- Pennsylvania (PA) has numerous radiologic technology programs accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).
- Some of the schools that offer accredited radiologic technology programs include Bucks County Community College, Community College of Philadelphia, Gannon University, Johnson College, Pennsylvania State University, and Thomas Jefferson University.
- To become a radiologic technologist in PA, one needs to pass the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) exam. Rad techs may also obtain certification through the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine.
- Pennsylvania has the fifth-highest employment level for radiologic technologists in the United States(1).
JRCERT-Accredited Radiology ProgramsNumerous radiology tech schools in Pennsylvania offer programs from general practice to specialty areas, such as sonography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and nuclear medicine. A radiologic technology program may be taken as a certificate program, bachelor’s degree, associate’s degree, or master’s degree. The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology is the organization responsible for the accreditation of programs in medical imaging, radiography, sonography, and radiation therapy. JRCERT-accredited programs are determined by the program effectiveness data, including completion rate, credential exam pass rate, and job placement rate(2)*.
|Colleges||Program Type||Degree Level||Duration||Program Effectiveness|
|Completion Rate||Pass Rate||Job Placement Rate|
|Bucks County Community College||Radiography||Associate of Science (AS)||24 months||95%||85%||99%|
|Community College of Allegheny County (Pittsburgh)||Radiation Therapy||Certificate||12 months||100%||82%||86%|
|Community College of Philadelphia||Radiography||Associate of Applied Science (AAS)||24 months||65.20%||100%||95.40%|
|DLP Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center (Johnstown)||Radiography||Certificate||21 months||76%||76%||100%|
|Gannon University (Erie)||Radiography||AS||24 months||78%||95.7%||97.7%|
|Gwynedd Mercy University||Radiation Therapy||Bachelor of Science (BS)||40 months||88%||76%||86%|
|Harcum College (Bryn Mawr)||Radiography||AS||24 months||60%||79%||79%|
|Harrisburg Area Community College||Radiography||AS||19 months||80%||94%||100%|
|Holy Family University||Radiography||AS||20 months||70%||81%||93%|
|Johnson College (Scranton)||Radiography||AS||23 months||75%||85%||100%|
|Mansfield University of Pennsylvania||Radiography||AAS||24 months||73%||95%||97%|
|Misericordia University (Dallas)||Radiography||BS||45 months||65.80%||96.20%||98%|
|Montgomery County Community College (Blue Bell)||Radiography||AAS||24 months||93.75%||91.3%||92%|
|Northampton County Area Community College (Bethlehem)||Radiography||AAS||21 months||85.7%||94.9%||100%|
|Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences (Lancaster)||Radiography||AAS||21 months||82%||84%||100%|
|Pennsylvania College of Technology (Williamsport)||Radiography||AAS||24 months||66.7%||84%||95%|
|Pennsylvania State University (Schuylkill Haven)||Radiography||AAS||24 months||52%||97%||96%|
|Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia)||Magnetic Resonance Imaging||BS||12 months||87%||98%||100%|
*Data retrieved on August 27, 2020. Changes may occur when new information comes in.
Best Radiology Schools in Pennsylvania
|Colleges||Degree Program Offered||Course Inclusions||Tuition Fees(3)**||Contact|
|Bucks County Community College||Certificate in Medical Imaging||Radiation physics, anatomy and physiology, radiographic pathology, image production and evaluation, and contrast media procedures||Resident: $5,040 Non-resident: $10,080||Call 267-685-4821 or email [email protected]edu|
|Community College of Philadelphia||AAS in Diagnostic Medical Imaging||Introduction to radiologic physics, patient care and procedures, radiographic osteology and pathology, image production and evaluation, anatomy and physiology, and radiographic equipment and operation||Resident: $11,628 Non-resident: $23,256||Call 215-751-8430 or 215-751 8010|
|Gannon University (Erie)||AS in Radiologic Sciences||Introduction to radiologic sciences, clinical radiography, radiographic exposure and processing, radiographic positioning and procedures, advanced exposure, and imaging and equipment||Resident: $28,630 Non-resident: $28,630||Call 814-871-7240 or email [email protected] gannon.edu|
|Johnson College (Scranton)||AS in Radiologic Technology||Radiologic positioning, advanced medical imaging, radiologic nursing procedures, and radiologic pathology||Resident: $16,284||Call 570-702-8941 or email [email protected]edu|
|Pennsylvania State University (Schuylkill Haven)||AS in Radiologic Sciences||Patient care, procedures, exposure, biology and protections, radiology pathology, radiographic physics, introduction to ethics, pharmacy and drug administration, and registry prep||Resident: $18,986 Non-resident: $28,917||Call 570-385-6252 or email [email protected]edu|
|Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia)||BS in Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences||Radiography (x-ray), general sonography (ultrasound), CT, MRI, and nuclear medicine||Resident: $41,900 Non-resident: $41,900||Call 215-503-8890 or email [email protected]edu|
**Data retrieved on August 27, 2020. Changes may occur when new information comes in.
Bucks County Community CollegeBucks County Community College offers a certificate program in medical imaging. This JRCERT-accredited program takes 24 months or six semesters to finish(4). Students learn radiography through a combination of in-class, laboratory, and clinical activities. These activities emphasize radiation protection, patient care, and technical skills. The curriculum also includes courses, such as radiation physics, radiographic pathology, anatomy and physiology, image production and evaluation, and contrast media procedures. All classes take place at their Lower Bucks campus, while clinical experiences take place at Pennsylvania clinics and hospitals. Bucks County Community College also offers online certificate programs in advanced medical imaging for professionals who already have medical imaging experience.
Community College of PhiladelphiaCommunity College of Philadelphia offers a diagnostic medical imaging program designed for completion within two years. This program requires 76 credits(5). Students participate in seven clinical education courses at affiliated hospitals under the supervision of department faculty members and clinical staff. Students also gain professional experience in various hospital departments, including the operating room, emergency room, computed tomography (CT) department, and interventional radiology department. The courses include an introduction to radiologic physics, patient care and procedures, radiographic osteology and pathology, image production and evaluation, anatomy and physiology, and radiographic equipment and operation. Advanced imaging and computer modalities, radiation biology and protection, and angiographic or interventional procedures are also included in the curriculum.
Gannon UniversityGannon University is a private Catholic university that offers an associate degree program in radiologic sciences. It takes 24 months to complete(6). In the first year of the program, students fulfill general education requirements, including Gannon University’s liberal studies core. It is a required academic curriculum that reflects the university’s commitment to Catholic values. First year students also take a series of introductory radiology courses and participate in a clinical rotation. These rotations teach students about the different departments in hospitals that require radiologic technologists. The courses include an introduction to radiologic sciences, clinical radiography, radiographic exposure and processing, radiographic positioning and procedures, imaging and equipment, and advanced exposure. The last 15 months of the program focuses on professional development and clinical competency. Students continue clinical rotations in conjunction with advanced radiology coursework. The radiologic sciences program provides a strong foundation for advanced study in radiologic specialties, such as radiation therapy, sonography, CT, MRI, and radiology education. The program graduates have achieved a 100% pass rate on the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) national certification exam over the past 15 years. This program is also fully accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.
Johnson CollegeJohnson College offers an Associate in Science in Radiologic Technology degree, which requires 73 credit hours to complete(7). This program prepares students to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) national certification exam and begin entry-level radiologic technology careers. Major courses in the program include radiologic positioning, advanced medical imaging, radiologic nursing procedures, and radiologic pathology. Students also complete 1,320 hours of clinical practicum under the supervision of faculty members and licensed practitioners. The program’s admission is competitive and based on the completion of course prerequisites, test scores, and cumulative grade point average (GPA). Over the past five years, graduates of the program have reported competitive pass rates on the ARRT certification exam and high job placement rates. Johnson College’s radiologic technology program is JRCERT-accredited.
Pennsylvania State UniversityPennsylvania State University (Penn State) offers radiology programs at several of its campuses, including New Kensington, Schuylkill, and Hershey. The Associate of Science in Radiological Sciences consists of 24 months of consecutive study. It is a full-time experience with alternating days of academic study and clinical internship(8). The courses include patient care, procedures, exposure, biology and protections, radiology pathology, radiographic physics, introduction to ethics, pharmacy and drug administration, and registry prep. Students fulfill their requirements in a clinical setting, such as Allegheny Medical Centers, Butler Memorial Hospital, or West Penn Hospital. To gain a more holistic academic foundation, students also balance their radiology education with general education requirements in communication skills, arts and sciences, and humanities.
Thomas Jefferson UniversityThomas Jefferson University is one of the few academic health centers that offer a Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences(9). This program provides graduates with many career options in radiologic sciences, including opportunities for advancement. Since 1995, program graduates have boasted a 95-100% career placement rate, 85% average pass rate on certification exams for all imaging concentrations, and less than 10% attrition rate. Students may choose from various concentration options, including radiography (x-ray), general sonography (ultrasound), CT, MRI, or nuclear medicine. These concentrations take 12 months. Students also participate in clinical education for each of their chosen concentrations. The university has over 100 clinical sites in major teaching hospitals, imaging centers, physician’s offices, and women’s imaging centers. Aside from bachelor’s degree programs in radiology, Thomas Jefferson University also offers certificate and master’s degree programs.
Other Schools to ConsiderBelow is a list of institutions that offer a radiography program that is not yet accredited by JRCERT. However, these schools still provide quality radiology education and are often accredited by other entities.
- Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
- Community College of Beaver County
- La Roche University
- Mount Aloysius College
- Westmoreland County Community College
How to Become a Radiologic Technologist in PATo become a radiologic technologist in Pennsylvania, an individual needs to meet the minimum educational requirement and obtain state licensure. Like most healthcare careers, earning a high school diploma is the first step to finding entry-level employment. Taking classes in math and sciences, such as anatomy, biology, chemistry, physiology, and physics, helps students prepare for college studies. Most entry-level radiologic technologists possess at least an Associate of Applied Science degree. Prospective students should make sure that their degree program is accredited by the JRCERT before enrolling. Radiologic technology graduates may take the ARRT exam to qualify for licensing. Rad techs may also obtain certification through the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine(10).
Career and SalaryRadiologic technology graduates in Pennsylvania have numerous options for specializations, career opportunities, and workplace environments. Some areas for specialization include radiography, sonography, breast sonography, vascular sonography, mammography, bone densitometry, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and cardiac-interventional sonography. A rad tech graduate may become a radiographer, radiology technician, sonographer, MRI technologist, nuclear medical technologist, or x-ray technician. Radiologic technologists may consider employment opportunities at Pennsylvania’s imaging centers, medical clinics, and physician’s offices. Career opportunities are also available in the state’s 253 hospitals, including Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, Mercy Health System, and Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), radiology professionals in PA earn an average salary of $53,860, while hourly wage is around $25.89 per hour(11). The average salary for other professionals, like x-ray technicians, is $27.32 per hour(12). X-ray technicians are generally paid by the hour since their job mostly entails laboratory work(13). The highest percentages of radiology professionals are located in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh metropolitan areas of the state. As of 2018, Pennsylvania has the fifth-highest employment level for radiologic technologists in the US, with an estimated 10,210 rad techs working in the state(14). Radiology tech employment in Pennsylvania is also projected to grow by 9.3% through the decade ending in 2026(15).
ConclusionNumerous radiology tech schools in Pennsylvania offer JRCERT-accredited programs. They are determined by the program effectiveness data, including completion rate, credential exam pass rate, and job placement rate. Students may pursue a one-year certificate program, a two-year associate’s degree, or a four-year bachelor’s degree. Some of the best radiology schools include Bucks County Community College, Community College of Philadelphia, Gannon University, Johnson College, Pennsylvania State University, and Thomas Jefferson University. Aside from their accredited radiology programs, these schools also offer financial aid to its students. Radiologic technology graduates in Pennsylvania have numerous options for specializations and career opportunities, including those of x-ray technicians, radiographers, sonographers, MRI technologists, or nuclear medicine technologists.
- US Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS). (May 2018). Occupational Employment and Wages, Radiologic Technologists. Retrieved from: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292034.htm
- Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. (Accessed 2020). Program Effectiveness Data. Retrieved from: https://www.jrcert.org/resources/program-effectiveness-data/
- Radiology ED. (Accessed 2020). Pennsylvania – How to Become a Radiologic Technologist.Retrieved from: https://radiologyed.org/schools/pennsylvania/
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- Community College of Philadelphia. (Accessed 2020). Diagnostic Medical Imaging. Retrieved from: https://www.ccp.edu/college-catalog/degree-programs/associate-applied-science-aas/diagnostic-medical-imaging
- Gannon University. (Accessed 2020). Radiologic Sciences. Retrieved from: https://www.gannon.edu/academic-offerings/health-professions-and-sciences/undergraduate/radiologic-sciences/
- Johnson College. (Accessed 2020). Radiologic Technology. Retrieved from: https://johnson.edu/divisions-of-study/health-sciences/radiologic-technology/
- Pennsylvania State University. Radiological Sciences. (Accessed 2020). Retrieved from: https://schuylkill.psu.edu/academics/degrees/assoc-degrees/radsc
- Thomas Jefferson University Information. (Accessed 2020). Department of Medical Imaging & Radiation Sciences. Retrieved from: https://www.jefferson.edu/content/academic/university/health-professions/departments/radiologic-sciences.html
- Pennsylvania Department of State. (Accessed 2020). State Board of Medicine. Retrieved from: https://www.dos.pa.gov/ProfessionalLicensing/BoardsCommissions/Medicine/Pages/default.aspx
- US Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS). (May 2019). Occupational Employment and Wages, 29-2034 Radiologic Technologists and Technicians. Retrieved from: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292034.htm
- Indeed.com. (2020). How much does an X-ray Technician make in Pennsylvania?. Retrieved from: https://www.indeed.com/career/x%20ray-technician/salaries/PA
- Study.com. (September 16, 2019). Limited Scope X-Ray Technician Career Information and Requirements. Retrieved from: https://study.com/articles/Limited_Scope_X-Ray_Technician_Career_Information_and_Requirements.html
- Projections Central. (Accessed 2020). Long Term Occupational Projections. Retrieved from: https://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm