The Best Accredited Online Radiology Technician Programs for 2018

Updated on: 9/26/18

Radiology technicians are an integral component of the health care system. As a result, the position provides an excellent career opportunity filled with plenty of room for growth and advancement. But with these benefits comes the need for specialized schooling, training and certification. Ready to take the next steps toward earning your radiology tech degree online? Start here.

Best Radiology Technician Programs 2018-2019

2-Year Colleges

The following schools have been selected and ranked based on a variety of factors that prospective students are likely to find important, such as student-teacher ratio, type of degree offered, tuition, job placement services, and availability of financial aid. Students can choose schools based on the factors that are important to them, regardless of where the school ranks on this list.

All schools featured on our radiology tech ranking are accredited. Students can rest easy knowing that no matter which of the following schools they choose to apply to and attend, they can receive a quality education that prepares them to become licensed and certified radiology technicians.

Rank University Title Tuition # of Online Programs Expand Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Description
1 Morehead State University $8,496 3 86% 49% 67% Yes Yes Yes
2 Clarion University $7,238 2 94% 51% 41% Yes Yes Yes
3 University of Wisconsin-La Crosse $7,585 3 74% 69% 24% No Yes Yes
4 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill $6,881 1 27% 91% 41% No Yes Yes
5 Weber State University $4,611 4 - 50% 58% Yes Yes Yes
6 Ohio State University-Main Campus $9,168 1 54% 85% 80% No Yes Yes
7 Mitchell Technical Institute $3,488 1 - 70% 26% Yes Yes Yes
8 Armstrong State University $3,886 2 80% 35% 8% Yes Yes Yes
9 Misericordia University $29,150 1 74% 72% 100% Yes Yes Yes
10 Siena Heights University $24,390 2 72% 53% 99% Yes Yes Yes
11 St Catherine University $31,042 1 91% 61% 98% Yes Yes Yes
12 Baptist College of Health Sciences $9,864 1 54% 51% 83% Yes Yes Yes
13 Southern Illinois University-Carbondale $8,691 5 77% 46% 74% Yes Yes Yes
14 Minot State University $5,192 1 60% 42% 70% Yes Yes Yes
15 Carolinas College of Health Sciences $11,086 1 31% 33% 25% Yes Yes Yes
16 Bellarmine University $37,850 1 82% 68% 100% Yes Yes Yes
17 University of St Francis $30,520 1 49% 57% 100% Yes Yes Yes
18 Boise State University $4,872 3 82% 44% 41% Yes Yes Yes
19 Ball State University $8,992 1 62% 62% 40% Yes Yes Yes
20 University of Washington-Seattle Campus $9,694 1 45% 86% 38% No Yes Yes
21 Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania $7,238 1 78% 66% 6% Yes Yes Yes
22 University of Vermont $15,096 1 69% 76% 92% No Yes Yes
23 Texas State University $7,234 1 71% 59% 12% Yes Yes Yes
24 University of Missouri $8,286 1 75% 71% 64% No Yes Yes
25 Concordia University-Wisconsin $27,640 1 63% 62% 98% Yes Yes Yes
26 University of Sioux Falls $27,160 2 91% 54% 100% Yes Yes Yes
27 Saint Cloud State University $6,820 1 85% 48% 41% Yes Yes Yes
28 Notre Dame of Maryland University $33,785 1 59% 60% 98% Yes Yes Yes
29 Ferris State University $11,144 1 78% 51% 69% Yes Yes Yes
30 Clarkson College $11,976 5 52% 17% 58% Yes Yes Yes
31 Pennsylvania State University-Worldwide $12,718 1 83% 49% 56% Yes Yes Yes
32 Newman University $26,416 1 58% 47% 100% Yes Yes Yes
33 University of Charleston $20,564 2 52% 37% 94% Yes Yes Yes
34 National University $13,016 1 - 50% 4% Yes Yes Yes
35 Drury University $24,750 2 70% 64% 83% No Yes Yes
36 Missouri Southern State University $5,311 1 94% 39% 69% Yes Yes Yes
37 Lakeshore Technical College $3,910 1 - 58% 6% Yes Yes Yes
38 Washburn University $7,644 2 - 38% 64% Yes Yes Yes
39 Oregon Institute of Technology $8,110 1 73% 50% 60% Yes Yes Yes
40 Northeast Community College $2,700 1 - 48% 40% Yes Yes Yes
41 Briar Cliff University $27,684 1 - 48% 98% Yes Yes Yes
42 Northern Kentucky University $9,000 1 91% 40% 61% Yes Yes Yes
43 Southwestern Oklahoma State University $5,295 1 91% 38% 65% Yes Yes Yes
44 Drexel University $48,660 1 75% 68% 97% Yes Yes Yes
45 University of Hartford $35,036 2 72% 56% 98% Yes Yes Yes
46 Saint Louis University $40,100 2 65% 72% 91% No Yes Yes
47 University of Akron Main Campus $8,618 1 96% 45% 62% Yes Yes Yes
48 Fort Hays State University $3,789 1 91% 44% 73% No Yes Yes
49 Arkansas State University $6,060 2 70% 41% 70% No Yes Yes
50 Emory University $47,300 1 25% 91% 48% No Yes Yes

How Much Do Radiology Technicians Make?

One of the first things individuals interested in a particular field will want to know is what they can expect to earn. It’s hard to predict exactly what can be earned in any profession because there are so many variables that can affect someone’s salary. These include where in the country the person works, the employer, years of experience and whether the individual has any specializations or certifications. However, to give you a rough idea of what radiology technicians make, look at the chart below.

Occupation Median Annual Salary: Entry-level Median Annual Salary: Mid-level Median Annual Salary: Late-career
Certified Radiology X-Ray Technician $47,813 $47,255 $52,588
Lead Radiologic Technologist $42,000 $53,444 $61,042
X-Ray Technologist $47,854 $48,796 $63,465

Source: Payscale

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Programs to Become a Radiology Technician

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

An associate degree is the typical requirement for becoming a radiology technician. However, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs are available for those who wish to advance their radiology career into teaching and management positions or move into advanced medical work. For example, those who want advanced medical knowledge to gain a competitive advantage for future advancement may choose to get a bachelor’s degree.

A bachelor’s degree is also the minimum degree required to become a radiologist assistant. Specially trained for a more advanced practice of radiology under the supervision of a Radiologist, a radiologist assistant may have job tasks that include patient assessment, conducting radiological examinations and preliminary analysis of radiological images.

While various radiology specialties exist, such as x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT), an associate degree will often suffice. However, a master’s degree is necessary if the radiology tech wants to work in administration or higher education.

The associate degree is the primary degree of choice for radiology techs. Usually taking two years, the associate degree program is commonly offered by community colleges, vocational schools, and technical schools as a traditional on-campus or blended online program. Upon completion of the associate degree program, students will be ready to sit for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam. The types of courses a student can expect to take in an associate degree program include:

  • Medical Terminology

    An overview of medical words and their component parts, including suffixes, roots and prefixes.

  • Procedures in Radiography I

    Covers the basics of x-ray examinations and procedures.

  • Advanced Trigonometry and Algebra

    Explains pre-calculus level algebra and trigonometry concepts.

  • Radiographic Body Positioning

    Students learn how to position the human body for highest quality radiographic imaging.

Radiology Careers with an Associate Degree

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists

Job Outlook: 14 percent

Radiologic Technologists

Job Outlook: 12 percent

Health Technologists and Technicians

Job Outlook: 14 percent

Source: (2016–2026 growth data from BLS)

A bachelor’s degree usually takes four years to complete. With the extra two years of school, students will receive a more well-rounded education by taking general education courses, as well as advanced medical and radiological coursework not required in an associate degree program. Because a bachelor’s degree is not typically available at a community college or vocational school, students can anticipate significantly higher tuition costs. A sampling of the bachelor’s degree coursework is available below:

  • Human Anatomy I

    The basics of the human body are discussed, including the musculoskeletal structure and central nervous system.

  • Radiological Clinical Decision Making

    Looks at the common healthcare-related decisions made in the field, including drug interactions, pharmaceutical regulations and patient safety.

  • Introduction to Radiology

    Theoretical concepts and practical considerations regarding equipment, procedures, and patient care are examined in this course.

  • Pathophysiology

    Covers the interaction between disease and injury within the human body.

Radiology Careers with a Bachelor’s Degree

Radiologist Assistant

Job Outlook: 12 percent

Source: (2016–2026 growth data from BLS)

A graduate degree in radiologic sciences is relatively rare, but a few programs do exist. They are typically pursued by those interested in teaching at the college level or managing radiology technician teams. The average master’s degree program takes about one to two to complete and is only available at universities. Some programs offer specialized tracks, including Management, Education and CT imaging. A graduate student will find the following courses in a master’s program:

  • Practicum

    Students receive hands-on training under the supervision of radiological professionals.

  • Radiologic and Imaging Science Research

    Focuses on radiological areas of study commonly subject to research.

  • Lymphatic and Vascular Imaging

    An overview of specific radiological techniques and strategies used for imaging the human lymphatic and vascular system.

  • Financial Management

    Looks at the financial considerations and economic theories as they apply to health care organizations and radiology departments.

Radiology Careers with a Master’s Degree

Postsecondary Teacher

Job Outlook: 15 percent

Medical and Health Services Managers

Job Outlook: 20 percent

Postsecondary Education Administrators

Job Outlook: 10 percent

Source: (2016–2026 growth data from BLS)

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Programs to Become a Radiology Technician

How Can I Get a Radiology Technician Degree Online?

If you’re interested in becoming a radiology technician, there are several steps you’ll need to complete before you can start working with patients. However, before you take concrete steps that may require irreplaceable time and money, make sure you have the necessary qualities to succeed in this rewarding career.

For example, you’ll need to be comfortable with math and scientific concepts. You’ll also need great interpersonal skills when interacting with patients. Finally, you’ll need to be detail-oriented to properly operate complex medical equipment and follow a physician’s specific instructions. If you have these qualities, look at the following steps on becoming a radiology technician.

You’ll need one or the other to enter an accredited radiologic science program. Time to complete: Four years

Your ultimate career objectives will determine what degree you should work toward. Time to complete: Varies

Once you know which degree you want, you can look at schools that offer your desired program. Time to complete: Varies

Many college programs will require one of these standardized college entrance exams. Time to complete: Three to six months.

In addition to completing a form, students can expect to complete any of the following: write a personal essay, sit for an interview, obtain letters of recommendation, submit standardized test scores and provide certified copies of necessary transcripts. Time to complete: Three to six months.

Some programs require entering students to pass necessary background checks. Students who have prior criminal offenses may be ineligible to obtain licensing, certification or work in a health care facility. Time to complete: Three or more months.

Some schools expect students to be capable of properly administering CPR before they can engage in the hands-on, clinical curriculum requirements. Time to complete: Less than a week.

Students should complete their FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid and begin applying for scholarships. Time to complete: Three or more months.

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

The schooling has begun. Students should continue to work hard and get good grades, which can help them stand out from their peers when interviewing for post-graduate employment. Time to complete: One to four years.

Part of the curriculum will include hands-on practical experience elements. Students who excel with clinical requirements will catch the attention of their instructors and supervisors. 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 a practical necessity for future employment as a radiology technician. Time to complete: three months or more.

About 75 percent of states require radiology technicians to obtain state licensure before they can practice as a radiology technician. Time to complete: Up to one year.

Graduates will typically take their licensing or certification exams at a Pearson Vue test center. Time to complete: One day per exam.

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

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Programs to Become a Radiology Technician

How Do I Find Accredited Online Radiology Technician Programs?

Students should strive to enroll in the best accredited online radiology technician degree program they possibly can. However, what qualifies as the best school will depend on the student’s specific situation and professional goals. Therefore, the best program for one student may not be the best for another.

Another consideration for prospective students is the course delivery method. While many parts of the curriculum are available through distance learning options, due to the inherently hands-on nature of radiology, in-person course requirements often exist. These requirements can often be met at a local medical office, hospital or even at the school offering the degree. This is particularly applicable in the associate and bachelor’s degree programs. However, some graduate level programs are available completely online. To help make this search process a little easier, students can use the following search tool.

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Programs to Become a Radiology Technician

Are There Scholarships and Grants for Radiology Techs?

Many college students are eligible for gift-based financial aid, even if they don’t know it. It never hurts to apply for a scholarship or grant! Sometimes all it takes is a phone call or e-mail to get a scholarship from a school.

Scholarships are a form of gift-based financial aid that does not need to be paid back. Generally, scholarships are awarded based on the student’s merit or a certain trait, such as academic performance, race, sex or area of study. Here are a few scholarships to get you started.

  • Sallie Mae

    Sallie Mae is one of the most prominent private student loan companies. It offers a large amount of information on finding and applying for college scholarships.

  • Unigo

    Unigo is a comprehensive college resource with an expansive college scholarship directory.

Grants are like scholarships in that they’re a form of gift-based financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid. However, unlike scholarships, the primary eligibility criterion for grants is financial need. Therefore, grants are more commonly available from government sources.

  • Federal Student Aid

    The official website for federal-based financial aid, including need-based grants like the Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant.

  • College Board—BigFuture

    The College Board administers the SAT standardized test and provides college information for prospective students, including information on grants and scholarships.

Radiologic science is a very specific field, but there are still a few scholarships and grants available particularly for college students studying to be a radiology technician.

Accreditation is important not just to obtain licensing or certification, but to get financial aid as well. Many scholarships, grants, loans and other forms of financial aid are only available to students who attend an accredited postsecondary institution. Students attending a non-accredited program will find it practically impossible to secure any form of financial aid, especially from sources that receive government funding.