Radiologic technologists (radiographers) are healthcare professionals that specialize in operating medical imaging equipment for the purpose of diagnostic imaging.
These imaging equipment include the X-ray machine, computed tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine, positron emission tomography (PET) scans, and sonography machines.
A radiographer with critical thinking and communication skills can work well with radiologists and members of the healthcare team. This dynamic produces optimal images that help physicians diagnose conditions accurately.
Radiologic technology programs consist of coursework that educates students in the fundamentals of radiography, body positioning, radiographic procedures, radiation safety, and patient care.
Moreover, radiography students are also educated in basic math, physics, and chemistry. These prerequisite courses are sometimes required when applying for bachelor’s degree programs.
The application process requires the prospective students to pay a fee, complete the application, and submit a school transcript.
Students may also be required to attend physical and written examinations. Radiography students are required to have stamina and good physical standing to properly care for patients. Some schools may also perform background checks.
Some schools may also provide financial aid to students who achieved the required grade point average. Students eligible for financial assistance may apply through the assigned program director.
The following lists are Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT)-certified schools that offer radiologic technology programs. The program effectiveness rating is according to the latest report from JRCERT(1).
|School||Degree||Program Length||Application Requirements||Program Effectiveness||Location|
|Antelope Valley College||Associate degree||24 months||High school degreeGED||Pass rate: 97%Completion rate: 90%Job placement rate: 100%||Lancaster, California|
|Bakersfield College||Associate degree||24 months||High school degreeGED||Pass rate: 90%Completion rate: 75% Job placement rate: 100%||Bakersfield, California|
|Bellevue College||Associate degreeBachelor degree||24 to 48 months||High school degreeGED||Pass rate: 100%Completion rate: 90%Job placement rate: 100%||Bellevue, Washington|
|Brookdale Community College||Associate degree||24 months||High school degreeGED||Pass rate: 92.4%Completion rate: 76.4%Job placement rate: 93.8%||Lincroft, New Jersey|
|Cabrillo College||Associate degree||20 months||High school degreeGED||Pass rate: 98%Completion rate: 92% Job placement rate: 93%||Aptos, California|
|City College of San Francisco||Associate degree||30 months||High school degreeGED||Pass rate: 99%Completion rate: 78.6% Job placement rate: 92%||San Francisco, California|
|El Camino Community College||Associate degree||26 months||High school degreeGED||Pass rate: 100%Completion rate: 86.4%Job placement rate: 100%||Torrance, California|
|Foothill College||Associate degree||22 months||High school degree||Pass rate: 99%Completion rate: 82%Job placement rate: 100%||Los Altos, California|
|Keiser University||Associate degree||16 months||High school degreeGED||Pass rate: 81%Completion rate: 89%Job placement rate: 99.3%||Fort Lauderdale, Florida|
|Los Angeles City College (LACC)||Associate degree||27 months||High school degreeGED||Pass rate: 88%Completion rate: 100%Job placement rate: 89%||Los Angeles, California|
|Maine College of Health Profession||Associate degree||22 months||High school degreeGED||Pass rate: 85%Completion rate: 76%Job placement rate: 98%||Lewiston, Maine|
|Merritt College||Associate degree||24 months||High school degreeGED||Pass rate: 95%Completion rate: 71%Job placement rate: 97.8%||Oakland, California|
|Metropolitan Community College||Associate degree||24 months||High school degreeGED||Pass rate: 95%Completion rate: 83%Job placement rate: 95%||Kansas City,Missouri|
|Mt. San Antonio College||Associate degree||26 months||High school degreeGED||Pass rate: 85%Completion rate: 84%Job placement rate: 98%||Walnut, California|
|Newman University||Associate degree||24 months||High school degreeGED||Pass rate: 75%Completion rate: 69%Job placement rate: 95%||Wichita, Kansas|
|Tarrant County College||Associate degree||24 months||High school degreeGED||Pass rate: 90.2%Completion rate: 91.7%Job placement rate: 80%||Fort Worth, Texas|
|Arkansas State University||Bachelor degree||12 months||Prerequisite radiography courses||Pass rate: 89.5%Completion rate: 100%Job placement rate: 97.6%||Jonesboro, Arkansas|
|Austin Peay State University||Bachelor degree||24 months||Prerequisite radiography courses||Pass rate: 86.8%Completion rate: 85%Job placement rate: 100%||Clarkesville, Tennessee|
|California State University Dominguez Hills||Bachelor degree||28 months||Prerequisite radiography courses||Pass rate: 98%Completion rate: 87%Job placement rate: 97%||Carson, California|
|Emory University School of Medicine||Bachelor degree||33 months||Prerequisite radiography courses||Pass rate: 92.5%Completion rate: 65%Job placement rate: 96.3%||Atlanta, Georgia|
|Kaiser Permanente School of Allied Health Sciences||Bachelor degree||24 months (day classes)27 months (evening classes)||Prerequisite radiography courses||Pass rate: 98.9%Completion rate: 81.6%Job placement rate: 93.4%||Richmond, California|
|Idaho State University||Bachelor degree||18 months||Prerequisite radiography courses||Pass rate: 95.7%Completion rate: 100%Job placement rate: 98.9%||Pocatello, Idaho|
|Long Island State University||Bachelor degree||21 months||Prerequisite radiography courses||Pass rate: 94%Completion rate: 95.80%Job placement rate: 100%||Brookeville, New York|
|Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences||Bachelor degree||32 months||Prerequisite radiography courses||Pass rate: 82%Completion rate: 100% Job placement rate: 100%||Boston, Massachusetts|
|University of Cincinnati||Bachelor degree||12 months||Prerequisite radiography courses||Pass rate: 80%Completion rate: 100%Job placement rate: 89.7%||Cincinnati, Ohio|
|University of Hartford||Bachelor degree||50 months||High school degreeGED||Pass rate: 88%Completion rate: 91% Job placement rate: 98%||West Hartford, Connecticut|
|University of Iowa||Bachelor degree||33 months||Prerequisite radiography courses||Pass rate: not available Completion rate: 100%Job placement rate: 100%||Iowa City, Iowa|
|University of Louisiana Monroe||Bachelor degree||21 months||Prerequisite radiography courses||Pass rate: 89%Completion rate: 81% Job placement rate: 94%||Monroe, Louisiana|
|University of Mississippi||Bachelor degree||22 months||Prerequisite radiography courses||Pass rate: 98%Completion rate: 96% Job placement rate: 100%||Jackson, Mississippi|
|University of North Carolina||Bachelor degree||48 months||High school degreeGED||Pass rate: 97%Completion rate: 85% Job placement rate: 98%||Chapel Hill, North Carolina|
|University of Southern Indiana||Bachelor degree||28 months||Prerequisite radiography courses||Pass rate: 93.4%Completion rate: 100%Job placement rate: 100%||Evansville, Indiana|
|Xavier University||Bachelor degree||21 months||High school degreeGED||Pass rate: 76.5%Completion rate: 75.3%Job placement rate: 73%||Cincinnati. Ohio|
Associate of Applied Science Degree
Antelope Valley College offers a two-year associate degree program that trains students in academic, clinical, and laboratory settings.
Students are required to attend sessions four to five times per week (approximately 40 hours per week). The college also provides the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for graduates.
Location: Lancaster, California
Bakersfield College offers an associate degree in applied science. The two-year program educates students in theories, skills, and experience.
For its clinical education programs, Bakersfield College has partnered with several medical centers and hospitals in Bakersfield and Delano, California.
Location: Bakersfield, California
Bellevue College offers a two-year associate’s degree program and ARRT exam and certification. The school has an ongoing cooperative effort with medical centers, clinics, and hospitals.
Bellevue has allied health and medical facilities, enabling students to participate and gain clinical experiences. The school also offers applied science degrees for professionals who want to earn a bachelor’s degree.
Location: Bellevue, Washington
Brookdale Community College offers the Associate of Applied Science in Radiologic Technology program. This program requires students to commit 35 to 40 hours for classroom instruction, clinical, and laboratory practice.
Brookdale graduates are hired in hospitals, healthcare facilities, and physician’s offices.
Location: Lincroft, New Jersey
Cabrillo College offers several radiography programs and certificates on mammography, fluoroscopy, venipuncture, sectional anatomy, MRI, and CT.
Aside from the ARRT examination upon course completion, Cabrillo College also hosts state permit examinations for fluoroscopy.
Location: Aptos, California
City College of San Francisco offers the diagnostic medical imaging program (DMI). The DMI takes 30 months to complete and requires students to attend the school full-time.
According to the school website, the City College of San Francisco has strong clinical affiliates and superior laboratory facilities.
Location: San Francisco, California
El Camino Community College’s radiography program is accredited by the California Department of Health Services.
The two-year-long program includes four semesters of academic and clinical training. Upon satisfactory completion, graduates are allowed to take the national and state certification exams.
Location: Torrance, California
Foothill College offers courses on fundamentals of radiologic technology, image acquisition, applied radiologic technology, patient care, ethics, and advanced modalities. Some courses are not applicable to general education.
Location: Los Altos Hills, California
Keiser University prepares students for entry-level positions through their program, the Associate of Science in Radiologic Technology. The two-year program consists of six semesters that educate students in both academic and clinic settings.
The associate degree program is also available in Keiser’s eight campus locations in Florida.
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Los Angeles City College (LACC) offers Associate of Science degrees and skills certificates for fluoroscopy, clinical education, and patient care.
LACC also has an ongoing articulation agreement with the California State University of Northridge. The agreement allows students from LACC to transfer coursework to the university.
Location: Los Angeles, California
Maine College of Health Profession offers the Associate of Applied Science in Radiologic Technology. The 22-month program requires students to commit 40 hours a week for classes and clinical rotations.
The coursework includes equipment operation, radiation safety, patient positioning, and overall care. Students also learn basic physics, math, chemistry, and anatomy.
Certificate programs in CT, mammography, and sonography are also available.
Location: Lewiston, Maine
Merritt College offers the Associate of Science in Radiologic Science degree. This 24-month program includes clinical practice at East Bay hospitals.
The college also recommends that prospects take additional courses in higher mathematics, physics, medical terminology, and business communication.
Location: Oakland, California
Metropolitan Community College offers the Associate of Applied Science in Radiologic Technology. MCC’s program goals include preparing students for the ARRT exam and entry-level radiography positions.
The Associate of Applied Science degree contains 86 credit hours and takes two years to complete.
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Mt. San Antonio College (MSAC) offers radiologic technology, mammography, and computed tomography programs.
The college partnered with Southern Illinois University for its bachelor’s degrees: Bachelor of Science in Health Care Management and Bachelor of Science in Radiological Sciences (online course). Both these programs are pathways to a master’s degree in Radiological Sciences.
Location: Walnut, California
Newman University offers the associate degree program with optional additional CT training. The two-year program is equipped with a dedicated faculty that prepares students for ARRT certification and entry-level positions.
Location: Wichita, Kansas
Tarrant County College offers the Associate of Applied Science degree in its Trinity River campus. The two-year program includes courses on the fundamentals of radiography, medical terminology, radiographic procedures, and imaging equipment.
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Arkansas State University offers the Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science (BSRS) with baccalaureate degrees in six tracks. The tracks allow students to focus on their chosen field, including cardiovascular-interventional technology, MRI/CT, mammography, radiation therapy, sonography, and medical imaging informatics.
Arkansas State also offers the bridge program that is structured towards professional radiographers with associate degrees. Upon completion, students from the bridge program earn the BSRS degree.
Location: Jonesboro, Arkansas
Austin Peay State University’s radiography program prepares students for ARRT examination and entry-level positions. Upon completion of required credits, students may choose to concentrate in nuclear medicine technology, radiation therapy, and diagnostic medical sonography.
Students are trained in both academic and clinical settings. Moreover, Austin Peay has 11 allied hospitals and clinics in Tennessee. Upon completion, the students earn a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology.
Location: Clarksville, Tennessee
California State University Dominguez Hills (CSU-DH) offers the Bachelor of Science in Health Services through clinical practice at its affiliate, the Harbour-UCLA Medical Center.
Admission requirements include an associate degree in radiologic technology and prerequisite courses (anatomy, physiology, algebra, and public speaking).
Location: Carson, California
Emory University School of Medicine provides students with a four-year-long program consisting of anatomy, physiology, patient care, and physics. Coursework also includes the fundamentals, theories, and procedures in medical imaging.
Students have the option to focus on CT, MRI, administration, and business management. Moreover, the program accepts both part-time and full-time students. Graduates earn a Bachelor of Medical Science.
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Kaiser Permanente School of Allied Health Sciences (KPSAHS) offers day and evening programs that provide academic and hands-on training in medical facilities.
The school’s mission is to create well-rounded and professional radiographers. Upon completion of the program, the alumni earn a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology.
Admission requirements include a radiologic technology associate degree, prerequisite courses, and a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. Students must possess critical thinking and communication skills.
Location: Richmond, California
Idaho State University offers five semesters of radiography training in a classroom and clinical setting. Students are trained in basic terminology, patient care, radiography principles, and procedures.
The Bachelor of Science in Radiographic Science program consists of 1,500 hours of clinical experience and a curriculum that prepares students for the ARRT examination.
Admission requirements include completion of pre-professional courses, including algebra, physics, chemistry, anatomy, and physiology.
A sonography certificate program is also available for students who want to further their education.
Location: Pocatello, Idaho
Long Island University (LIU) Post offers a four-year program that enables students to earn a Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging.
The program requires its applicants to have a 2.0 grade point average and prerequisite courses in anatomy, physiology, and basic math.
Location: Brookville, New York
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has accelerated and fast-tracked radiography programs. These programs enable students to earn a Bachelor of Science in Radiography in 32 months or 20 months.
Students may focus on the following fields, such as diagnostic medical sonography, MRI, nuclear medicine technology, and radiation therapy.
The school has a state-of-the-art laboratory that prepares students for a real-life clinical setting. Students are also assigned clinical rotations in allied hospitals and other health facilities.
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
The University of Cincinnati’s radiography program graduates can earn a Bachelor of Science in Radiation Science Technology. The two-year-long program’s faculty members include influential and award-winning technologists.
The bachelor’s degree is designed for students who already obtained an associate degree. Prospects who have yet to take any radiography education may enroll in UC’s Associate of Applied Science.
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
The University of Hartford offers a four-year program that prepares students for a dynamic and fast-paced environment. The Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology program trains students to operate sophisticated medical imaging technology while providing appropriate patient care.
The curriculum consists of basic math and science, fundamentals, and procedures. In the second year, students are assigned to clinical rotations in allied hospitals and clinics.
Students who completed the third-year program get their Associate in Science degree and take the ARRT examination. In their fourth year, students are trained in their selected fields, such as CT, MRI, or sonography.
Location: West Hartford, Connecticut
University of Iowa (UIOWA) offers a three-year continuing education program for associate degree holders. Admission requirements include the completion of prerequisite courses and radiologic technology degrees.
Moreover, UIOWA’s programs include clinical internships at medical imaging centers in Iowa.
Location: Iowa City, Iowa
The University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM) radiography program leads to a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology. This four-year-long program educates students in real-world settings at eight allied health institutions and private clinics.
Students gain clinical training in the university’s state-of-the-art X-ray facility. Aside from its four-year program, ULM offers continuing education for registered technologists.
Location: Monroe, Louisiana
University of Mississippi (UMC) offers entry-level and advanced programs for prospects. The entry-level program takes 22 months to complete and includes courses in radiological sciences, procedures, radiation protection, radiation physics, and patient care.
Moreover, the coursework also includes advanced imaging science, principles of CT, and pharmacology, and drug administration.
The advanced program coursework is available through a part-time or online format. This program allows radiologic technologists to update their educational background.
Location: Jackson, Mississippi
University of North Carolina (UNC) offers courses, including a bachelor’s degree, certificate programs, and a master’s degree.
UNC’s mission statement mentioned that the programs are designed to train students to be competent, efficient, flexible, and adaptable as medical imaging professionals. They are also trained to occupy prominent roles in their department(2).
Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
University of Southern Indiana (USI) offers continuing education programs for radiographers with associate’s degrees. Only radiographers with ARRT certification may apply to the program. USI’s program is available through 33 hours of online courses in imaging and radiology science courses.
Students may choose from three specialties offered, such as CT/MRI, clinical education, and radiology management.
Graduates from the mentioned specialties may apply for higher positions, including MRI technologists and managerial positions. USI alumni are also eligible for the ARRT national certification examination.
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Xavier University offers prospects with a two-year Associate of Science in Radiologic Technology. Upon completion, graduates may continue their education, with MRI training, and earn a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree.
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Note that some of the mentioned colleges and universities transitioned to online courses due to COVID-19.
Prospects must choose schools registered with the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).
The committee ensures that accredited radiography schools provide high-quality education and use only authoritative resources.
Aside from protecting students from fraudulent schools, JRCERT increases the prospect’s opportunities for job placements and state licensure(3).
JRCERT sends out an annual program effectiveness data sharing accredited schools’ student learning outcomes. The data includes a 5-year average credential examination pass rate, program completion rate, and job placement rate(4).
To learn more about JRCERT, prospects may refer to the official website www.jrcert.org or visit the head office at 20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 2850, Chicago, IL 60606-3182. Students may send their questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) is an organization that grants credentials and recognizes qualified individuals in radiography and interventional radiology procedures. Some state licensing procedures may require ARRT certification(5).
Registered radiology technicians may join the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT). The society helps technicians advance their careers, provide opportunities for continuing education, and allows members to network within the industry(6).
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shared that the demand for radiologic technologists is increasing due to the aging population and new technologies(7).
Radiographers have a 9% faster than average job outlook compared to other occupations. Radiographers also receive an annual salary range of $65,780 to $90,920 (approximately $29.94 per hour)(8).
The education requirements of radiographers depend on the position. Prospects who completed associate degree programs may apply for entry-level radiographers. They must be adept in medical imaging modalities, including X-rays, MRIs, CTs, and ultrasounds.
Technicians who obtained a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology may apply for MRI technologist positions.
What To Expect
Individuals interested in becoming radiographers may choose from various associate degree programs, certificate programs, or bachelor degree programs in the United States.
Universities and community colleges offer programs ranging from two to four years. Prospects must be a high school or general education degree graduate to enroll in the programs.
Class sessions may include the fundamentals, human anatomy, health sciences, applied sciences, and patient care. Students are also given imaging examinations and trained in clinical site maintenance.
Depending on the school, coursework may include hands-on lab work and studies on nuclear medicine, radiation therapy, patient care, radiologic science, effects of ionizing radiation, and radiation protection.
When choosing radiology technology programs, students must consider factors, such as time commitment, online or traditional classes, location, and program effectiveness. They must also select the program according to personal goals.
Radiography students who want to commit to the field may pursue bachelor’s degrees and continuing education programs. Meanwhile, students interested in exploring their options may opt for associate degrees and apply for entry-level positions.
Nevertheless, both bachelor’s and associate’s degrees may lead to a successful career in radiography. With a faster-than-average job outlook prediction, graduates from the programs may enjoy plenty of opportunities in the next several years(9).