X-ray technicians provide assistance to doctors by capturing images of various internal organs. A doctor will then analyze these images in order to better understand patients' health statuses and provide treatment as needed. X-ray professionals will also be in charge of keeping all the equipment clean and in working order. Aspiring X-ray technicians can enter the field with associate degrees, although many individuals will also go on to earn a bachelor's degree before entering the professional field. Individuals with a strong interest in science and anatomy may enjoy this field of study and can go on to work in a variety of settings including hospitals, labs, and private offices.
X-Ray Technician Associate Degrees
Individuals who are interested in working as X-ray technicians can earn an associate degree in two years, which usually encompasses 60-credit hours of study. Students will be involved in classes such as medical terminology, radiologic advanced imaging modalities, physics, patient care and ethics in radiologic sciences, methods of patient care, and pathology. Upon graduation individuals may be qualified to enter the professional world as X-ray technicians at entry-level jobs.
X-ray technicians may find work at a variety of healthcare facilities including hospitals and private offices. Individuals seeking education to start a career as an X-ray technician must first obtain their high school diploma or GED and provide the necessary transcripts. Some institutions will require that their applicants hold a minimum GPA in order to qualify. In addition students will need to sit for an exam to determine their placement. Annual tuition for these programs is relatively affordable with some schools offering options for around $10,000 per year.
X-Ray Technician Bachelor's Degrees
Individuals who are interested in advancing their career opportunities in the field of radiology can earn their bachelor's degree in order to set themselves apart from their peers. A bachelor's degree can be completed in four years or two years through a degree completion program. Students will participate in courses involving traditional classroom settings as well as clinical settings. Real world experiences will be gained through practical exercises, which are conducted frequently throughout the coursework design. Radiologic programs are also heavy with math and science courses thus these are areas that projected students will need to be comfortable with. Such coursework includes introduction to human anatomy, research in radiologic science, algebra, professional communication, clinical education, and radiographic imaging. All of these courses typically total 120-credit hours. In order to be admitted into a x-ray technician program at the bachelor level applicants must submit their high school or college transcripts. A GED will also be accepted. Most programs require a minimum of 2.5 GPA and also require that the applicant have significant background in both math and science courses. Some programs might also require that applicants provide reference letters outlining their likely success in the program. The average cost for total education is around $75,274.
X-Ray Technician Diplomas
Diploma programs are offered to students who are interested in earning a post secondary education but do not necessarily want to commit to a full degree program. Diplomas can often be earned in a year or less. The average cost of total education is $15,000. Core curriculuar requirements include radiation biology and protection, medical lab procedures, basic imaging physics, image production, and image evaluation. In most cases, students will also be expected to complete an externship program before graduation. Applicants must submit all relevant transcripts whether it be high school or post secondary. If the individual has completed neither of these levels of education, a GED may suffice.
Accreditation is an important part of post secondary education because it helps set up students for success upon graduation. The ultimate purpose of accrediting process is to review all the factors of a program in order to ensure quality. Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) is an accrediting agency known for providing accreditation for radiologic programs at the college level. Individuals who are interested in enrolling in a program accredited by JRCERT can find all school currently accredited directly on their website.
Certification requirements for X-ray technicians vary by state and employer. Some states and employers require certification while others do not. Regardless, seeking certification can provide individuals with advantages when it comes to finding jobs because it indicates to potential employers that individuals have taken extra measures to earn credentials that will help them excel in the profession. Individuals can seek certification through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). In order to sit for an exam, ARRT requires that each individual hold at least an associate degree from an accredited institution or a military background in the discipline. There are also examination fees that should be considered. The cost of application runs between $200 and $400 while renewal fees run between $15 and $40.
- Accreditation. Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. Accessed March 2, 2017. http://www.jrcert.org
- Certification. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Accessed March 3, 2017. https://www.arrt.org/about-the-profession/arrt-certification-and-registration
- Occupational Employment Statistics. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Accessed March 3, 2017. https://www.bls.gov/OES/current/oes292034.htm
- Radiologic and MRI Technologists. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Accessed March 6, 2017. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/radiologic-technologists.htm#tab-1
- Admission Requirements and Enrollment Procedures. Pima Medical Institute. Accessed February 28, 2017. https://pmi.edu/admissions/requirements.
- Admissions - Radiologic Science. UNC School of Medicine. Accessed March 1, 2017. https://www.med.unc.edu/ahs/radisci/ed-programs/medical-imaging/admissions-1.
- Bachelor's Degree in Radiologic Technology. Nebraska Methodist College. Accessed February 28, 2017. http://www.methodistcollege.edu/allied-health/bachelor-degrees/imaging-sciences.
- Certificate in Radiography. UNC School of Medicine. Accessed March 2, 2017. https://www.med.unc.edu/ahs/radisci/ed-programs/radiography/courses.
- Medical Assistant X-ray technician certificate/diploma. Brightwood College. Accessed March 1, 2017. https://www.brightwood.edu/diplomas-certificates/medical-assistant-xray-technician-diploma/.
- Radiography Associate Degree. Pima Medical Institute. Accessed February 22, 2017. https://pmi.edu/programs/associate/radiology.
- Radiography Degree Program. ECPI University. Accessed February 22, 2017. https://www.ecpi.edu/programs/radiography-associate-degree.
- Radiologic Science - Bachelor of Science. UNC School of Medicine. Accessed February 28, 2017. https://www.med.unc.edu/ahs/radisci/ed-programs/medical-imaging.
- Radiologic Technology Admissions. Nebraska Methodist College. Accessed February 28, 2017. http://www.methodistcollege.edu/allied-health/associate-degrees/radiologic-technology/admissions.
- Tuition and Cost. College of Health Care Professions. Accessed February 28, 2017. http://www.chcp.edu/tuition-financial-aid/tuition.
- X-Ray Technician Diploma Program. Florida Career College. Accessed March 1, 2017. http://www.anthem.edu/orlando-east/x-ray-technician/diploma/.