Radiology Tech Schools in Arkansas

  • The National Center for Education Statistics lists 11 institutions in Arkansas that offer various radiology programs(1).
  • The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) has accredited 12 radiology programs from 10 radiology tech schools in Arkansas(2).
  • The Arkansas State University in Jonesboro and the Baptist Health College Little Rock in Little Rock are among the radiology schools in Arkansas with the highest program effectiveness data(3).
  • As of May 2019, radiologic technologists and radiology technicians in Arkansas have an annual average salary of $49,770.00(4).
Radiologists, radiologic technologists, and radiology technicians are allied health science specialists in diagnostic imaging. Production of medical images involves modalities, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), X-ray, sonography, computed tomography (CT), ultrasound, and mammography. Students typically need an associate’s degree from a radiography program to pursue specialized degrees from MRI technologist or other radiology programs. Higher-ranking occupations in nuclear medicine, radiation therapy, and fluoroscopy are also available to radiology students. Graduates of accredited radiography programs may apply for entry-level positions. These occupations include radiographers or radiology technicians who operate sonography or X-ray machines. Those who aim for specialized and higher positions may study radiology programs to prepare for specific radiology fields.

Best Radiology Schools in Arkansas

The best radiology schools in the state of Arkansas have accreditation from the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). This committee is the only one recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the United States Department of Education (USDE). Five accredited schools offer radiography programs for Associate of Applied Science degrees (AAS) upon graduation. Meanwhile, two schools offer certificate programs for radiography. These degrees are necessary to pursue advanced radiology programs for specialized radiologic technology occupations. Two schools offer Bachelor of Science degree programs in radiography, magnetic resonance, and radiation therapy. Such degrees are necessary for aspiring radiologists Prospects need a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree to pursue a medical degree. Based on the latest report of the JRCERT, the following table is a summary of radiology schools in Arkansas and the programs that they offer(5)*
Radiology School Type of Program Degree/ Certificate Program Length (in months) Tuition (per year) Program Effectiveness Data (%)
Completion Rate Credential Examination Pass Rate Job Placement Rate
Arkansas State University Jonesboro, Arkansas Radiation Therapy Bachelor of Science 12 $10,401.00 (resident), $10,500.00 (non-resident) 100.00 89.50 97.60
Radiography Bachelor of Science 18 $8,050.00 (resident), $8,000.00 (non-resident) 92.00 77.00 98.00
Magnetic Resonance Bachelor of Science 14 $11,719.00 100.00 97.00 100.00
Baptist Health College Little Rock Little Rock, Arkansas Radiography Certificate 24 $7,492.00 100.00 100.00 96.70
Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute (CARTI) Little Rock, Arkansas Radiation Therapy Certificate 12 $7,500.00 0.00 95.00 100.00
CHI-St. Vincent Infirmary Little Rock, Arkansas Radiography Certificate 24 $7,500.00 88.00 95.00 100.00
National Park College Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas Radiography Associate of Applied Science 23 $3,510.00 (resident), $4,050.00 (non-resident) 87.50 87.00 100.00
North Arkansas College Harrison, Arkansas Radiography Associate of Applied Science 24 $3,792.00 (resident), $5,836.00 (non-resident) 63.00 71.00 100.00
South Arkansas Community College El Dorado, Arkansas Radiography Associate of Applied Science 24 $2,738.00 (resident), $5,624.00 (non-resident) 83.00 91.00 97.00
Southeast Arkansas College Pine Bluff, Arkansas Radiography Associate of Applied Science 24 $4,500.00 (resident), $9,000.00 (non-resident) 58.00 96.00 100.00
University of ArkansasFort Smith Ft. Smith, Arkansas Radiography Associate of Applied Science 21 $5,424.50 (resident), $12,554.50 (non-resident) 85.00 99.00 100.00
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Little Rock, Arkansas Radiography Bachelor of Science 23 $7,840.00 (resident), $12,972.00 (non-resident) 89.00 85.00 100.00

*Data retrieved on Sept. 11, 2020. Changes may occur when new information comes in.

Other Radiology Schools in Arkansas

Some schools in the state of Arkansas may offer radiology technology programs that are not JRCERT-accredited. However, graduates of such programs are still eligible to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) exam(6). According to the JRCERT’s dedicated page for frequently asked questions (FAQs), as long as students complete an educational program that meets ARRT standards, they may sit for the ARRT exam. Passing the ARRT certification exam is required for licensure. Most states, including Arkansas, require licensure before radiographers can practice(7). Industries also prefer hiring registered radiologic technologists. The following schools, which do not have JRCERT accreditation, offer radiology programs:

East Arkansas Community College – Forrest City, Arkansas

This public school offers an associate’s degree in medical radiologic technology or radiologic science for radiation therapists. Three students completed the program from 2018 to 2019. During the academic year 2018 to 2019, the total expenses of in-district beginning students living off campus was $16,016. For in-state students living off campus, total expenses was $16,316. Meanwhile, the total expenses of out-of-state students living off campus was $16,856. Fees include books and other supplies. The average amount of financial aid that undergraduate students received between 2018 and 2019 was $5,145(8).

Henderson State University – Arkadelphia, Arkansas

This public school offers associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees in radiologic technology or radiologic science for radiographers. Between 2018 and 2019, three students completed the associate’s degree program, while one student completed the bachelor’s degree program. During the academic year 2018 to 2019, the total expenses of in-state beginning students living on campus was $20,996. Tuition for students off campus was $25,130. Meanwhile, the total expenses of out-of-state students living on campus was $22,646, and $26,780 for students living off campus. The average amount of financial aid that undergraduate students received between 2018 and 2019 was $8,894(9).

University of Central ArkansasConway, Arkansas

This public school offers a bachelor’s degree program in medical radiologic technology or medical radiologic science for radiation therapists. Eighteen students completed the program during 2018 to 2019. In the academic year 2018 to 2019, the total expenses of in-state beginning students living on campus was $22,563. Tuition for students off campus was $22,202. Meanwhile, the total expenses of out-of-state students living on campus was $29,086, and $28,725 for students living off campus. The average amount of financial aid that undergraduate students received between 2018 and 2019 was $8,116(10).

How to Become a Radiologic Technologist in Arkansas

Typical requirements for radiology school prospects include a high school degree or satisfactory general education development (GED) scores. Applicants must be at least 17 years old to enter an accredited college with a radiology program.

Application

Schools, colleges, and universities typically accommodate online applications. Official websites require membership for easier application processes. Some official websites also offer a dedicated webpage for applicants to request additional information.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and additional fees may vary depending on the residency of students. Residents of Arkansas may have lesser tuition than non-residents. Most schools offer financial aid options for non-resident students.

Admission

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 one’s admission chances. For non-high school students, some schools may require prerequisite courses before admission. These subjects include physiology and anatomy, which are essential starting points in clinical education and science in radiologic technology.

Curriculum

A standard curriculum of radiography programs includes industry fundamentals, such as theory, procedures, radiation protection, and specialized patient care, and other coursework. Meanwhile, radiology programs may focus on more specific clinical and didactic training to prepare students for specialized positions.

Graduation

Students graduating from radiography programs earn an AAS degree. These programs may take two years to complete. AAS degree holders may apply for entry-level positions in radiology departments of hospitals as X-ray technicians or operators of CT scans and ultrasound machines. Graduates of radiography programs may also pursue advanced radiology programs, such as radiation technology or MRI. This step is essential in getting a medical degree. Students of JRCERT-accredited schools have better chances of securing jobs in radiologic technology upon graduation. Graduates may also join the Arkansas Society of Radiologic Technologists(11). This professional organization strives to promote continued education and allow imaging professionals to provide the best quality healthcare possible.

Arkansas Licensing Requirements

The ARRT provides licensing exams for radiologic technologists to practice their professions within the state of Arkansas. Only graduates of schools with ARRT certification may take the licensing exam. The JRCERT is the only recognized accrediting body for radiography programs. Graduation from accredited programs may boost the chances of securing entry-level positions in the industry. Students may complete any radiography program from a school that meets ARRT standards for the exam(12). After passing the ARRT licensure exam, radiographers must complete continuing education to renew their license every two years. More information and additional resources regarding licensure are available from the Arkansas State Department of Health or the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT)(13-14).

Career Opportunities and Salary

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) offers an Occupational Employment Statistics query system, which features the latest labor data of multiple occupations for one geographical area(15) Based on BLS data as of May 2019, the following table summarizes the employment rates and wages for radiologist jobs in Arkansas:
State: Arkansas
Period: May 2019
Occupation Employment(A) Average Hourly Wage Average Annual Wage(B)
Radiation Therapists 150 $36.18 $75,260.00
Cardiovascular Technologists and Cardiovascular Technicians 540 $25.12 $52,260.00
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers 420 $31.75 $66,030.00
Nuclear Medicine Technologists 210 $33.62 $69,920.00
Radiologic Technologists and Radiology Technicians 2,300 $23.93 $49,770.00
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists 330 $28.74 $59,780.00
(A) 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 10, 2020. (B) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the corresponding hourly wage by 2,080 hours. Date extracted: September 10, 2020. Based on the given data, there is a significant difference between the salaries of radiographers and radiologists. Radiologists may specialize in MRI, nuclear medicine technology, diagnostic medical sonography, cardiovascular technology, or radiation therapy. These professionals are actual physicians with a medical doctor (MD) status who diagnose and treat patients. Meanwhile, radiographers and rad techs are limited to operating radiologic technology machines. Although radiography programs prepare students for radiologic technologists’ responsibilities, graduates may pursue radiology programs for further education.

Conclusion

Currently, there are 10 radiology schools in Arkansas with accreditation from the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. Students who complete accredited radiologic science programs may earn certificates, associate degrees, or bachelor’s degrees in radiology to become radiographers or X-ray techs. Radiography programs and specialized radiology programs may take between one to two years to complete. As of May 2019, radiographers, or X-ray technicians, and radiologic technicians in Arkansas make an average hourly salary of $23.93, and an average annual salary of $49,770(16). Radiation therapy, MRI, mammography, and nuclear medicine technology, are among the specialized programs that radiography students pursue. Professionals in these radiology fields earn significantly more than radiographers and radiologic technicians. Radiologists are actual physicians with advanced clinical experience. These professionals work full-time with radiation and medical imaging sciences to diagnose and treat patients. Meanwhile, radiographers may assist radiologists in the workplace. However, they cannot give formal diagnoses.
  1. National Center for Education Statistics. College Navigator. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=AR&p=51.0907+26.0209+51.0916+51.0911+51.0814&l=91+92+93+94 
  2. JRCERT program effectiveness data. Retrieved from www.jrcert.org/resources/program-effectiveness-data/
  3. Ibid 
  4. May 2019 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Arkansas. Occupational Employment Statistics. National Center for Education Statistics. US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ar.htm 
  5. JRCERT program effectiveness data. Op cit
  6. Student FAQs. Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. Retrieved from https://www.jrcert.org/students/student-faqs/#javelin_faq1149_276  
  7. Licensing Information For Radiologic Technology. Arkansas Department of Health. Retrieved from https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/licensing-information-radiologic-tech 
  8. College Navigator – East Arkansas Community College. National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=AR&p=51.0907+26.0209+51.0916+51.0911+51.0814&l=91+92+93+94&id=106883 
  9. College Navigator – Henderson State University. National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=AR&p=51.0907+26.0209+51.0916+51.0911+51.0814&l=91+92+93+94&id=107071 
  10. College Navigator – University of Central Arkansas. National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=AR&p=51.0907+26.0209+51.0916+51.0911+51.0814&l=91+92+93+94&id=106704  
  11. About Us. Arkansas Society of Radiologic Technologists. Retrieved from https://www.arsrt.org/about_us.html
  12. Student FAQs. Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. Op cit
  13. X-Ray Program. Arkansas Department of Health. Retrieved from https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/x-ray-program 
  14. Who We Are FAQ. American Society of Radiologic Technologists. Retrieved from https://www.asrt.org/main/about-asrt/mission-vision/who-we-are-faq
  15. Occupational Employment Statistics Query System. US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Retrieved from https://data.bls.gov/oes/#/home
  16. May 2019 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Arkansas. Occupational Employment Statistics. National Center for Education Statistics. Op cit

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