- North Dakota offers three JRCERT-accredited radiologic technology programs. These programs are available at the Sanford Medical Centers in Fargo and Bismarck and Trinity Health in Minot.
- Other non-JRCERT accredited radiologic technologist programs can be found at Minot State University, North Dakota State University, and the University of Mary.
- Although continuing education is not required in North Dakota, ARRT-registered technologists still need to complete their requirements every two years to maintain certification.
- As of 2019, radiologic technicians in North Dakota earn an estimated yearly average of $55,400(1).
The growth of radiologic technology is increasing rapidly throughout the United States. Less populated states, such as North Dakota, have become excellent for entry-level professionals due to having less competition.
In North Dakota, housing costs and overall living expenses are also lower than in other areas.
Best Radiology Technician Schools in North Dakota
Although there are several educational facilities available in North Dakota, only a few are accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).
The JRCERT is the agency appointed by the United States Department of Education (USDE) to maintain excellence in both traditional and online delivery educational programs in radiography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and radiation therapy.
JRCERT accreditation ensures that a student is provided all of the requisite knowledge and skills to become competent radiologic technologists. Additionally, many employers only accept job applicants who have graduated from a JRCERT-approved program.
These are the following programs in North Dakota accredited by the JRCERT(2)*.
|Program Effectiveness||Tuition and Fees|
|Exam Pass Rate||Job Placement Rate|
|Sanford Medical Center (Bismarck)||Radiography||Certificate||22 months||100%||100%||100%||Resident: $1,400
|Sanford Medical Center (Fargo)||Radiography||Certificate||21 months||100%||100%||100%||Resident: $750
|Trinity Health||Radiography||Certificate||24 months||100%||100%||100%||Resident: $3,500
*Data retrieved on Sept. 14, 2020. Changes may occur when new information comes in.
Sanford Medical Center (Bismarck)
The Sanford Medical Center, located in Bismarck, offers a hospital-based radiography program that awards students a certificate upon successful completion. All applicants can qualify for the program even if they are physically disabled.
Sanford’s radiography is affiliated with three universities: University of Mary, North Dakota State University, and Minot State University. Those who have graduated in one of these institutions may apply for the radiography program.
Sanford Medical Center (Fargo)
Aspiring radiologic technologists who live near Fargo can apply for the radiography program at Sanford Medical Center. It is available to candidates who have met the following requirements:
- Accomplished the necessary internship courses at North Dakota State University (NDSU) by the start of their internship
- Has a minimum GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale by the application deadline
- Has been recommended by the Academic Director of the NDSU Radiologic Sciences Program
Besides being JRCERT-accredited, the Sanford Medical Center in Fargo is also recognized by the American College of Radiology.
The radiologic technology program offered by Trinity Health in Minot is a hospital-based program that awards students a certificate in the field upon completion.
Graduates become eligible to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) national registry exam. Once completed, they can begin working as entry-level radiographers.
Trinity Health’s primary goal is to provide students with quality education in radiography. They strive to develop service-oriented radiographers who can demonstrate excellence in patient care, radiation protection, critical thinking, and ethical behavior.
Trinity Health is a not-for-profit healthcare system with three hospitals, fifteen clinics, and one long-term care facility in the region. Besides being JRCERT-accredited, they are also recognized by The Joint Commission (TJC).
Other Radiology Schools in North Dakota
There are also schools in North Dakota that offer radiography degree programs but are not accredited by the JRCERT. One example is the program offered at the University of Jamestown.
However, graduates of these programs can still take the certification exam provided by the ARRT(3).
Since the ARRT determines the eligibility criteria, students only have to complete formal education from a program accepted by the organization.
Below are some radiologic technology programs in North Dakota that are not JRCERT-accredited.
Minot State University
Students can proceed to major in radiologic technology by taking up a Bachelor of Science degree from Minot State University. This full-time program has 60 credits of upper-level courses, half of which are completed through clinical experiences.
All on-campus coursework must be completed first before students can enroll in clinical practices. Anatomy and physiology, chemistry, introduction to radiologic technology, and applied statistics are some of the required courses that radiologic technology majors need to accomplish.
North Dakota State University
North Dakota State University’s radiologic sciences program combines foundational science, general education, and math courses to prepare students to become future radiographers. Radiologic technology majors at the university can specialize in radiography, echocardiography, and diagnostic medical sonography (sonographer).
Upon completing the program, graduates are awarded a Bachelor of Science degree, with a major in Radiologic Sciences. Students can apply for the two-year internship by their final year, preparing them to work in their respective areas of specialization.
The University of North Dakota offers financial aid to eligible students.
University of Mary
The four-year radiologic technology program at the University of Mary prepares students to become leaders in radiology. Program graduates are awarded a bachelor’s degree and are eligible to take the national board exam of the ARRT.
Students can expect to allocate two years for on-campus preparation, after which they can apply for admission in an associated hospital school for an internship. Facilities associated with the university include CHI St. Alexius Health, Sanford Health, Trinity Health, and Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences.
Becoming a Radiologic Technologist in North Dakota
Having a high school diploma or equivalent education is necessary to apply for a radiology technician program in North Dakota. Many institutions also require applicants to complete prerequisite courses in math, science, physics, chemistry, anatomy, and biology.
Upon its completion, an Associate of Applied Science in radiography allows students to become entry-level radiographers. Meanwhile, a bachelor’s degree in radiologic technology allows them to specialize in computed tomography, radiation therapy, mammography, and nuclear medicine.
Radiologic technology licensure is often a requirement in most states before a technologist or technician can be employed. The license can be obtained by passing the national ARRT exam.
Rad techs in North Dakota are not required to complete continuing education credits. However, ARRT–registered radiologic technologists need to complete 24 continuing education credits every two years to maintain their certification.
Difference Between a Radiologist and Radiographer
Radiologists are doctors who have chosen to become specialists in radiology. Many radiologists are experts in areas such as pediatric radiology, cardiac imaging, and nuclear medicine.
A radiologist’s responsibility includes preparing for imaging procedures, consulting with doctors of patients, interpreting imaging results, and making informed diagnoses. Radiologists examine various types of images, including those generated by X-rays, ultrasounds, and mammograms.
Patients’ doctors usually consult with radiologists concerning the results of the imaging procedures. In these instances, radiologists are responsible for recommending the proper course of action.
Radiologists may also suggest performing additional medical imaging techniques for patients. These techniques include those involving nuclear medicine and oncology to diagnose patients with specific conditions.
Meanwhile, radiographers are the professionals responsible for operating the necessary diagnostic imaging equipment. They handle machines, including X-ray scanners and digital fluoroscopy technologies, to generate specialized images.
Radiologists are licensed physicians, which means that their educational requirements are more in-depth and take longer to complete. The most basic requirement to apply for a radiology program is to have a bachelor’s degree in physical sciences, biology, or related fields.
Apart from completing an undergraduate degree, they must also attend medical school and complete a radiology residency. Radiologists may also practice a subspecialty, which would require even more specialized training to complete.
The Department of Radiology, located at the University of North Dakota, offers a radiology program for aspiring radiologists in the state.
How Much Do Radiologic Technologists Make?
Information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) database shows that the mean annual wage for radiologic technologists in the United States was $60,510 as of May 2019(4). Most technologists work at general medical hospitals, physicians’ offices, outpatient care centers, and medical and diagnostic laboratories.
Radiologic technologists and X-ray technicians in North Dakota had an estimated $55,400 yearly average salary as of 2019(5). There are also about 790 rad techs working in the state.
The top hospitals where radiologic technologists can be employed in North Dakota are Altru Hospital in Grand Forks and St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck. Rad techs may also find career opportunities at private imaging centers, such as Aurora Imaging, Red River Imaging, and Sakakawea Medical Center.
Are There Radiologic Technology Organizations in North Dakota?
The leading organization for radiologic technologists in the state is the North Dakota Society of Radiologic Technologists (NDSRT). They are associated with the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT).
The NDSRT organizes annual state conferences and assists its members who are interested in attending ASRT conferences. Job seekers and aspiring radiologic technologists can learn more about licensing and education from the organization.
North Dakota has three radiologic technology certificate programs that are accredited by the JRCERT. These are Sanford Medical Centers in Fargo and Bismarck and Trinity Health located in Minot.
Other schools in the state offer radiologic technologist programs but are not JRCERT-accredited. Some of these institutions are the Minot State University, North Dakota State University, and the University of Mary.
Still, completing radiologic technologist programs form these schools can qualify graduates to take the ARRT certification exam.
- United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. May 2019 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates North Dakota. Retrieved from: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nd.htm
- Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. Retrieved from: https://portal.jrcertaccreditation.org/accredited-educational-programs/search
- Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. Student FAQs. Retrieved from: https://www.jrcert.org/students/student-faqs/#javelin_faq1149_276
- United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Radiologic and MRI Technologists. Retrieved from: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/radiologic-technologists.htm
- United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. May 2019 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates North Dakota. op. cit.