Radiologic technologists and radiology technicians are medical professionals trained to conduct diagnostic imaging procedures to produce medical images of patients’ internal organs. Radiologists use these images to diagnose and treat various medical conditions correctly.
Radiologic professionals use radiographic and digital medical imaging technologies.
These technologies include X-ray, sonography, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomography (PET).
Technologists and technicians may pursue a certificate program, associate’s or a bachelor’s degree, and acquire a license before applying for employment.
Radiologic technology programs typically run up to two years. In contrast, radiology programs require a medical degree and may take up to 15 years.
Entry-level positions in X-ray or sonography are common for technologists and technicians with less than two years of work experience.
Pursuing further training and certification is essential in seeking career advancement opportunities.
Technologists who completed advanced training may specialize in more complex and high-paying radiologic subspecialties, such as nuclear medicine, fluoroscopy, and radiation therapy.
Best Radiology Schools in Oregon
The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) is a United States (US) government-recognized accreditation agency for traditional and distance learning programs in radiography, radiation therapy, magnetic resonance, and medical dosimetry.
JRCERT measures an academic program’s effectiveness through completion rate, pass rate, and job placement rate.
The program completion rate pertains to the number of students who accomplished the program within 150% of the stated program duration(1).
The exam pass rate measures the number of students who pass the National Registry Examination (NRE) on their first try(2).
The NRE is managed by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).
The job placement rate compares the number of students currently employed in the discipline versus the number of students actively seeking employment(3).
JRCERT releases the results of each school’s program effectiveness annually, and all figures below are derived from 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)***|
|Exam Pass Rate||Job Placement Rate|
|Oregon Health & Science University in Portland||Radiation Therapy||Bachelor of Science||24 months||67%||94.40%||94.30%||Resident: $21,064
|Portland Community College in Portland||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||24 months||100%||100%||92.40%||Resident: $4,950
|Oregon Institute of Technology* in Klamath Falls(6)||Radiologic Science||Bachelor of Science||24 months||No data available||No data available||No data available||Resident(7): $6,316.04
**Data retrieved on Sept. 4, 2020. Changes may occur when new information comes in.
***Data retrieved on Sept. 4, 2020. Changes may occur when new information comes in.
Oregon Health and Science University
The Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) grants students a bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy.
The university’s radiation therapy program equips its students to become highly–skilled radiation therapists. OHSU aims to produce graduates who demonstrate technical expertise on various imaging equipment, effectively collaborate with their colleagues, and provide world-class patient care.
Students who have fulfilled 60 semester hours of radiation therapy prerequisites can join the program. The university also accepts applicants with an associate’s degree from any JRCERT-accredited program.
Students with a bachelor’s degree and want to pursue radiation therapy education are also encouraged to apply.
However, the school requires a minimum cumulative general point average (GPA) of 2.8. Admission and course orientation begin every November and close February of the next year.
Portland Community College
Portland Community College’s (PCC) radiography academic program requires students to undergo rigorous training in all aspects of radiography to obtain the necessary skills for an entry-level job.
Prospective students must earn expertise in various coursework, including anatomy and physiology, physics, radiation protection and protocol, patient positioning, and patient care.
Students also learn how to operate radiographic and digital imaging equipment, such as an X-ray machine, MRI, CT scanner, or an ultrasound machine.
Students may receive an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Radiography upon graduating.
Oregon Institute of Technology
The Oregon Institute of Technology’s (OIT) radiology program offers a Bachelor of Science degree program for aspiring radiologic technologists. The institute gives students appropriate education, supervision, and industry experience to gain a competitive edge amid the high demand for medical imaging professionals.
OIT welcomes fresh high school graduates and General Education (GED) recipients for its prerequisites program. Students may then apply to the radiology program or other specialization upon completion of their prerequisites.
The institute also offers degree programs on diagnostic medical sonography, nuclear medicine, echocardiography, nuclear medicine, and vascular technology.
Other schools that offer radiography programs include Linn-Benton Community College in Albany, Oregon, Pioneer Pacific College, Abdill Career College Inc in Medford, Oregon Health and Science University.
More information and additional resources regarding these schools are available via their websites.
However, these schools are currently not accredited by the top three accreditation agencies in the country.
JRCERT cautions prospective radiography students to avoid “diploma mills” or institutions that grant educational degrees without regard for quality education practices and industry standards(8).
Instead, JRCERT encourages students to seek education from certified colleges that follow a standardized radiography curriculum.
Three prominent organizations grant accreditation to colleges all over the country, namely:
- 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 the US Department of Education(9).
The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), an organization that champions academic self-regulation through accreditation, also recognizes JRCERT(10).
CAAHEP focuses on the accreditation of health sciences professions. Its partnership with the Committees on Accreditation allows CAAHEP to review and accredit 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 and is recognized by the CHEA(11).
Meanwhile, JRCNMT concentrates on the accreditation of nuclear medicine technology education(12).
Oregon Licensure Requirements
The Oregon Board of Medical Imaging (OBMI) governs the Oregon licensure laws. The OBMI issues temporary and permanent licenses for all aspiring radiologic technologists or technicians.
Students or graduates who have not yet taken the registry exams may secure a temporary license. This license allows them to practice radiography to gain clinical experience and fulfill credential requirements. This license type lasts only six months(13).
The OBMI issues a permanent license to fully–credentialed technologists applying for a first-time permit. This license type is valid for two years and requires applicants to have continuing education courses(14).
OBMI also grants temporary and permanent permits for X-ray technicians, otherwise called limited X-ray machine operators(15).
Career Opportunities and Salary
Radiologic technologists, also known as X-ray technologists, often hold job titles such as X-ray technicians.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected a positive growth on employment opportunities for radiologic and MRI technologists with a 7% rate from 2019 to 2029(16).
Radiologic technology is a broad medical term that covers individuals who work with different imaging technologies. Among its subcategories is radiography, under which x-ray technicians belong.
In its 2019 report, the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) stated that radiologic technologists’ mean annual salary is $69,266(17).
The report is divided per discipline and reflects salaries per state. The values for X-ray technicians below were derived from the report’s “Radiography” column.
Based on the report, X-ray technicians’ average yearly income is $57,865 across all states(18).
The 2019 annual median wage for X-ray technicians in Oregon is $66,978, as shown under the column for radiographers(19).
Meanwhile, the average radiology tech income in the state of Oregon is $79,335 across all disciplines(20).
Average income may also depend on a technologist’s position and years of experience. According to ASRT, an entry-level technologist may earn $51,763 annually, while an entry-level X-ray technician may expect $48,175 in a year(21).
Technologists and technicians in senior positions may expect a significantly higher income.
A full-time senior technologist receives an average annual wage of $75,361, while a manager or supervisor may earn an average of $85,539(22).
A senior x-ray technician may receive $62,152, while individuals in managerial or supervisory positions get $73,565(23).
Other radiology technology fields covered in the report include magnetic resonance (MR), sonography, computed tomography (CT), and mammography.
The BLS reported that more than 50% of the country’s radiologic technicians work in hospitals. The other half work in different healthcare facilities, such as imaging centers, medical centers, mobile clinic units, private clinics, or corporate settings
Radiologic technology programs may range from 15 to 24 months. Aspiring technologists may earn an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree before pursuing further training and certification.
Graduates may apply for a radiography license from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) or through state-designated licensure bureaus.
In pursuing a radiography degree, accredited educational institutions are one’s best option to ensure quality education.
- “Program Effectiveness Data.” Joint Review on Education in Radiologic Technology. Accessed August 28, 2020. https://www.jrcert.org/resources/program-effectiveness-data/.
- “Accredited Educational Programs.” Program Effectiveness Data. Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. Accessed August 28, 2020. https://portal.jrcertaccreditation.org/accredited-educational-programs/search.
- Ibid; “Commission on Accreditation.” CAAHEP. Accessed September 4, 2020. https://www.caahep.org/Students/Find-a-Program.aspx.
- “Radiologic Science.” Radiologic Science Degree Program | Oregon Tech. Accessed September 10, 2020. https://www.oit.edu/academics/degrees/radiologic-science.
- “2019 – 2020 Undergraduate Tuition and Fees – Klamath Falls Campus.” Radiologic Science Degree Program | Oregon Tech. Accessed September 10, 2020. https://www.oit.edu/sites/default/files/document/2019-2020-tuition-and-fees-by-program-2-17-2020.pdf
- “Degree Mills: An Old Problem and a New Threat.” Joint Review on Education in Radiologic Technology. Accessed August 28, 2020. https://www.jrcert.org/news/degree-mills/.
- “US Department of Education Recognition.” Joint Review on Education in Radiologic Technology. Accessed September 4, 2020. https://www.jrcert.org/resources/us-department-of-education-recognition/.
- “CHEA Recognition.” Joint Review on Education in Radiologic Technology. Accessed September 4, 2020. https://www.jrcert.org/resources/council-for-higher-education-accreditation-recognition/.
- “Commission on Accreditation.” CAAHEP. Accessed September 4, 2020. https://www.caahep.org/.
- “JRCNMT Mission, Vision & Values.” JRCNMT. Accessed September 4, 2020. https://www.jrcnmt.org/about/.
- “Temporary Permit.” Oregon Board of Medical Imaging : Temporary Permit : Limited Permit : State of Oregon. Accessed September 4, 2020. https://www.oregon.gov/obmi/lp/pages/t-permit.aspx.
- “Permanent License.” Oregon Board of Medical Imaging : Permanent License : License : State of Oregon. Accessed September 4, 2020. https://www.oregon.gov/obmi/License/pages/p-license.aspx.
- “Temporary Permit.” Oregon Board of Medical Imaging : Temporary Permit : Limited Permit : State of Oregon. Accessed September 4, 2020. https://www.oregon.gov/obmi/lp/pages/t-permit.aspx; “Permanent Permit.” Oregon Board of Medical Imaging : Permanent Permit : Limited Permit : State of Oregon. Accessed September 4, 2020. https://www.oregon.gov/obmi/lp/Pages/p-permit.aspx.
- “Radiologic and MRI Technologists : Occupational Outlook Handbook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 10, 2020. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/radiologic-technologists.htm.
- “Radiologic Technologist Wage and Salary Survey 2019.” American Society of Radiologic Technologists, 2019. Accessed August 28, 2020. http://members.issrt.org/resources/SiteUploads/20190808/radiologic-technologist-wage-and-salary-survey-2019.pdf.