Radiology Technologist Schools in South Dakota

  • The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) lists seven radiologic technology and radiology technician schools in South Dakota that provide radiography programs, including radiation therapy, radiobiology, and radiation protection(1).
  • Most radiologic technology programs in the state are accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).
  • According to JRCERT, Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center and Sanford Medical Center offer educational programs with high program effectiveness data(2).
  • Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics show that as of 2019, rad techs in South Dakota have an annual average salary of $53,210(3).
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has listed seven institutions that offer the following radiography programs:
  • Medical Radiologic Technology or Radiologic Science – Radiation Therapist
  • Radiation Biology or Radiobiology
  • Radiation Protection Health Physics Technician
  • Radiologic Technology or Radiologic Science – Radiographer
  • Radiologist Assistant(4)
Aspiring radiologic technologists have to complete an accredited radiography program to qualify for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) exam. The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) awards accreditation to programs in radiography, medical dosimetry, magnetic resonance, and radiation therapy. The committee also calculates the effectiveness of accredited programs. JRCERT publishes the program effectiveness data on its webpage, www.jrcert.org. Below is a comprehensive list of all schools in South Dakota that offer JRCERT-accredited programs. Program effectiveness data is based on the committee’s latest report(5)*
School, Location Program Program Duration Application Requirements Tuition  Program Effectiveness Data %
Completion Rate Exam Pass Rate Job Placement Rate
Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center, Sioux Falls Certificate 24 months High school GED Prerequisite courses $2,000 100 100 100
Avera Sacred Heart Hospital, Yankton Certificate 24 months High school GED Prerequisite courses $1,750 83.33 92.70 100
Mitchell Technical College, Mitchell Associate (radiation therapy) 12 months High school GED Prerequisite courses $4,600 100 91 81
Associate (radiography) 21 months High school GED Prerequisite courses $8,500 73 94 98
Presentation College, Aberdeen Bachelor 24 months High school GED Prerequisite courses $15,870 64 75 86
Sanford Medical Center, Sioux Falls Certificate 24 months High school GED Prerequisite courses $2,750 100 100 100

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

Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center offers a radiologic technology program at the certificate level. Students of the school of radiologic technology spend 40 hours each week in a hospital’s radiology department. Students also attend classes outside their shifts at hospitals. The curriculum includes lectures, supervised clinical rotations, and demonstrations. Clinical rotations are held at various hospital schools, including Avera Orthopedics, Sioux Falls Veterans Administration Medical Center, Prairie Center, and Avera Medical Group McGreevy, Avera Heart Hospital. Avera Sacred Heart Hospital also offers a certificate program in radiography. The program aims to prepare students for careers in radiologic science. Upon completing the program, students can apply as radiographers at hospitals, outpatient clinics, or physician’s offices. They can also opt to specialize in other clinical areas, such as sonography, mammography, computed tomography (CT), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Graduates can also work as a technical advisor or work on postsecondary educational programs at hospitals, clinics, and colleges. Mitchell Technical Institute offers Associate of Applied Science degree programs in radiologic technology and radiation therapy. Coursework for the radiologic tech program includes patient care, patient positioning, X-ray equipment operation, and proper patient interaction. Under the radiation therapy program, students learn how to provide appropriate patient care and perform treatment protocols. They also learn how to apply their problem-solving and critical thinking skills in radiation treatment. Presentation College offers a bachelor’s degree program in radiologic technology. The program aims to teach students how to operate medical imaging equipment to help radiologists diagnose various medical conditions. Sanford Medical Center offers a radiologic technology program at the certificate level. Coursework at Sanford Health includes anatomy and physiology, digital imaging, patient care, radiographic procedures, and medical terminology. Sanford also offers financial aid and several scholarship programs to help students pursue a degree within the medical field.

Accreditation of Rad Tech Programs in South Dakota

Aspiring radiology technicians in South Dakota have to complete an accredited program to be eligible for the ARRT exam. Aside from JRCERT, other organizations award accreditations to radiologic tech programs. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) awards accreditation to education programs in health sciences. The Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT) is responsible for awarding accreditation to postsecondary nuclear medicine technology programs.  The Southeast Technical Institute is one educational institution in the state that offers radiography programs accredited by CAAHEP and JRCNMT.

Other Radiography Programs in South Dakota

The University of Sioux Falls offers radiography programs at the associate and bachelor levels. The university highlights the importance of spiritual education for students who want to pursue a career in radiography.

How Does One Become a Radiologic Tech in South Dakota

After completing an educational program in radiography, individuals can begin their practice, or take the ARRT certification exam Radiologic techs in South Dakota are not required to have a license to practice. However, most rad techs opt for certification through the ARRT exam. Students can apply for ARRT certification three months after they complete their radiography degree.  Upon receiving certification, radiology techs have to renew their certification every two years. They must also complete 24 credits of continuing education or pass an ARRT-approved exam to renew their certification.

How Long Is School for Radiology Techs?

A radiologic technology program can take one year to 4 years to complete, depending on the individual’s level of credential desired.  Aspiring rad techs under certificate programs have to complete one year of training. Meanwhile, students under associate’s degree programs have to complete two years of studies. Individuals taking a Bachelor of Science degree program in radiologic technology have to complete four years of training. After completing a radiography degree, rad techs in South Dakota can begin their practice or apply for certification through the ARRT exam.

Radiography Programs vs. Radiology Programs

Under a radiography program, program directors teach and train students to become competent radiographers. A radiography or radiologic technology program typically focuses on the production of medical imagery using diagnostic imaging equipment. Programs for aspiring radiographers can take one to four years to complete. Coursework includes anatomy, patient care, radiation safety, medical ethics, pathology, and radiation physics. Graduates of radiography programs can begin their careers as radiology technicians and radiologic technologists. The primary role of radiology technicians and radiologic technologists is to develop medical images to help radiologists. It is important to remember that they are not authorized to diagnose medical conditions or plan treatment. Meanwhile, radiology programs are for individuals who want to specialize in using radiation to diagnose and treat patients.  Radiologists can specialize in diagnostic radiology, interventional radiology, or radiation oncology.  Compared to radiographers, radiologists have to complete more training and education. They spend approximately 15 years in academic and clinical training. They also have to complete a residency program and take more examinations before becoming a board-certified radiologist. Radiologists are responsible for interpreting the medical images produced by radiographers like X-ray, CT, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technicians. Physicians can also consult radiologists when diagnosing medical conditions. Radiologists can also advise physicians in planning radiation therapy treatments for patients.

Career Opportunities for Radiologic Techs in South Dakota

Experts project a job growth of 10.3% for rad techs in the state through 2026(6). According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers in South Dakota have hired 940 radiologic technologists and radiology technicians as of 2019(7). In the same period, employers hired 30 radiation therapists, 110 MRI technologists, 150 nuclear medicine technologists, and 280 diagnostic medical sonographers(8) The data is from BLS’s Occupational Employment Statistics query system, which provides occupational employment statistics data in one specific geographic area. Sioux Falls has the highest employment rate for radiographers, with 410 radiologic techs hired as of 2019(9). Rad tech graduates can send their resumes to various employers in South Dakota, including Avera Health, the Department of Veteran Affairs, Huron Regional Medical Center, and Prairie Lakes Healthcare System.

Salary of Radiologic Techs in South Dakota

According to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT), the salary for starting radiographers in the US is $57,865 as of 2019(10). Data from BLS show that as of 2019, rad techs in South Dakota have an annual average pay of $53,210(11). As of 2019, radiation therapists have an annual mean salary of $85,410, while nuclear medicine technologists earn an annual mean wage of $65,690(12). Meanwhile, diagnostic medical sonographers have an annual mean wage of $63,440, while MRI technologists earn an annual average pay of $59,390(13). Rapid City has the highest-paid radiographers in South Dakota, with rad techs earning an annual mean salary of $55,060(14).

Conclusion

According to NCES, seven radiology schools in South Dakota offer educational programs in radiography, including radiation therapy, radiobiology, and radiation protection(15). Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center and Sanford Medical Center offer educational programs with a 100% completion rate, a 100% exam pass rate, and a 100% job placement rate(16). Recent BLS data showed that radiologic techs in South Dakota have an annual average salary of $53,210(17) The highest paid radiographers in the state are in Rapid City, where rad techs earn an annual average salary of $55,060(18).
  1. National Center for Education Statistics. College Navigator. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=SD&p=51.0907+26.0209+51.0916+51.0911+51.0814&l=91+92+93+94
  2. Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology Accredited Educational Programs. Retrieved from https://portal.jrcertaccreditation.org/accredited-educational-programs/search
  3. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Employment Statistics Query System. Retrieved from https://data.bls.gov/oes/#/geoOcc/Multiple%20occupations%20for%20one%20geographical%20area
  4. NCES. College Navigator. op. cit.
  5. JRCERT. Accredited Educational Programs. op. cit.
  6. Radiology Schools 411. Radiology Technologist Schools in South Dakota. Retrieved from https://www.radiologyschools411.com/south-dakota/
  7. BLS. Occupational Employment Statistics Query System. op. cit.
  8. Ibid
  9. BLS. May 2019 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcma.htm
  10. Houston Chronicle. The Average Starting Salary for a Radiologic Technologist. (July 2020). Retrieved from https://work.chron.com/average-starting-salary-radiologic-technologist-3783.html
  11. BLS. Occupational Employment Statistics Query System. op. cit.
  12. Ibid
  13. Ibid
  14. BLS. May 2019 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcma.htm
  15. NCES. College Navigator. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=SD&p=51.0907+26.0209+51.0916+51.0911+51.0814&l=91+92+93+94
  16. JRCERT. Accredited Educational Programs. Retrieved from https://portal.jrcertaccreditation.org/accredited-educational-programs/search
  17. BLS. Occupational Employment Statistics Query System. Retrieved from https://data.bls.gov/oes/#/geoOcc/Multiple%20occupations%20for%20one%20geographical%20area
  18. BLS. May 2019 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcma.htm

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