- The National Center for Education Statistics lists 14 institutions in Oklahoma that offer various radiology programs(1).
- The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) has accredited 12 radiology programs from 11 radiology tech schools in Oklahoma(2).
- The Meridian Technology Center in Stillwater and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City are among the radiology schools in Oklahoma with the highest program effectiveness data(3).
- As of May 2019, radiologic technologists and technicians in Oklahoma have an annual average salary of $55,610(4).
Best Radiology Schools in OklahomaThe best radiology schools in the state of Oklahoma 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). Some schools in the following list may require prospective students to join live program orientations via Zoom, a teleconferencing technology. Orientation schedules vary per school. Five schools offer radiography programs for Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees upon graduation. These degrees are necessary to pursue advanced radiology programs for specialized radiologic technology occupations. One school offers Bachelor of Science degree programs in radiography and radiation therapy. Such degrees are necessary for aspiring radiologists. Prospective students need bachelor’s degrees to pursue a medical degree. Based on the latest report of the JRCERT, the following table is a summary of radiology schools in Oklahoma and the programs that they offer(5)*:
|Radiology School||Type of Program||Degree/ Certificate||Program Length (in months)||Program Effectiveness Data (%)|
|Completion Rate||Credential Examination Pass Rate||Job Placement Rate|
|Autry Technology Center Enid, Oklahoma||Radiography||Certificate||24||67.00||86.00||100.00|
|Bacone College Muskogee, Oklahoma||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||19||0.00||93.00||86.00|
|Cameron University Lawton, Oklahoma||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||22||80.00||100.00||100.00|
|Indian Capital Technology Center Muskogee, Oklahoma||Radiography||Certificate||23||83.00||79.00||98.00|
|Meridian Technology Center Stillwater, Oklahoma||Radiography||Certificate||24||100.00||100.00||100.00|
|Metro Technology Centers (School District #22) Oklahoma City, Oklahoma||Radiography||Certificate||22||87.00||87.00||94.00|
|Rose State College Midwest City, Oklahoma||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||24||66.00||98.00||93.00|
|Southwestern Oklahoma State University at Sayre Sayre, Oklahoma||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||24||92.00||69.00||100.00|
|Tulsa Community College Tulsa, Oklahoma||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science||24||70.00||83.00||100.00|
|Tulsa Technology Center Tulsa, Oklahoma||Radiography||Certificate||22||81.00||83.00||97.00|
|University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Oklahoma City, Oklahoma||Radiation Therapy||Bachelor of Science||24||100.00||97.00||91.00|
|Radiography||Bachelor of Science||24||85.00||90.00||94.00|
*Data retrieved on Sept. 4, 2020. Changes may occur when new information comes in.
Other Radiology Schools in OklahomaSome schools in the state of Oklahoma may offer radiologic 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). As long as students complete an educational program that meets ARRT standards, they may sit for the ARRT exam. Passing the ARRT exam is required for licensure. Most states, including Oklahoma, require licensure before radiographers can practice. Industries also prefer hiring registered radiologic technologists. The following schools offer radiology programs but do not have JRCERT accreditation:
Connors State College – Warner, OklahomaThis public school offers an associate’s degree in radiologic technology or radiologic science for radiographers(7). No students completed the program during 2018 to 2019.
Southwestern Oklahoma State University – Weatherford, OklahomaThis public school offers a program in medical radiologic technology for radiation therapists(8). Between 2018 to 2019, 11 students earned an associate’s degree from this program.
Western Oklahoma State College – Altus, OklahomaThis public school offers a program in medical radiologic technology for radiation therapists. Between 2018 to 2019, one student earned an associate’s degree from this program. The program has been accredited by the JRCERT from April 27, 2001, to October 19, 2018(9). As of August 2020, the program does not have a date for the next review.
Licensing Requirements in OklahomaThe ARRT provides licensing exams for radiologic technologists to practice their professions within the state of Oklahoma. Only graduates of ARRT-accredited schools may take the licensing exam. The JRCERT is the only recognized accrediting body for radiography programs. Completing accredited programs may boost an individual’s chances of securing entry-level positions in the radiology industry. However, students may complete any radiography program from a school that meets ARRT standards to sit for the licensing exam(10). After passing the ARRT licensure exam, radiographers must renew their license within two years by pursuing continuing education. More information and additional resources regarding licensure are available at a state’s local licensing board or the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT)(11).
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(12). Based on BLS data as of May 2019, the following table summarizes the employment rates and wages for radiologist jobs in Oklahoma: State: Oklahoma Period: May 2019
|Occupation||Employment(A)||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Wage(B)|
|Cardiovascular Technologists and Cardiovascular Technicians||570||$22.20||$46,170|
|Diagnostic Medical Sonographers||860||$34.02||$70,770|
|Nuclear Medicine Technologists||230||$35.50||$73,840|
|Radiologic Technologists and Radiology Technicians||2,590||$26.74||$55,610|
|Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists||440||$31.96||$66,490|
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 3, 2020.
B. Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the corresponding hourly wage by 2,080 hours. Date extracted: September 3, 2020.Based on the occupational employment statistics of the US BLS, specialized occupations have a significantly higher income than radiologic technologists and technicians. Except for cardiovascular technologists and cardiovascular technicians, technical careers make at least $10,000 more than radiographers and rad techs. 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. Radiographers and rad techs are limited to operating radiologic technology machines. They may know about appropriate courses of action when using radiologic technology. However, only radiologists can officially make assessments of diseases and decide on the best treatment plans. Radiography programs prepare students for radiologic technologists’ responsibilities. They also allow graduates to pursue radiology programs for further education.
How to Become a Radiologic Technologist in OklahomaTypical 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. Tuition may vary depending on the residency of students. Residents of Oklahoma may have lesser tuition than non-residents. Some schools offer financial aid options for non-resident students. 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 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. The standard curriculum of radiography programs includes industry fundamentals, such as theory, procedures, radiation protection, specialized patient care, and other coursework. Meanwhile, radiology programs may focus on more specific topics to prepare students for specialized positions. Graduation from programs earns students 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. Students of JRCERT-accredited schools have better chances of securing jobs in radiologic technology upon graduation. Graduates may also join the Oklahoma Society of Radiologic Technologists(13). This professional organization offers career resources, continuing education opportunities, and networking events.
ConclusionCurrently, there are 14 radiology schools in Oklahoma. 11 of these schools have accreditation from the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. Most of these schools offer associate degrees. To enter a radiography program, aspiring students must have a GPA of at least 3.0, among other standard application requirements. Prospective students from high school who have taken advanced math and health science courses may have better chances of getting accepted. In the State of Oklahoma, even graduates of radiologic technology programs without JRCERT accreditation may get licensure. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists certifies schools that meet its standards. Graduates from schools with ARRT certification may sit for the ARRT exam. Radiographers must pass the ARRT certification exam to get a license to practice in medical centers in the state. Professionals must also renew their license every other year to continue working in the industry. As of May 2019, radiographers or X-ray technicians and radiologic technicians in Oklahoma make an average hourly salary of $26.74, and an average annual salary of $55,610.00(14). Radiology schools in Oklahoma offer certificate programs, associate’s degrees, and bachelor’s degrees in radiography. Curricula include clinical and didactic instruction. Degrees in radiography programs are prerequisites for taking radiology programs, which are what aspiring radiologists take to become certified physicians. 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 radiology technicians. Radiologists are actual physicians who work with medical imaging and radiation sciences. These professionals work full-time 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=OK&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 Oklahoma. Occupational Employment Statistics. National Center for Education Statistics. US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ok.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
- College Navigator – Connors State College. National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=OK&p=51.0814+51.0911+41.0299+51.0907+41.0204&l=91+92+93+94&ct=1+2+3&ic=1+2+3&id=206996
- College Navigator – Southwestern Oklahoma State University. National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=OK&p=51.0814+51.0911+41.0299+51.0907+41.0204&l=91+92+93+94&ct=1+2+3&ic=1+2+3&id=207865
- College Navigator – Western Oklahoma State College. National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=OK&p=51.0814+51.0911+41.0299+51.0907+41.0204&l=91+92+93+94&ct=1+2+3&ic=1+2+3&id=208035
- Student FAQs. Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. Op cit
- 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
- The Mission of the Oklahoma Society of Radiologic Technologists. Oklahoma Society of Radiologic Technologists. Retrieved from http://www.osrt.net/
- May 2019 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Oklahoma. Occupational Employment Statistics. National Center for Education Statistics. Op cit