X-ray Technician Schools in Washington State

  • Washington State’s Department of Health (DOH) requires radiologic technicians and technologists to become certified before they may work in the state(1)
  • The state’s highly-regarded BS radiology programs include the University of Washington (Seattle) and Bellevue College.  
  • The average 4-year public college costs in Washington State are below the national average, while the costs of private universities are above the national average(2). Such costs include radiologic technology (RT) degrees, including radiography.   
  • The average radiologist salary in Washington State is above the national average(3). For example, the average hourly salary may be $36.71. 

X-ray Technician Training in Washington State 

Numerous institutions of higher learning in Washington State offer programs for students to become licensed X-ray technicians or technologists. The industry classifies such individuals conducting imaging tests as radiologic technologists (rad techs)(4). 

The West Coast state’s most renowned radiologist schools include educational institutions in Bellevue, Spokane, and Seattle.  

The radiologic and radiographic technology programs at Washington schools somewhat vary due to specific content and graduation requirements. However, they also share various similarities. 

List of X-ray Tech Schools in Washington State

Here are some of the various X-ray tech schools throughout Washington State(5):

  • Bellevue College (Bellevue)
  • Bellingham Technical College (Bellingham)
  • Clark College (Vancouver)
  • Columbia Basin College (Pasco)
  • Lower Columbia College (Longview)
  • Pima Medical Institute-Seattle (Seattle)
  • Spokane Community College (Spokane)
  • Tacoma Community College (Tacoma)
  • University of Washington-Seattle Campus (Seattle)
  • Wenatchee Valley College (Wenatchee)
  • Yakima Valley Community College (Yakima)

List of Radiological Technology Programs in Washington State

Washington State residents seeking X-ray training have various options for radiologic technology programs.  

JRCERT-Accredited Radiography Programs in Washington

An educational program’s Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) accreditation can help assure students and graduates that an educational program provides the necessary knowledge, skills, and values required by employers nationwide(6).

More information regarding JRCERT is available at www.jrcert.org

X-ray technician students may consider JRCERT-accredited schools in Washington State.   

JRCERT accreditation is crucial as it can help assure and improve the quality of higher education institutions in programs within the United States.

X-ray tech schools in Washington with JRCERT accreditation include(7):

  • Bellevue College
  • Carrington College
  • Pima Medical Institute-Seattle
  • Spokane Community College
  • Wenatchee Valley College

Radiologic Technology Associate’s Degree

Several technical schools and community colleges in Washington State offer Associate’s Degree Programs in Radiologic Technology. Healthcare facilities and hospitals may require an associate’s degree as a minimum requirement for working. 

An Associate of Science (AS) in Radiologic Technology can include different modalities, including radiography, or an associate of applied science

Radiography involves various studies that require X-ray technologies to visualize the human body’s internal parts(8)

An alternative option for students is an associate of applied science (applying existing scientific knowledge to create more practical applications). 

Individuals may then select a major, concentration, or specialization related to X-ray technology. 

Bachelors in Radiologic Technology

Various names for a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Radiologic Technology in Washington State include:

  • Bachelor of Radiography 
  • BS in Radiologic Sciences
  • BS in Radiologic Technology (BSRT)
  • BS in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Radiologic Technology

A bachelor’s degree may help X-ray technicians achieve greater career and management opportunities or earn a higher salary.  

A BS in radiologic technology usually takes four years to complete. Today, more schools allow individuals holding a medical imaging degree to earn a BS in radiologic science.  

In addition, individuals with bachelor’s degrees such as an applied science or nuclear medicine degree may earn certifications to work as an X-ray tech.  

Nuclear medicine is one of radiology’s specialized areas that utilize small amounts of radioactive materials. 

Students seeking an X-ray career may consider a BS in radiologic technology or imaging sciences with a major in medical imaging. Medical imaging refers to numerous technologies medical professionals use to diagnose, monitor, or treat various medical conditions(9)

Radiography is another practical major for aspiring X-ray techs. 

Highly-regarded BS radiology programs in Washington State include Bellevue College and the University of Washington (Seattle)(10). However, X-ray technician students should find a program that best suits their unique needs. 

Master’s in Radiologic Technology 

Students in Washington State holding a BS can generally earn a master’s degree within two years(11)

These advanced degrees provide individuals with an advanced comprehension of biomedical imaging. After completing a master of science (MS), individuals may wish to pursue careers like radiologist assistant (RA). 

Graduate programs for radiology are less common than undergraduate programs. 

X-ray Technician Program vs. Radiology Technologist Program

The term “X-ray tech” and related programs may refer to an X-ray technologist or technician. 

The primary difference between the positions is that the radiological industry generally considers X-ray technologists as healthcare professionals, while X-ray technicians are not(12).

An X-ray technologist generally works more directly with patients through patient care. For example, a technologist may take X-ray photos of patients. Meanwhile, an X-ray technician prepares or repairs X-ray equipment. 

In addition, X-ray technologists’ training is more medical-focused, requiring courses such as anatomy and physiology. 

Steps to Become a Radiology Technologist in Washington

Washington State’s Department of Health (DOH) requires all radiologic technicians and technologists to become certified before working in the state(13)

It also oversees licensing of X-ray technicians, requiring the completion of an acceptable education program in radiography.  

The general process may somewhat vary based on an individual’s modality. For example, one may wish to learn how to become an X-ray tech in Washington State. 

Aspiring radiology technologists should: 

Step 1: Complete a degree or certificate in radiologic technology

Step 2: Pass a credentialing exam such as ARRT

Step 3: Pursue ARRT certification 

Step 4: Apply for and receive one’s license 

Step 5: Satisfy ongoing renewal requirements

Admission Criteria and Prerequisites

The admissions requirements and prerequisites of X-ray tech schools may differ based on various factors. However, such requirements may include:

Information Sessions 

Prospective students may be required to attend at least one informational session. It is advisable to attend these sessions as early as possible in one’s educational career. These informational sessions allow prospective students to learn more about X-ray schools in Washington State

High School Diploma 

Radiological schools may require applicants to have a high school diploma or high school equivalency. This requirement applies to various RT schools, including those offering X-ray technician programs. 

Schools may also require students to meet various college prerequisites. 

Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree and Coursework 

Some X-ray schools may require applicants to earn such degrees by a particular program’s start date. 

X-ray tech schools may also require prospective students to complete coursework, including(14).

  • Human anatomy and physiology 
  • Social and behavioral sciences
  • Medical terminology 
  • Written or oral communication 
  • Arts and humanities

Clinical Practicum

Clinical experience is a critical component of a radiation career. For example, the Health Science Wellness and Education Institute (HSWEI) at Bellevue College collaborates with community partners to arrange well-respected clinical sites.  

X-ray tech schools offering a clinical practicum course can allow students to develop various competencies. However, the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT)-required competencies may also be required for students to be eligible for national certification exams.  

Accreditation: Why It Matters 

Individuals considering a future career as a radiographic technician or technologist in Washington State should determine whether regulating bodies have accredited a particular state. 

This factor is particularly crucial in Washington State, which is sometimes ranked among the top U.S. states to work in as radiologists(15). Experts often base this evaluation on factors including higher average salaries, lower levels of healthcare premium costs, and lower stress levels.     

When selecting an X-ray tech school, individuals may consider national accreditation such as JRCERT. Such accreditation can help provide X-ray technicians and technologists with the knowledge, skills, and values required for nationwide licensure(16).


According to the Education Data Initiative, Washington State’s average cost of in-state tuition and fees is $7,168(17). This figure is significantly below the U.S. average, as stated on the organization’s website.

Various factors affect the training costs required to become an X-ray technician or technologist in Washington State.  

The various expenses of X-ray schools may include:

  • Tuition 
  • Books
  • Fees 

When reviewing advertised costs of X-ray tech schools and programs, research whether the figure includes books and additional fees.

Another factor is the typical amount of time required to earn a radiological certificate or degree. Individuals may ponder how long they must remain in school to become an X-ray tech. Here are some guidelines(18):   

  • Radiological or Radiographic Certificate: One year
  • Associate’s Degree: Two years
  • Bachelor’s Degree: Four years
  • Master’s Degree: Two years

However, the number of transfer credits a school accepts may affect how soon students can complete a certificate or degree(19).  

Thus, individuals should review a school’s transfer credit policy.   

Financial Aid

X-ray tech students in Washington State have access to various sources of financial aid. The Washington Student Achievement Council shares these sources(20):

Need-Based Programs

Washington College Grant (WCG): Individuals of all ages may qualify for college and career training. The grant guarantees funding for eligible students.

College Board Scholarship: Financial aid for low-income families

State Work Study: Low- and middle-income students may work in on- or off-campus approved jobs. 

Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS): The WSOS helps low- and middle-income students earn degrees and certificates. 

Opportunity Grant: This program helps low-income students complete a maximum of one year of college and certificates.   

Academic and Professional Support Resources 

These resources and support services are available at different locations. They include a radiologic technology school’s student support center, professional organizations, and web-based communities. 

Other Types of Financial Aid

X-ray tech students may also secure financial aid through:

Merit-Based Programs: The providers base these programs on students’ academic or extracurricular achievements rather than financial needs(21).

Workforce Programs   

  • Teacher programs offer financial aid to recruit and retain teachers. 
  • Washington Health Corps programs support (licensed) healthcare professionals in offering primary care. 
  • National Guard grant helps members of the Washington National Guard earn undergraduate degrees or certificates. 
  • Aerospace Loan Program supports the training of entry-level aerospace employees.

What Exactly Is an X-ray Technician?

Individuals considering a career as an X-ray technician should know the various duties and responsibilities required. The job title involves more than merely creating X-ray images. 

An X-ray technician is a type of radiologic worker in the healthcare industry, specializing in utilizing equipment to take diagnostic imagery of medical patients(22). 

While the tasks of X-ray “technicians” and “technologists” overlap, they have unique job descriptions. 

For example, X-ray technologists may be responsible for non-X-ray diagnostic imagery, including MRIs and CT scans. They may also train in other modalities such as ultrasound.

Meanwhile, X-ray technicians may perform tasks requiring less interaction with patients. They include preparing patients for imaging procedures and reading the results of X-ray images. 

Radiographic-Related Career Opportunities, Salary, and Job Outlook 

Career Opportunities 

Radiographic-related career opportunities in radiology include(23):

Radiographer: Diagnostic radiography includes various radiographic (X-ray) medical examinations.

Computed Tomography (CT) Technologist: CT technologists create detailed cross-sectional images of a patient’s internal structures. 

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologist: Use powerful magnets and computers to create human body images. 


The average annual salary for radiologists in Washington State varies. However, the average annual salary in the state may be$85,675, which is above the national average(24).

Various factors may affect an RT’s salary, including education, specialization, experience, and location(25)

Job Outlook 

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the projected job growth from 2020 to 2030 for radiologic MRI technologists would be 9%(26). This figure is higher than the average percentage in other fields.  

Other Factors to Consider When Searching for X-ray Tech Schools in Washington State

When individuals search for an X-ray tech school in Washington state, other factors to consider include:

Completion Rate: This term refers to the percent of a school’s first-year students who graduate with an associate’s, bachelor’s, or other degrees(27)

Pass Rate: This term refers to the percentage of individuals that successfully pass a particular test or exam. An example is the percentage of students passing the JRCERT certification exam. 

Job Placement Rate: Some schools provide job-placement services, assisting graduates to find entry-level jobs. However, even if an RT school does not offer this service, individuals should research its job placement rate.   

Program Effectiveness Data: JRCERT yearly provides this information for all accredited programs(28). The data includes the:

  • Program completion rate
  • Credentialing examination pass rate
  • Job placement rate  


Washington State includes several X-ray tech schools, including: 

  • Bellevue College (Bellevue)
  • Seattle University    
  • Spokane Community College (Spokane)
  • Tacoma Community College (Tacoma)
  • University of Washington (Seattle)

Training X-ray tech students can earn RT certificates and degrees, including associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. 

In Washington State, the DOH requires all radiologic technologists and technicians to secure licensing before working in the state(29)

Job opportunities for RTs include radiographers who conduct various X-ray medical examinations. 

Washington State is sometimes ranked among the U.S.’s top states to work in as a radiologist(30)

30 Sources

  1. Radiology Technologist Schools and Careers in Washington
  2. Average Cost of College by State
  3. Radiologist salary in Washington State
  4. Evolution of a Profession: A Rad-Tech’s Reflections
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  6. Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology
  7. Washington – Education Options for Tomorrow’s Medical Imaging Professionals
  8. Radiography
  9. Medical imaging
  10. Best Radiology colleges in Washington
  11. Master’s Degree in Radiology
  12. X-Ray Technologist vs. X-Ray Technician: What’s the Difference?
  13. Radiology Technologist Schools and Careers in Washington
  14. School of Radiologic Technology Admissions & Application.
  15. Top 10 Best States to Be a Radiologist in 2019
  16. Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic
  17. Average Cost of College by State
  18. Master’s Degree in Radiology
  19. Radiologic Technology Transfer Credit
  20. Washington State Financial Aid Programs
  21. Merit-Based vs. Need-Based Aid: What Is the Difference?
  22. What Does an X-Ray Tech Do? A Clearer Picture of This Radiology Role
  23. A World of Career Opportunities in Radiologic Technology
  24. Radiologist Salary in Washington State
  25. What Factors Affect a Radiologic Technologist’s Salary?
  26. Radiologic and MRI Technologists
  27. What is completion rate
  28. Program Effectiveness Data
  29. Radiology Technologist Schools and Careers in Washington
  30. Top 10 Best States to Be a Radiologist in 2019
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