Radiology Technician Schools in Alaska

  • According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Alaska has two institutions that offer radiologic tech programs: the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) and the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS)(1).
  • At UAA, in-state tuition is $8,103, while out-of-state tuition is $28,084. At UAS, students pay an in-state tuition of $6,696, while out-of-state tuition is $20,832(2).
  • Experts project a 23.3% job growth for radiologic techs in Alaska through 2026(3).
  • According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, recruiters in the state have hired 390 rad techs as of 2019. Employers also hired 150 diagnostic imaging sonographers and 70 magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologists(4).
  • Data from BLS also show that in Alaska, rad techs earn an annual mean salary of $76,850(5).
Data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) show that there are two institutions in Alaska that offer radiography programs(6).

University of Alaska Anchorage 

The University of Alaska Anchorage offers a radiologic technology program at the associate’s level. Under the three-year program, students have to complete 70 credits of lectures and lab sessions. Students also have to complete more than 1,200 credit hours of clinical education at local imaging centers. Coursework for the program emphasizes technical knowledge and skills in radiography. The admission for the program is competitive, and the university onboards a limited number of applicants yearly. To enter the program, applicants must complete the following application requirements:
  • Proof of completion of prerequisite courses
  • Complete clinical observations
  • Proof of immunizations
  • Accomplished online application form
  • Web-based interview
Applicants must first apply to the university as undergraduate degree-seeking students. After the university onboards the students, they can apply to enter the radiologic tech department. In-state tuition is $8,103, while out-of-state tuition is $28,084(7). Upon graduation, students earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in radiologic technology.

University of Alaska Southeast 

Headquartered in Juneau, the University of Alaska Southeast offers a radiologic tech program at the certificate level.  Applicants to the university have to submit the following requirements:
  • Secondary school grade point average (GPA)
  • Secondary school record
  • Completion of college-preparatory program
  • Formal demonstration of competencies
  • Admission test scores (SAT or ACT)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for foreign students
In-state tuition costs $6,696, while out-of-state tuition is $20,832(8). The university offers financial aid and scholarships to students who cannot afford full tuition.

Radiography Programs vs Radiology Programs

Most institutions in Alaska offer educational programs to produce competent radiographers, such as radiology technicians and radiologic technologists. The curriculum for radiography programs typically include radiation safety, anatomy, pathology, patient care, medical ethics, and radiation physics. After completing a radiologic tech degree and applying for licensure, aspiring radiographers can apply to health care institutions in entry-level professions. They can also opt to specialize in various medical imaging modalities, including X-ray, MRI, computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET), or mammography. Meanwhile, radiology programs are for medical professionals who want to specialize in radiation use to help patients.  Radiologists interpret the medical images produced by radiographers like CT, MRI, and X-ray technicians. Referring physicians can also consult radiologists in diagnosing medical conditions.  Radiologists can also partake in the planning of radiation therapy treatments for cancer patients. Compared to radiographers, aspiring radiologists have to complete more intensive training and education. They also have to undergo a residency program before they can begin their practice. 

How to Become a Radiology Technologist in Alaska

In Alaska, radiologic technologists and radiology technicians are not required to be licensed before they can begin their practice. However, most employers prefer radiographers licensed by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). ARRT is a credentialing organization that recognizes competent individuals in the radiology field. To be eligible for ARRT certification, students must complete a radiography program accredited by any of the following organizations: Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) awards accreditation to programs in radiography. The programs can be at the certificate, associate, baccalaureate, and master’s degree levels. JRCERT is the only committee recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) awards accreditation to education programs in health sciences. CAAHEP reviews and accredits over 2,100 individual education programs in 32 health science professions(9). The Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT) The Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT) grants accreditation to postsecondary nuclear medicine technology programs. The duration of the educational program varies depending on the student’s desired career path. Radiology technicians, radiologic technologists, and radiologists have different educational requirements. For radiology technicians, the duration of the program varies depending on the level of credential desired.  Under a certificate program or a diploma program, students have to complete approximately one year of education. An associate’s degree program usually takes two years to complete. Meanwhile, a bachelor’s degree program takes approximately four years to complete. After completing a program and receiving certification from ARRT, radiographers can begin their practice. They have to complete 24 hours of continuing education every two years to renew their certification. In Alaska, radiographers can join the Alaska Society of Radiologic Technologists (AKSRT) to receive job opportunities and news about the radiography profession. AKSRT is an organization that aims to improve radiologic tech professions in the state of Alaska. The organization keeps Alaska radiology techs informed of relevant news and events.

Career Opportunities for Radiologic Techs in Alaska

Experts expect a 23.3% job growth for radiologic techs in Alaska through 2026(10). According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Alaska employers have hired 390 radiologic techs as of 2019(11). In the same year, recruiters have hired 150 diagnostic medical sonographers and 70 MRI technologists and technicians(12). As of 2019, employers in Anchorage hired 230 rad techs and 50 MRI techs. Meanwhile, employers in Fairbanks hired 60 radiologic techs(13). Graduates of radiography programs in Alaska can apply to full-time positions at several medical centers in the state, including the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Peace Health, Alaska Regional Hospital, and Bartlett Regional Hospital.

Salary of Radiologic Techs in Alaska

According to BLS, radiologic techs in Alaska have an annual average pay of $76,850(14). In Anchorage, rad techs have an annual average salary of $75,810. MRI techs in the city earn $90,830 yearly, while diagnostic medical sonography specialists earn $98,740 annually(15). In Fairbanks, a rad tech earns a yearly average pay of $60,660(16). Employers in the state hire radiologic techs and offer hourly pay ranging from $41.93 to $55.65(17).

Conclusion

The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) and the University of Alaska Southeast are the only institutions in Alaska that offer radiology technology programs(18). To enter the program at UAA, applicants must complete prerequisite courses and clinical observations. They must also submit proof of immunizations. Students must first complete an online application form and pass an online interview before getting accepted to the radiology school. Meanwhile, applicants at UAS have to submit their secondary school records. They must also complete a formal demo of competencies and college-preparatory programs. Experts expect a 23.3% increase in jobs for radiologic techs in Alaska through 2026(19). According to BLS, recruiters in Alaska have hired 390 rad techs as of 2019. BLS data also show that rad techs in the state earn an annual salary of $76,850(20).
  1. National Center for Education Statistics. College Navigator. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=AK&p=51.0907+26.0209+51.0916+51.0911+51.0814&l=91+92+93+94
  2. Ibid
  3. Radiology Schools 411. Radiology Technologist Schools in Alaska. Retrieved from https://www.radiologyschools411.com/alaska/
  4. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Employment Statistics Query System. Retrieved from https://data.bls.gov/oes/#/geoOcc/Multiple%20occupations%20for%20one%20geographical%20area
  5. Ibid
  6. NCES. College Navigator. Op. cit.
  7. NCES. University of Alaska Anchorage. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=AK&p=51.0907+26.0209+51.0916+51.0911+51.0814&l=91+92+93+94&id=102553#expenses
  8. NCES. University of Alaska Southeast. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=AK&p=51.0907+26.0209+51.0916+51.0911+51.0814&l=91+92+93+94&id=102632#expenses
  9. Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Retrieved from https://www.caahep.org/
  10. Radiology Schools 411. Op. cit.
  11. BLS. Occupational Employment Statistics Query System. Op. cit.
  12. Ibid
  13. Ibid
  14. BLS. Occupational Employment Statistics Query System. Op. cit.
  15. BLS. May 2019 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcma.htm
  16. Ibid
  17. Indeed. Radiology Tech Salaries in Alaska. Retrieved from https://www.indeed.com/salaries/radiology-tech-Salaries,-Alaska
  18. NCES. College Navigator. Op. cit.
  19. Radiology Schools 411. Op. cit.
  20. BLS. Occupational Employment Statistics Query System. Op. cit.

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