- The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) lists 11 institutions that offer radiography programs in Washington (WA)(1).
- The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) has accredited eight radiology programs in seven radiology schools in WA(2).
- According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual mean wage of radiologic technologists and technicians in Washington as of May 2019 was $74,030(3).
List of Radiology Schools in WashingtonAccording to the NCES, Washington has 11 radiology schools. Seven of these schools have accreditation from the JRCERT. Students who complete accredited programs are qualified to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) exam. The JRCERT awards accreditation to programs in radiation therapy, radiography, medical dosimetry, and magnetic resonance. Below is a summary of JRCERT-accredited programs in the state of Washington. This section contains program information, including curriculum, stats, admission process, and admission requirements. Program effectiveness data is based on the committee’s latest report. It can be accessed on JRCERT’s website, www.jrcert.org(4)*.
|School, Location||Degree/ Certificate||Program Duration||Application Requirements||Program Effectiveness Data|
|Completion Rate %||Certificate Exam Pass Rate %||Job Placement Rate %|
|Bellevue College Bellevue, WA||Associate||24 months||High school GED Prerequisite courses||90||100||100|
|Bachelor||22 months||ARRT certification||89||88||91|
|Carrington College Spokane, WA||Associate||24 months||High school GED Prerequisite courses||71||72||78|
|Pima Medical Institute–Seattle Seattle, WA||Associate||24 months||High school GED Prerequisite courses||93||90||84|
|Spokane Community College Spokane, WA||Associate||22 months||High school GED Prerequisite courses||89||96||97|
|Tacoma Community College Tacoma, WA||Associate||24 months||High school GED Prerequisite courses||90||98||100|
|Wenatchee Valley College Wenatchee, WA||Associate||24 months||High school GED Prerequisite courses||80||96||98|
|Yakima Valley Community College Yakima, WA||Associate||24 months||High school GED Prerequisite courses||80||92||93.64|
*Data retrieved on Sept. 7, 2020. Changes may occur when new information comes in.
Bellevue College – Bellevue, WashingtonThis school offers an associate’s degree in radiation therapy and a bachelor’s degree in medical dosimetry. The full-time radiation therapy program aims to prepare students for a career in the field of cancer treatment. The program is open to students without any prior experience in radiation therapy. It begins every September. Coursework includes oncology, pathology, radiation physics, treatment planning, and human relations. Students under the program also receive extensive hands-on experience in a modern clinical setting. Meanwhile, the medical dosimetry program is for ARRT-certified radiation therapists who want certification from the Medical Dosimetrist Certification Board (MDCB). Additionally, students can earn a certificate in various areas of specialization, like computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Curriculum includes online classes convenient for students who live in far areas. However, all students under the program are required to complete a clinical internship. To join Bellevue’s programs, applicants must complete the initial application process online. Aside from the online application, applicants should also undergo a formal interview and a math and reading test. Prospective students must also pass background checks and meet immunization requirements.
Carrington College – Spokane, WashingtonThis school offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in radiography. The medical radiography or X-ray program of this school trains future radiologic technologists to produce medical images of the human body. Coursework includes classroom instruction, practical training sessions, and clinical exercises. Other topics the program covers include radiographic procedures, patient care, pathology, and quality control. This college program is only available at the Spokane, Washington campus.
Pima Medical Institute–Seattle – Seattle, WashingtonThis school offers an accredited program in radiography. Students who complete the program receive an Associate of Science degree. Students take basic patient care, anatomy, equipment protocols, radiation safety, radiation protection, examination techniques, and other courses. Graduates of this program are prepared for X-ray technologist or radiologic technologist careers in hospitals or physicians’ offices.
Spokane Community College – Spokane, WashingtonThis school offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in radiography. The program begins in the fall and lasts for seven quarters. The program director typically schedules and conducts interviews within the first week of July, before classes begin. New students must attend a mandatory orientation session for radiology technology students, which is scheduled within a month after interviews. Courses include several levels of radiographic positioning, patient care and ethics, radiographic image evaluation, clinical education, and radiographic principles.
Tacoma Community College – Tacoma, WashingtonThis school offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in radiography. The program prepares students for the responsibilities of X-ray technologists or radiographers, who operate equipment to create diagnostic images of the human body. Tacoma Community College also schedules Zoom Lobby Sessions for students to participate in a question and answer session through teleconferencing. Students who complete the program are eligible to take the ARRT exam to become certified as registered radiologic technologists.
Wenatchee Valley College – Wenatchee, WashingtonThe radiologic technology program of this school begins each spring quarter. Graduates receive an Associate of Technical Science degree in radiography. The Wenatchee Valley College program complies with the Professional Curriculum for Radiography of the American Society of Radiologic Technology. Its curriculum is also created with help from clinical affiliates. Students who complete the program are eligible to apply for the ARRT exam. They need to pass this examination to qualify for specialized radiology courses, such as MRI and radiation therapy.
Yakima Valley Community College – Yakima, WashingtonThe Radiologic Sciences Program of this school follows the educational goals of the ASRT. Graduates earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in radiologic sciences. The program lasts eight quarters. Students may apply to take the national registry examination of the ARRT. Besides complete disclosure of their academic record, students must meet immunization requirements to enter the radiologic science program.
Other Radiology Schools in Washington
Bellingham Technical College – Bellingham, WashingtonThis public school offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in medical radiologic technology or radiologic science for radiation therapists. Twenty-six students completed the associate’s program between 2018 and 2019.
Columbia Basin College – Pasco, WashingtonThis public school offers a radiation protection or health physics technician program and a radiologic technology or radiologic science program for radiographers. Between 2018 and 2019, six students completed the physics technician program, while eight completed the radiographer program. Graduates earned an associate’s degree.
University of Washington–Seattle Campus – Seattle, WashingtonThis public school offers a medical radiologic technology or radiologic science program for radiation therapists. Between 2018 and 2019, no student completed the master’s degree program of the school.
How to Become a Radiologic Tech in Washington?Typical requirements for radiology school prospects include a high school degree or general education development (GED) degree. Applicants must be at least 17 years old to enter an accredited college with a radiology program. The admission processes of radiology schools tend to be competitive. Schools may prioritize students with a grade point average (GPA) above 3.0 for their radiologic technology programs. Having taken advanced math and science courses in high school also boosts students’ chances. For non-high school students, some schools may require prerequisite courses to enter. These subjects include physiology and anatomy. These are essential starting points in health sciences and imaging sciences, which are standards in radiologic technology. A radiography program in Washington can take up to two years to complete, depending on the credentials that a student desires. Most JRCERT-accredited associate degree programs take 24 months to complete. The shortest JRCERT-accredited programs in Washington take 22 months to complete. These programs are the Bachelor of Science degree and associate’s degree programs in Bellevue College and Spokane Community College respectively. After graduating from radiologic technology programs, students also have to take the exam for national certification. Radiographers in Washington are required to take and pass the licensure exam to work in the state.
Accreditation of Radiology Programs in WashingtonThe ARRT provides licensing exams for radiologic technologists to practice their professions within the state of Washington. Only graduates of schools with ARRT certification may take the licensing exam. The JRCERT is the only recognized accrediting body for educational programs in radiography. Graduation from accredited programs may boost the chances of students securing entry-level positions in the industry. However, according to the ASRT, students may complete any radiography program from a school that meets ARRT standards for the exa(5). After passing the ARRT licensure exam, radiographers must renew their license within two years by completing continuing education. More information and additional resources regarding licensure are available from professional organizations, such as the Washington State Radiological Society(6), Washington State Department of Health(7), and the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT)(8).
Career Opportunities and SalaryThe US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) offers an Occupational Employment Statistics Query System, which gathers the latest labor data of multiple occupations for one geographical area(9). Based on BLS data as of May 2019, the following table summarizes the employment rates and wages for radiologist jobs in Washington:
Period: May 2019
|Occupation||Employment(A)||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Wage(B)|
|Cardiovascular Technologists and RadiologyTechnicians||890||$30.93||$64,330.00|
|Diagnostic Medical Sonographers||1,690||$43.33||$90,130.00|
|Nuclear Medicine Technologists||300||$46.19||$96,080.00|
|Radiologic Technologists and RadiologyTechnicians||3,870||$35.59||$74,030.00|
|Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists||820||$45.75||$95,150.00|
- Estimates for detailed occupations do not sum to the totals because the totals include occupations not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers. Date extracted: September 7, 2020.
- Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the corresponding hourly wage by 2,080 hours. Date extracted: September 7, 2020.
ConclusionThere currently are seven radiology schools in Washington with accreditation from the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. These schools offer certificate programs, associate’s degrees, or bachelor’s degrees in radiologic science. Students may take at least two years to complete radiography programs. As of May 2019, radiographers or X-ray technicians and radiologic technicians in Washington make an average hourly salary of $35.59, and an average annual salary of $74,030(10). Radiation therapy, sonography, mammography, and medical dosimetry are among other specialized programs that radiography students pursue. Professionals in specialized fields earn significantly more than radiographers and radiologic technicians. Radiologists are actual physicians with advanced clinical experience who have spent up to four years getting a college degree, studying in medical school, and undergoing residency training. These professionals work full-time with medical imaging and radiation sciences to diagnose and treat patients. Meanwhile, radiographers may assist radiologists in the workplace. However, they cannot give formal diagnoses.
- National Center for Education Statistics. College Navigator. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=WA&p=51.0907+26.0209+51.0916+51.0911+51.0814&l=91+92+93+94
- JRCERT program effectiveness data. Retrieved from www.jrcert.org/resources/program-effectiveness-data/
- May 2019 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Washington. Occupational Employment Statistics. National Center for Education Statistics. US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_wa.htm
- JRCERT program effectiveness data. Op cit
- Student FAQs. Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. Retrieved from https://www.jrcert.org/students/student-faqs/#javelin_faq1149_276
- About the Washington State Radiological Society. Washington State Radiological Society. Retrieved from https://wsrs.org/about/
- About Us. Washington State Department of Health. Retrieved from https://www.doh.wa.gov/AboutUs
- Who We Are FAQ. American Society of Radiologic Technologists. Retrieved from https://www.asrt.org/main/about-asrt/mission-vision/who-we-are-faq
- Occupational Employment Statistics Query System. US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Retrieved from https://data.bls.gov/oes/#/home
- May 2019 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Washington. Occupational Employment Statistics. Op cit