X-Ray Tech School Online
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.
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.
|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
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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.
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.
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.
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:
This course provides an overview of medical words and their component parts. This may include suffixes, roots and prefixes.
Coursework covers the basics of X-ray examinations and procedures.
Procedures in Radiography I
Students learn pre-calculus level algebra and trigonometry concepts.
Advanced Trigonometry and Algebra
Students learn to position the human body for radiographic imaging.
Radiographic Body Positioning
Radiology Careers with an Associate 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.
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.
This course discusses the basics of the human body. Topics may include the musculoskeletal structure and central nervous system.
Human Anatomy I
Learners look at common healthcare-related decisions made in the field. Material may include drug interactions, pharmaceutical regulations, and patient safety.
Radiological Clinical Decision-Making
The course examines theoretical concepts and practical considerations. Students may assess equipment, procedures, and patient care.
Introduction to Radiology
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.
A practicum provides hands-on training under the supervision of radiological professionals.
This course focuses on radiological areas of research.
Radiologic and Imaging Science Research
Coursework covers specific radiological techniques and strategies. Professionals use this information for imaging the human lymphatic and vascular systems.
Lymphatic and Vascular Imaging
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.
ScholarshipsScholarships are typically awarded based on merit or academic performance. They may also reward students coming from specific backgrounds.
GrantsUnlike 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.
RadiologicStudents pursuing an online radiology technician program can apply for scholarships specific to the field.
- American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) is a membership-based professional organization. It makes scholarships and grants available through the ASRT Foundation.
- Collegescholarship.org offers many college scholarships, including options for online radiology degree students.
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.
Best Radiology Technician Programs
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.