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Radiology & X-Ray Technician School

Radiology technicians are integral to the healthcare system. This career offers plenty of room for growth and advancement. With these benefits comes the need for specialized schooling, vocational training, and certification. Below, you'll find information about the best online radiology programs and how to become a radiology technician.

What Online Degree Do I Need to Become a Radiology Tech?

People often need an associate degree to become a radiology technician. Professionals who want to advance their radiology careers often pursue a bachelor's and master's degree. With advanced degrees, radiology technicians can move into teaching positions, management, or advanced medical work. Some may want advanced medical knowledge to gain a competitive advantage. These professionals may pursue a bachelor's degree.

A bachelor's degree is the minimum degree required to become a radiologist assistant. These professionals perform a more advanced practice of radiology. Radiologist assistants may conduct patient assessments and radiological examinations. They may also do a preliminary analysis of radiological images. Radiologists supervise radiologist assistants.

Online radiology degree graduates can choose from many specialties. Examples include X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT). An associate degree in radiology qualifies students for any specialty. Those who want to work in administration or higher education should earn a master's.

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Top Online Radiology Technician Programs

Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

Associate Degree

Most radiology techs hold associate degrees. This degree takes two years to complete. Associate degrees are available at community colleges, vocational schools, and technical schools. These programs may follow a traditional, on-campus format or a blended online format

Sample Courses

After completing an associate degree, students can pursue certification. They may sit for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam. Learners can expect similar courses in an online associate in radiology program:

  • Medical Terminology

    This course provides an overview of medical words and their component parts. This may include suffixes, roots and prefixes.
  • Procedures in Radiography I

    Coursework covers the basics of X-ray examinations and procedures.
  • Advanced Trigonometry and Algebra

    Students learn pre-calculus level algebra and trigonometry concepts.
  • Radiographic Body Positioning

    Students learn to position the human body for radiographic imaging.

Radiology Careers with an Associate Degree

Bachelor's Degree

Bachelor's degrees usually take four years to complete. Bachelor's students receive a well-rounded education. They take general education courses and advanced medical and radiological coursework.

Sample Courses

Community colleges and vocational schools do not offer bachelor's degrees. Bachelor's students can expect higher tuition costs. Typical bachelor's coursework may include the following courses.

  • Human Anatomy I

    This course discusses the basics of the human body. Topics may include the musculoskeletal structure and central nervous system.
  • Radiological Clinical Decision-Making

    Learners look at common healthcare-related decisions made in the field. Material may include drug interactions, pharmaceutical regulations, and patient safety.
  • Introduction to Radiology

    The course examines theoretical concepts and practical considerations. Students may assess equipment, procedures, and patient care.
  • Pathophysiology

    Coursework covers the interaction between disease and injury within the human body.

Master's Degree and Beyond

Graduate degrees in radiologic sciences help students who want to teach at the college level. People who want to manage radiology technician teams also need graduate degrees.

Sample Courses

  • Practicum

    A practicum provides hands-on training under the supervision of radiological professionals.
  • Radiologic and Imaging Science Research

    This course focuses on radiological areas of research.
  • Lymphatic and Vascular Imaging

    Coursework covers specific radiological techniques and strategies. Professionals use this information for imaging the human lymphatic and vascular systems.
  • Financial Management

    Enrollees assess financial considerations and economic theories. Students apply these theories to healthcare organizations and radiology departments.

Radiology Careers with a Master's Degree

How Can I Get a Radiology Technician Degree Online?

Prospective radiology technicians take several steps before they can start working with patients. They should first make sure they have the qualities to succeed in this rewarding career.

Radiology technicians should feel comfortable with math and science concepts. They should have solid interpersonal skills when interacting with patients. Finally, these professionals must be detail-oriented to operate complex medical equipment and follow physicians' instructions.

Candidates who meet these qualifications should then take the following steps.

Accredited radiologic science programs mandate this. Time to complete: Four years

Students' career objectives determine which degree they should pursue. Time to complete: Varies

After selecting a degree path, students can research programs offering their degree of choice. Time to complete: Varies

Many college programs require one of these standardized college entrance exams. Time to complete: 3-6 months

Aspiring students must submit an application. They may also have to write a personal essay, sit for an interview, and get recommendation letters. Applications often need standardized test scores and certified copies of necessary transcripts. Time to complete: 3-6 months

Some programs ask entering students to pass necessary background checks. Students with prior criminal offenses may not qualify for licensing or certification. Time to complete: Minimum of three months

Some schools expect students to know how to administer CPR. With this knowledge, learners can engage in the hands-on, clinical curriculum requirements. Time to complete: Less than a week

Students should complete the FAFSA and begin applying for scholarships. Time to complete: Minimum of three months

Applicants must undergo a physical examination by a doctor. They should also complete a form to prove they are in good health to work with and treat patients. Time to complete: Less than one month

Students should work hard and get good grades. Doing so can help them stand out from their peers when it comes time to find a job. Time to complete: 1-4 years

The curriculum should include hands-on practical experience elements. Students who excel with clinical requirements capture their instructors' and supervisors' attention. Time to complete: Varies

Students seeking ARRT certification should begin the process about three months before graduation. Time to complete: Up to one year

Passing the certification exam is necessary for future employment as a radiology technician. Time to complete: Minimum of three months

Most states require radiology technicians to obtain state licensure before they can practice. Time to complete: Up to one year

Graduates take their licensing or certification exams at Pearson VUE test centers. Time to complete: One day per exam

Graduates should attend job fairs to network. They must also submit their resumes to employers looking for radiology technicians. Time to complete: Varies

How Do I Find Accredited Online Radiology Technician Programs?

Students can find accredited online radiology technician programs based on their specific professional goals. The best program for one student may not be the best for another.

Prospective learners should consider course delivery methods. Distance learners can usually complete many parts of a curriculum online. But due to radiology's hands-on nature, programs often require some in-person participation. Students meet these requirements at local medical offices or hospitals, or on campus.

Are There Scholarships and Grants for Radiology Techs?

Many college students qualify for gift-based financial aid, which does not require repayment. The most common forms of gift-based aid include scholarships and grants.

  • Scholarships

    Scholarships are typically awarded based on merit or academic performance. They may also reward students coming from specific backgrounds.
    • Sallie Mae is one of the most prominent private student loan companies. This company offers information on finding and applying for college scholarships.
    • Unigo is a comprehensive college resource with an expansive college scholarship directory.
  • Grants

    Unlike scholarships, financial aid makes up the primary eligibility criterion for grants. Government resources often provide grants.
    • Federal Student Aid offers federal-based financial aid. This includes need-based grants like the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant.
    • College Board—BigFuture administers the SAT. This organization also provides information for prospective college students. This information may include grant and scholarship details.
  • Radiologic

    Students pursuing an online radiology technician program can apply for scholarships specific to the field.

Accreditation is important for obtaining licensing, certification, and financial aid. Many forms of aid, including government-funded aid, are only available to students who attend accredited institutions.

How Much Do Radiology Technicians Make?

Many variables affect radiology technicians' salaries. Variables include location, employer, and experience level. Specializations and certifications factor in as well. For a rough idea of what radiology technicians make, see the chart below.

Salary Potential
Occupation Average Hourly Wage Average Annual Salary
Radiologic Technologists and Technicians $31.17$64,840
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists $36.52$75,960

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021

Best Radiology Technician Programs

  1. Morehead State University
    Location

    Morehead, KY

    Tuition

    $8496

    At Morehead State University, online students can complete a Bachelor of Science in Imaging Sciences with a concentration in Leadership in Medical Imaging. Learners will focus on topics such as fiscal management, program planning, healthcare law, and policy and patient evaluation. Prospective students should already have training and certification in a radiologic sciences field in an accredited program with a 2.5 GPA or higher. They should also have completed at least 15 credit hours of prerequisite courses in computer literacy, speech communications, English, and math before applying. MSU graduates typically move on to careers in imaging sciences administration or management positions.

  2. Clarion University
    Location

    Clarion, PA

    Tuition

    $7238

    Distance learners at Clarion University can earn a Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging Sciences online. This 120-credit program offers two concentrations: radiologic technology or ultrasound. Graduates are proficient in performing all types of imaging exams to meet ARRT requirements. The hybrid version of the program only accepts students who are already credentialed radiologic technologists, sonographers, nuclear medicine technologists, radiation therapists, or medical dosimetrists. Clinical requirements must be completed in person. Most students in the program transfer in 60 credits from another accredited program and complete the remaining major core requirements at Clarion. Applicants must submit their high school GPA and SAT or ACT scores.

  3. University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
    Location

    La Crosse, WI

    Tuition

    $7585

    Students at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse can earn their Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy in a blended format in approximately 4 years. WIth courses such as radiation physics, pathophysiology, patient care and medical imaging, UWL trains students to administer radiation therapy and conduct X-rays for various patients. Of the 120 required credits, a minimum of 30 semester hours must be completed in residence at UWL. Applicants should have at least a 2.75 GPA and 40 hours of observation in a radiation therapy department. Prospective students who need help accessing facilities to complete the observation requirements may contact the department for assistance or to schedule a visit.

  4. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Location

    Chapel Hill, NC

    Tuition

    $6881

    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a blended Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science option for distance learners. In this medical imaging-driven program, students focus on the administration of radiation and X-rays for disease diagnosis and injury evaluation. Learners explore several main areas of the practice such as orthopedics, pediatrics, mammography, vascular imaging, and computerized tomography. Graduates are prepared to sit for the ARRT National Certification Exam in radiologic technology. UNC requires general education requirements and radiologic science pre-admission courses. Applicant must also have a 2.5 GPA or higher.

  5. Weber State University
    Location

    Ogden, UT

    Tuition

    $4611

    Weber State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences entirely online. Courses are self-paced and take about 4 weeks to complete, although students may take longer if they wish. Distance learners receive training in advanced radiologic sciences specialties, sonography, nuclear medicine, and radiation therapy. Students must be certified in medical imaging and/or therapeutic radiation before enrolling. Incoming students must submit their official high school transcripts or GED documentation. ACT and SAT scores are not mandatory and no clinicals are required for graduation. At Weber, distance learners also pay a flat in-state tuition rate.

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