programs in radiography range in length from 1 to 4 years and lead to a
certificate, an associate degree, or a bachelor's degree. Two-year
associate degree programs are most prevalent.
Some 1-year certificate
programs are available for experienced radiographers or individuals from
other health occupations, such as medical technologists and registered
nurses, who want to change fields. A bachelor's or master's degree in
one of the radiologic technologies is desirable for supervisory,
administrative, or teaching positions.
The Joint Review
Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology accredits radiography
programs. The committee accredited 397 programs resulting in an
associate degree, and 35 resulting in a bachelorís degree in 2009. Admission to radiography programs require, at a minimum, a
high school diploma or the equivalent. High school courses in
mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology are helpful. The programs
provide both classroom and clinical instruction in anatomy and
physiology, patient care procedures, radiation physics, radiation
protection, principles of imaging, medical terminology, positioning of
patients, medical ethics, radiobiology, and pathology.
protects the public from the hazards of unnecessary exposure to medical
and dental radiation by ensuring that operators of radiologic equipment
are properly trained. Under this legislation, the Federal Government
sets voluntary standards that the States may use for accrediting
training programs and licensing individuals who engage in medical or
dental radiography. Forty states currently require licensure for
practicing radiologic technologists and technicians.
American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) offers voluntary
certification for radiologic technologists. In addition, 35 States use
ARRT-administered exams for State licensing purposes. To be eligible for
certification, technologists generally must graduate from an accredited
program and pass an examination. Many employers prefer to hire certified
radiographers. To be recertified, radiographers must complete 24 hours
of continuing education every 2 years.
technologists should be sensitive to patients' physical and
psychological needs. They must pay attention to detail, follow
instructions, and work as part of a team. In addition, operating
complicated equipment requires mechanical ability and manual dexterity.
With experience and
additional training, staff technologists may become specialists,
performing CT scanning, MR, and angiography, a procedure during which
blood vessels are x-rayed to find clots. Technologists also may advance,
with additional education and certification, to become a radiologist
technologists also may be promoted to supervisor, chief radiologic
technologist, and, ultimately, department administrator or director.
Depending on the institution, courses or a master's degree in business
or health administration may be necessary for the director's position.
progress by specializing in the occupation to become instructors or
directors in radiologic technology programs; others take jobs as sales
representatives or instructors with equipment manufacturers.
Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US Department
of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.