The Best Accredited Online Radiology Technician Programs for 2018

Updated on: 12/29/2017

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.

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

The 50 Best Online Radiology Tech Degree Programs 2018

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.

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Methodology

Accredited Schools Online uses a proprietary blend of cost, quality, and student support services to determine overall rankings.The supporting data comes from reputable sources including the schools themselves. We focus our rankings on accredited and no-for-profit institutions.

Our data analysis team and higher education experts have worked together to create a scoring system that includes key qualitative and quantitative measures. The data attributes are then weighted based on relevance.

The scoring methodology includes factors such as:

  • Cost & financial aid
  • Number of programs and program offerings
  • Student-teacher ratios
  • Graduation rates
  • Placement and support services offered
  • Academic/Career counseling services
  • Employment services
  • And many others

These factors are assembled for each school and rated using a peer-based-value (PBV) calculation. PBV compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or similar) qualitative score and cost.  PBV denotes the overall value or “bang for your buck” of a college or degree program.

Rank University Location Score Tuition & Fees Financial Aid % Total Programs Student-Teacher Ratio Grad Rate Placement Services Counseling Services Credit for Experience
1 Clarkson College Omaha,NE 99.64 $$$$$ 59% 3 11:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
2 Valencia College Orlando,FL 99.57 $$$$$ 16% 3 31:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
3 Weber State University Ogden,UT 99.54 $$$$$ 50% 3 21:1 45% Yes Yes Yes
4 Idaho State University Pocatello,ID 99.46 $$$$$ 37% 2 16:1 31% Yes Yes Yes
5 Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Carbondale,IL 99.39 $$$$$ 79% 4 15:1 48% Yes Yes Yes
6 Santa Fe College Gainesville,FL 99.35 $$$$$ 5% 2 22:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
7 Saint Catharine College Saint Catharine,KY 99.08 $$$$$ 85% 2 10:1 43% Yes Yes Yes
8 Palm Beach State College Lake Worth,FL 98.88 $$$$$ 9% 2 30:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
9 Florida State College at Jacksonville Jacksonville,FL 98.60 $$$$$ 15% 2 22:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
10 University of Sioux Falls Sioux Falls,SD 98.32 $$$$$ 100% 2 14:1 48% Yes Yes Yes
11 Broward College Fort Lauderdale,FL 98.06 $$$$$ 23% 2 27:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
12 La Roche College Pittsburgh,PA 98.00 $$$$$ 75% 2 12:1 47% Yes Yes Yes
13 LIU Post Brookville,NY 97.94 $$$$$ 92% 2 11:1 42% Yes Yes Yes
14 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill,NC 95.57 $$$$$ 45% 3 13:1 89% Yes Yes No
15 Minot State University Minot,ND 95.53 $$$$$ 70% 1 13:1 33% Yes Yes Yes
16 Southwestern Oklahoma State University Weatherford,OK 95.18 $$$$$ 63% 1 18:1 35% Yes Yes Yes
17 Vincennes University Vincennes,IN 94.81 $$$$$ 18% 1 17:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
18 Daytona State College Daytona Beach,FL 94.72 $$$$$ 24% 1 18:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
19 State College of Florida-Manatee-Sarasota Bradenton,FL 94.70 $$$$$ 11% 1 22:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
20 Pensacola State College Pensacola,FL 94.69 $$$$$ 23% 1 21:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
21 Siena Heights University Adrian,MI 94.69 $$$$$ 99% 1 11:1 43% Yes Yes Yes
22 Bluefield State College Bluefield,WV 94.69 $$$$$ 33% 1 15:1 25% Yes Yes Yes
23 South Florida State College Avon Park,FL 94.62 $$$$$ 10% 1 17:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
24 St Catherine University Saint Paul,MN 94.54 $$$$$ 99% 1 11:1 59% Yes Yes Yes
25 University of St Francis Joliet,IL 94.53 $$$$$ 100% 1 11:1 56% Yes Yes Yes
26 Missouri Southern State University Joplin,MO 94.53 $$$$$ 51% 1 18:1 33% Yes Yes Yes
27 Shawnee State University Portsmouth,OH 94.53 $$$$$ 34% 1 16:1 20% Yes Yes Yes
28 Eastern Florida State College Cocoa,FL 94.51 $$$$$ 9% 1 24:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
29 Briar Cliff University Sioux City,IA 94.45 $$$$$ 100% 1 12:1 43% Yes Yes Yes
30 Notre Dame of Maryland University Baltimore,MD 94.37 $$$$$ 100% 1 11:1 48% Yes Yes Yes
31 Suffolk University Boston,MA 94.37 $$$$$ 77% 4 11:1 56% Yes Yes No
32 Arkansas State University-Main Campus Jonesboro,AR 94.36 $$$$$ 65% 2 17:1 39% Yes Yes No
33 Boise State University Boise,ID 94.35 $$$$$ 33% 1 19:1 29% Yes Yes Yes
34 University of Jamestown Jamestown,ND 94.31 $$$$$ 98% 1 13:1 50% Yes Yes Yes
35 College of Southern Nevada Las Vegas,NV 94.23 $$$$$ 20% 1 24:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
36 Newman University Wichita,KS 94.19 $$$$$ 99% 1 14:1 43% Yes Yes Yes
37 St Petersburg College Clearwater,FL 94.16 $$$$$ 23% 1 22:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
38 Gulf Coast State College Panama City,FL 94.15 $$$$$ 28% 2 19:1 N/A Yes Yes No
39 University of Hartford West Hartford,CT 94.14 $$$$$ 97% 1 10:1 52% Yes Yes Yes
40 Mount Aloysius College Cresson,PA 94.08 $$$$$ 99% 2 12:1 33% Yes Yes No
41 Concordia University-Wisconsin Mequon,WI 94.03 $$$$$ 98% 1 13:1 59% Yes Yes Yes
42 University of Charleston Charleston,WV 94.01 $$$$$ 90% 1 15:1 41% Yes Yes Yes
43 Florida SouthWestern State College Fort Myers,FL 93.97 $$$$$ 18% 1 27:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
44 St Luke's College Sioux City,IA 93.90 $$$$$ 100% 1 5:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
45 Bellevue College Bellevue,WA 93.74 $$$$$ 16% 1 18:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
46 Morehead State University Morehead,KY 93.71 $$$$$ 70% 2 18:1 43% Yes Yes No
47 Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences Memphis,TN 93.71 $$$$$ 33% 1 12:1 60% Yes Yes Yes
48 Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale,FL 93.68 $$$$$ 77% 1 12:1 60% Yes Yes Yes
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2-Year Best College Rankings

Rank University Location Score Tuition & Fees Financial Aid % Total Programs Student-Teacher Ratio Grad Rate Placement Services Counseling Services Credit for Experience
1 Pitt Community College Winterville,NC 99.81 $$$$$ 11% 2 17:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
2 Owensboro Community and Technical College Owensboro,KY 99.42 $$$$$ 4% 2 13:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
3 Somerset Community College Somerset,KY 98.76 $$$$$ 8% 2 18:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
4 Washtenaw Community College Ann Arbor,MI 98.63 $$$$$ 14% 2 19:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
5 Chattanooga State Community College Chattanooga,TN 98.60 $$$$$ 9% 2 18:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
6 Bunker Hill Community College Boston,MA 98.60 $$$$$ 1% 2 17:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
7 Lakeland Community College Kirtland,OH 98.48 $$$$$ 13% 3 16:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
8 Southern Union State Community College Wadley,AL 98.43 $$$$$ 32% 3 23:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
9 Hillsborough Community College Tampa,FL 98.43 $$$$$ 9% 2 23:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
10 Galveston College Galveston,TX 98.42 $$$$$ 30% 2 15:1 N/A Yes Yes No
11 Western Nebraska Community College Scottsbluff,NE 98.22 $$$$$ 60% 1 15:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
12 Columbus State Community College Columbus,OH 98.18 $$$$$ 20% 2 19:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
13 Western Wyoming Community College Rock Springs,WY 97.46 $$$$$ 39% 1 16:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
14 North Arkansas College Harrison,AR 97.36 $$$$$ 32% 1 16:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
15 Georgia Northwestern Technical College Rome,GA 96.89 $$$$$ N/A 2 19:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
16 Tulsa Community College Tulsa,OK 96.85 $$$$$ 39% 1 17:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
17 Cape Fear Community College Wilmington,NC 96.73 $$$$$ 9% 1 13:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
18 Sinclair College Dayton,OH 96.72 $$$$$ 28% 1 15:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
19 South Arkansas Community College El Dorado,AR 96.64 $$$$$ 4% 1 14:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
20 Southeast Arkansas College Pine Bluff,AR 96.63 $$$$$ 4% 1 14:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
21 Hagerstown Community College Hagerstown,MD 96.24 $$$$$ 17% 2 18:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
22 Community College of Denver Denver,CO 96.13 $$$$$ 9% 2 25:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
23 Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College Cumberland,KY 95.99 $$$$$ 6% 2 15:1 N/A Yes Yes No
24 Northeast Community College Norfolk,NE 95.95 $$$$$ 38% 1 17:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
25 Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College Bowling Green,KY 95.93 $$$$$ 5% 1 15:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
26 Ashland Community and Technical College Ashland,KY 95.89 $$$$$ 7% 1 14:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
27 Cuyahoga Community College Cleveland,OH 95.88 $$$$$ 2% 2 21:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
28 West Virginia Northern Community College Wheeling,WV 95.72 $$$$$ 15% 1 16:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
29 Southeast Community College Lincoln,NE 95.63 $$$$$ 47% 1 18:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
30 Owens Community College Perrysburg,OH 95.62 $$$$$ 12% 1 16:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
31 Truckee Meadows Community College Reno,NV 95.55 $$$$$ 22% 1 19:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
32 Mountwest Community and Technical College Huntington,WV 95.54 $$$$$ 12% 1 18:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
33 Roane State Community College Harriman,TN 95.52 $$$$$ 7% 1 16:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
34 Northwest Mississippi Community College Senatobia,MS 95.47 $$$$$ 26% 1 23:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
35 Eastern Maine Community College Bangor,ME 95.43 $$$$$ 21% 1 14:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
36 Bluegrass Community and Technical College Lexington,KY 95.41 $$$$$ 2% 1 16:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
37 Technical College of the Lowcountry Beaufort,SC 95.33 $$$$$ 9% 2 17:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
38 Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College Orangeburg,SC 95.28 $$$$$ 2% 2 16:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
39 Chippewa Valley Technical College Eau Claire,WI 95.14 $$$$$ 2% 1 12:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
40 Lakeshore Technical College Cleveland,WI 95.13 $$$$$ 19% 1 13:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
41 Rhodes State College Lima,OH 95.12 $$$$$ 15% 1 14:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
42 Rend Lake College Ina,IL 95.08 $$$$$ 44% 2 15:1 N/A Yes Yes No
43 SUNY Broome Community College Binghamton,NY 95.02 $$$$$ 14% 2 20:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
44 Lorain County Community College Elyria,OH 94.95 $$$$$ 25% 1 20:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
45 Tallahassee Community College Tallahassee,FL 94.87 $$$$$ 13% 1 24:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
46 Lone Star College The Woodlands,TX 94.86 $$$$$ 13% 1 18:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
47 Jefferson Community and Technical College Louisville,KY 94.81 $$$$$ 1% 1 16:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
48 East Central College Union,MO 94.77 $$$$$ 6% 1 19:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
49 Middlesex Community College Middletown,CT 94.73 $$$$$ 28% 1 17:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
50 Guilford Technical Community College Jamestown,NC 94.70 $$$$$ 5% 1 20:1 N/A Yes Yes Yes
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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.

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