Radiologic technologists are healthcare professionals trained in using high-technology equipment to produce images of the human body’s internal processes and structures. A radiologic technologist may also be referred to as a rad tech, radiographer, or X-ray technician.
Imaging equipment used includes X-ray machines, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), sonography (ultrasound) machines, and positron emission tomography (PET).
Radiologic technologists possess critical thinking and communication skills. They are knowledgeable in health sciences, anatomy, and physiology. Their main job is to produce optimal images that help physicians and radiologists make an accurate diagnosis.
A traditional radiologic technology (rad tech) program combines lecture sessions and clinical rotations in allied health facilities and medical centers.
Best Radiology Schools in NJ
The following list is composed of schools with accredited programs. Some schools provide financial aid to students who maintain a certain grade point average (GPA).
Prospects may check the schools’ official website for more information on curriculum, requirements, and scholarship programs. Some schools have online programs.
Program effectiveness data is based on the latest report from JRCERT’s official website www.jrcert.org (1).
|School||Degree||Program Length||Application Requirements||Program Effectiveness||Type of program|
|American Institute of Medical Sciences and Education in Edison||Certificate program||24-30 months||High school degreeGED completion||Not available||Radiography and radiology|
|Atlantic Cape Community College in Atlantic City||Associate degree||21 months||High school degreeGED completionPrerequisite courses||Pass rate: 93.2%Completion rate: 92%Job placement rate: 94.4%||Radiography|
|Bergen Community College in Paramus||Associate degreeCertificate program||12 to 24 months||High school degreeGED completionPrerequisite courses||AssociatePass rate: 91%Completion rate: 55%Job placement rate: 93%CertificatePass rate: 97.7%Completion rate: 100%Job placement rate: 91.9%||RadiographyRadiology|
|Brookdale Community College in Lincroft||Associate degree||22 months||High school degreeGED completionPrerequisite courses||Pass rate: 89%Completion rate: 74%Job placement rate: 95.8%||Radiography|
|Burlington Community College in Pemberton||Associate degree||TBA||High school degreeGED completionPrerequisite courses||Not available||Radiography|
|County College of Morris in Randolph||Associate degree||24 months||High school degreeGED completionPrerequisite courses||Pass rate: 94%Completion rate: 83%Job placement rate: 87.2%||Radiography|
|Cumberland County College in South Jersey||Associate degree||High school degreeGED completionPrerequisite courses||Pass rate: 84%Completion rate: 84%Job placement rate: 97%||Radiography|
|Englewood Hospital and Medical Center School of Radiography in Englewood||Certificate program||24 months||High school degreeGED completionPrerequisite courses||Pass rate: 95.7%Completion rate: 72.7%Job placement rate: 100%||Radiography|
|Essex County College in Newark||Associate degree||22 months||High school degreeGED completionPrerequisite courses||Pass rate: 95%Completion rate: 67%Job placement rate: 98%||Radiography|
|Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck||Associate degreeBachelor degree||24 to 48 months||High school degreeGED completionPrerequisite courses||Not available||RadiographyRadiology|
|Hudson County Community College in Jersey City||Associate degree||24 months||High school degreeGED completionPrerequisite courses||Pass rate: 100%Completion rate: 85%Job placement rate: 100%||Radiography|
|JFK Medical Center Muhlenberg Harold B. School in Newark||Certificate program||24 months||High school degreeGED completionPrerequisite courses||Pass rate: 91%Completion rate: 78%Job placement rate: 95.4%||Radiography|
|Mercer County Community College in West Windsor||Associate degree||23 months||High school degreeGED completionPrerequisite courses||Pass rate: 89%Completion rate: 82%Job placement rate: 95%||Radiography|
|Middlesex County College in Edison||Associate degree||24 months||High school degreeGED completionPrerequisite courses||Pass rate: 96.4%Completion rate: 94%Job placement rate: 98%||Radiography|
|Passaic County Community College in Paterson||Associate degree||24 months||High school degreeGED completionPrerequisite courses||Pass rate: 96%Completion rate: 25%Job placement rate: 97%||Radiography|
|Rowan College at Burlington County in Mount Laurel||Associate degree||24 months||High school degreeGED completionPrerequisite courses||Pass rate: 96%Completion rate: 73%Job placement rate: 96%||Radiography|
|Rowan College at South Jersey in Vineland||Associate degree||23 months||High school degreeGED completionPrerequisite courses||Pass rate: 96.3%Completion rate: 87%Job placement rate: 95.2%||Radiology|
|Rutgers University-New Brunswick in Newark||Bachelor degreeCertificate program||Not available||High school degreeGED completionPrerequisite coursesARRT registration||Not available||RadiographyRadiology|
|Shore Medical Center in Somers Point||Certificate||21 months||High school degreeGED completionPrerequisite courses||Pass rate: 93.2%Completion rate: 92%Job placement rate: 94.4%||Radiography|
|St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston in Trenton||Certificate program||12 months||High school degreeGED completionPrerequisite courses||Pass rate: 92.6%Completion rate: 100%Job placement rate: 96.2%||Radiology|
|St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton||Certificate||24 months||High school degreeGED completionPrerequisite courses||Pass rate: 97%Completion rate: 100%Job placement rate: 94%||Radiography|
|Union County College in Cranford||Associate degree||Not available||High school degreeGED completionPrerequisite courses||Not Available||Radiography|
|Valley Hospital in Ridgewood||Certificate program||24 months||High school degreeGED completionPrerequisite courses||Pass rate: 89%Completion rate: 90%Job placement rate: 100%||Radiography|
Click here to see the best radiology schools in other states.
Radiography Programs vs. Radiology Programs
Associate degree programs teach radiography modalities, such as X-ray and sonography. Knowledge of these modalities can provide opportunities for entry-level positions, such as X-ray and ultrasound technicians. However, there are also a few associate degrees that cover radiology specialties.
Radiography programs’ coursework usually includes preclinical subjects, radiography fundamentals, accurate patient positioning, radiographic procedures, radiation biology, and radiation protection.
Radiology programs cover more advanced modalities in radiology. Depending on the school, completion of radiology programs may earn students an associate’s degree, bachelor’s, master’s degree, or certificate of completion.
These radiology procedures are MRI, radiation therapy, fluoroscopy, mammography, nuclear medicine, contrast medium injection, and other interventional radiology procedures. Upon successful completion, radiology programs graduates are eligible to apply for higher-paying positions.
How to Become a Radiologic Technologist in NJ
Individuals interested in joining this healthcare field must first graduate from high school or obtain a general education degree (GED). Applicants may be required to take preclinical courses during or before enrolling in the radiologic technology program.
These prerequisite courses include English, higher mathematics, algebra, applied physics, chemistry, anatomy, medical sciences, and physiology.
All applicants must also undergo a physical examination. Patient care is part of radiographers’ responsibilities, and they must possess enough stamina to assist injured or sick patients.
Associate degree programs, such as Associate of Applied Science (AAS) and Associate of Science (AS), may take 21 to 24 months. Full-time students may finish the program faster, compared to part-timers.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) requires graduates to complete at least two years of education and radiography procedures training. Radiography and radiology program graduates must also pass the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) examination before applying for a state license (2).
Associate degree holders and ARRT accredited technologists may continue their education by enrolling in Bachelor of Science degree programs.
A Bachelor’s degree program may take another 24 months to complete. Graduates may take the ARRT examination for advanced modalities.
Radiologic technologists who want to expand their specialties may also enroll in certificate programs, which may take 12 to 30 months to complete.
The field of diagnostic imaging has several members. The radiologic technologists use high-technology equipment to produce medical images. Technologists often work upon the instructions of the radiologists. Sometimes, a physicist may be required on-site to assist in calculations and radiation safety.
Radiologists are licensed-doctors who went through the same years of education and training as other physicians. Individuals who wish to become a radiologist must attend four to five years of medical school.
Graduates must complete two years of internship, followed by four years of residency in an accredited hospital. It takes 10 to 15 years of education and training to become a fully-licensed radiologist.
All rad tech programs in New Jersey must be accredited by the New Jersey Radiologic Technology Board of Examiners.
There are several certifying agencies for radiography and radiology programs. Certifying agencies ensure that radiologic technology students receive high-standard education and are protected from fraudulent schools.
The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) ensures that programs are high-quality and use only authoritative resources.
A JRCERT accreditation process involves personal site visits, inspections, and reviews on program performance and output.
Every year, JRCERT releases a program effectiveness data report that estimates students’ five-year average outcomes. The program effectiveness data reports on the programs’ pass rate, completion rate, and job placement rate.
Prospects choosing among the available programs in New Jersey may refer to JRCERT’s program effectiveness data for a more straightforward selection process.
Other certifying agencies are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT).
CAAHEP is a programmatic accrediting agency in coordination with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Meanwhile, JRCNMT ensures nuclear medicine programs’ quality by maintaining an educational standard.
In New Jersey, graduates must take an exam administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). The organization is a certifying body that accredits and recognizes qualified radiologic technologists.
Moreover, registered technologists are encouraged to join the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT). The society is a professional association composed of rad techs.
ASRT’s mission is to elevate the medical imaging profession by helping members find opportunities for continuing education, networking, and industry updates. Also, the ASRT Foundation provides financial aid to talented radiologic technology students.
X-ray technicians and radiologic technologists specializing in radiation therapy must comply with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). The agency ensures that radiation safety standards are upheld in laboratories and radiology facilities (3).
Career Opportunities and Salary
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shared that radiologic technologist opportunities have a 9% increase in job outlook. The aging population is responsible for the increased demand for medical imaging services (4).
In the United States, radiologic technologists received an annual salary range of $60,510 (approximately $29.94 per hour). This salary range includes occupations, such as sonography and X-ray technicians (5).
Meanwhile, MRI technologists received an annual salary range of $62,280 to $73,410 (6).
Radiologic technologists who obtained associate’s degrees in radiography are eligible for entry-level positions.
Technologists who completed advanced radiology programs may apply for positions that involve modalities, such as MRI, nuclear medicine, and radiation therapy.
According to BLS, radiologic technologists and technicians in the State of New Jersey earn a median annual salary of $74,550 ($35.84 per hour). New Jersey is one of the top ten states that pay the highest salary for radiologic technologists (7).
New Jersey is an excellent location for radiologic technologists and technicians due to its comprehensive radiation protection program that protects workers and patients (8).
Moreover, the Department of Commission promulgated the Radiologic Technologist act. The act regulates a thorough licensure process to ensure New Jersey citizens are protected from unnecessary radiation.
According to the New Jersey Department of Health, there are 45,000 board-approved programs in the state (9). These programs provide prospects with the opportunity to learn, enter the field, and become vital healthcare industry members.
When choosing the right program, students must consider their time commitment, location, and personal goal. Long term goals in the radiologic technology field may require enrolling in a bachelor’s degree program to attain a purposeful career.
For individuals who are interested in filling entry-level positions, they may choose associate degree programs.
Nevertheless, both programs provide many learning opportunities for future radiologic technologists and become part of a growing industry for years to come.
- JRCERT program effectiveness data. Retrieved from www.jrcert.org/resources/program-effectiveness-data/
- New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Retrieved from https://www.state.nj.us/dep/rpp/brh/index.htm
- The US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/radiologic-technologists.htm#tab-1
- The US Bureau of Labor Statistics Radiologic Technologist Salary. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/radiologic-technologists.htm#tab-5
- The US Bureau of Labor Statistics Radiologic Technologist Salary Per State. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/oes/2018/may/oes292034.htm#(1)
- New Jersey Department of Health Environmental Protection Proposal. Retrieved from https://www.nj.gov/dep/rules/proposals/20191202a.pdf