X-ray technician undergraduate programs contain both classroom and hands-on training in the use of imaging equipment. Find out about degree requirements and course topics, along with the employment outlook and potential earnings for technicians.
What X-Ray Technician Associate’s Degree Programs Are Available?
X-ray technician training is part of a larger field called radiologic technology. An associate’s degree in radiologic technology prepares you for a career as a radiologic technologist. Your program can teach you to prepare patients to have digital images taken of all parts of their bodies in order to diagnose or prevent different conditions. Successfully completing your 2-year program can often result in an Associate of Applied Science degree .
There aren’t any radiologic technology programs that offer distance education courses. Your program may require you to complete hands-on experience through clinical work and practicum. Hands-on experience can develop skills that include the ability to use radiological equipment, the ability to limit patient and staff radiation exposure, the knowledge to evaluate image quality obtained from radiologic equipment and skills to interact effectively with both patients and medical staff.
|Common Courses||Anatomy, physiology, patient care, medical ethics, pathology|
|Certifications||American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification recommended|
|Median Salary (2018)||$59,520 (for radiologic technologists)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Courses Can I Expect?
Your program might feature courses in anatomy, physiology, physics, patient care, medical ethics, medical terminology and pathology. These programs also include degree-related courses in fluoroscopy, imaging, procedures, radiation protection, equipment use, image analysis and sectional anatomy. Expect to be required to complete general education courses in communications, English composition, general sociology, general psychology and humanities.
Do I Need Licensure or Certification?
Depending on your state of employment, you may be required to earn licensure in order to be a practicing radiologic technologist. Even though certification is voluntary, earning a credential may enhance your chances of finding a job in this field. The main certification for this field is offered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). You might also find that, depending on where you live, earning certification from the ARRT may fulfill licensure exam requirements.
What Is My Job Outlook?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that radiologic technologist job openings may increase by 12% between 2016 and 2026 (www.bls.gov). This growth may be caused by a greater desire to monitor disease treatment progression, an aging population and technological advances. As of 2018, the BLS estimated that radiologic technicians earned a yearly median wage of $59,520.