic care, and the advancement of radiology. Radiographers can find encouragement and help for continuing education with the NMSR. The NMSR is a branch of the American College of Radiology (ACR). Members of the ACR are required to be part of their state chapters. State chapters provide its members with opportunities for leadership in their committee structure, whether as an officer, committee chair, or councilor. They also provide opportunities for members to be involved in the commission of the ACR.
ConclusionRadiologic technologists are essential in helping physicians detect injuries and diseases through their knowledge and expertise in diagnostic imaging. New Mexico has several radiologic technology degree programs for aspiring rad techs. The most basic education to become a radiology technologist is to complete an associate’s degree in radiography. Clovis Community College, Doña Ana Community College, Central New Mexico Community College, and Pima Medical Institute offer ideal radiography programs due to their accreditation from the JRCERT. Before a person can attend an associate degree program in radiography, they must first obtain a high school diploma and at least a GPA of 2.5 to be accepted. A radiologic technologist in New Mexico can earn their licensure from the Radiation Control Bureau. The state provides licenses for radiologist assistants, radiation therapy, radiography, nuclear medicine, and fusion imaging. X-ray machine operators and radiologic practitioners can also obtain limited licenses in New Mexico. According to data from the BLS, rad techs in New Mexico earn an average yearly salary of $59,140. There are also about 1,280 radiologic technologists currently employed in the area.
- Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. Accredited Educational Programs. Retrieved from: https://portal.jrcertaccreditation.org/accredited-educational-programs/search
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. May 2019 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates New Mexico. Retrieved from: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nm.htm
- Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. Accredited Educational Programs. op. cit.
- Projections Central. Retrieved from: https://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. op. cit.