8 Top Schools for Radiology Tech in the US
Advancements in radiology technology (radiology tech) have reduced the need for exploratory and invasive medical procedures. This is because of the groundbreaking research and innovations going on in many radiology tech schools in the US and beyond.
If you are looking for a medical field where you don’t have to make incisions on people’s bodies to discover the cause of their illnesses, then radiology tech might interest you.
In this article, you’ll learn about radiology tech, the best schools that offer it in the US, and the opportunities it presents to you.
But first, let’s talk about becoming a radiology technologist.
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Who is a radiology technologist?
A radiology technologist is a healthcare professional who conducts medical tests or examinations on patients using x-ray machines. They use x-rays to capture images of different parts of the body and send them to the radiologist or physician for diagnosis and treatment.
Radiology technologists, also known as radiology technicians or radiographers, are crucial to the healthcare system. Their work has reduced the rate of exploratory surgeries and significantly improved the quality of life in modern times. Radiology techs can detect fractures, arthritis, tumors, blood clots, collapsed lungs, and other inner body injuries.
Is radiology technology a good career?
Radiology technology is an evolving career with lots of opportunities for healthcare professionals. It is one of the healthcare jobs that doesn’t involve much stress, yet the rewards it offers are numerous.
Is radiology technology a good career? Yes, it is. That’s the short answer. It feels good to know that people sincerely appreciate the impact you have on their lives. Radiology techs are usually among the first in line when an accident patient is brought to the hospital. They perform various imaging tests to determine where the doctor should focus on in his examination.
Radiology techs are among the highest paid healthcare workers in the US.
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Is there a high demand for radiology technologists?
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 7 percent increase in the demand for radiology techs in the US.
While the majority of radiology techs work in hospitals, other bodies like medical or diagnostic labs, government agencies, physician’s offices, and outpatient centers also need their services.
What are the best schools for radiology tech in the US?
These are the best radiology tech schools in the US:
1. University of Iowa
The University of Iowa (UI) is a public research university in Iowa City, United States. The school offers a bachelor’s program in radiologic technology with concentrations on magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, or cardiovascular interventional technology.
The Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa contains all the modern facilities needed to provide radiology tech students with the necessary hands-on experience. With the quality of training and exposure to all medical imaging equipment, there’s no doubt why this UI ranks as the best among the schools of radiology tech in the US.
The competition to get into this school is fierce, as it admits fewer than 100 students in all its tracks each year.
Visit the school website for more information.
2. Long Island University-Post
Long Island University Post (LIU Post) is a private university in Brookville, New York. The school has been educating radiology techs since 1973, and it’s one of the few schools that offers an entry-level baccalaureate degree in radiology tech.
LIU Post offers a BS program in medical imaging to prepare students for professional practice. Students receive practical training on the use of all modern imaging equipment.
Visit the school website to learn more.
3. Emory University
Emory University is a household name for quality medical education. It’s among the few top medical schools in the US that offer radiology tech programs.
The school offers a bachelor of medical science degree in medical imaging to prepare students to work in any healthcare setting. They also offer advanced coursework in radiology administration and radiology education.
Radiology tech students at Emory University receive clinical education from industry-leading professionals who have years of professional experience.
Visit the school website for more information.
4. Newman University
Newman University, a private Catholic university in Wichita, Kansas, is one of the best schools for radiology tech in the US.
The school offers an associate degree in radiologic technology, with an option to concentrate on computed tomography (CT). Newman prepares students to have firsthand knowledge of all the technical equipment used in medical imaging.
If you desire to study radiologic tech at Newman University, visit the school website for more information.
5. University of Cincinnati
The University of Cincinnati is a public research university in Cincinnati, Ohio. The school’s various program options earn it a place among the best radiology tech schools in the US.
They offer a pre health professions major where students have the option to concentrate on radiologic technology. There’s also the Bachelor of Radiation Science Technology Program, which is available to professionals who already have an associate degree in radiology technology. The program is available in two tracks: computed tomography and mammography.
You can visit the school’s website to learn more about its programs.
6. Austin Peay State University
Austin Peay State University (APSU) is a public university located in Clarksville, Tennessee. The Bachelor of Science in radiologic technology program offered by APSU prepares students to provide excellent technological support to physicians in the healthcare setting.
The APSU radiologic tech program offers students three concentration options in radiography, radiation therapy, and nuclear medicine technology.
You can visit the school’s website to learn more about its programs.
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7. Arkansas State University
Arkansas State University is a public research university in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences offers a 1+1 Bachelor of Science in radiography program to its students. Students have the option to choose one from six concentrations after spending their sophomore year in a general radiography program.
The six concentrations available to radiography students are sonography, radiation therapy, medical imaging informatics, mammography/breast sonography, magnetic resonance imaging/computed tomography, and cardiovascular-interventional technology.
Arkansas State University also offers a bridge program for professionals with an associate degree to acquire a bachelor of science in radiologic science. Visit the school website for more information.
8. Xavier University
Xavier University, a Jesuit Catholic college in Cincinnati, ranks as one of the top radiology tech schools in the US. It offers an associate degree in radiologic science with an option for a bachelor’s degree in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
Radiologic technology students at Xavier University receive clinical and laboratory training from registered radiologic technicians. This enables them to acquire the necessary skills to produce high quality images of different body parts in a healthcare setting.
You can visit the school website to explore the programs at Xavier University.
How long is radiology tech school?
An associate’s degree in radiology tech takes between one and two years to complete. This is the basic requirement for you to write the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists’ (ARRT) radiography exam and become a certified radiology technician.
However, there are three and four years bachelors of Science programs in radiology technology that increase your earning potential in the healthcare setting.
What subjects do I need to study for radiology technology?
These high school subjects are important for you to be considered for admission to a radiology technology program:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Computer Applications, etc.
What jobs can you do with a radiology technology degree?
A radiographer uses x-rays to produce 2D images of their patient’s anatomy. They perform tests on the bones, chests and other parts of the body to discover internal fractures, lung and heart tumors, and pneumonia.
Nuclear medicine technologist
Your job as a nuclear medicine technologist is to prepare and administer radioactive medicines to patients. This is done to take images of the body parts to figure out the extent of an illness or disease.
Cardiovascular interventional technologist
Cardiovascular technologists use ultrasound and other imaging equipment to examine the heart and blood vessels.
As an MRI technician, you’ll use the magnetic resonance imaging machine to capture images of your patient’s tissues, bones, and organs. You can also assist the physician to analyze and interpret the result.
Your job as a mammography technician will be to use the mammography unit to take images of the breasts for diagnostic reasons.
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How much do radiology technologists earn in the US?
According to Salary.com, the average annual salary of radiology technologists in the US is $63,401.
The lowest 10 percent earn below $52,511 and the highest 10 percent earn more than $75,819.
What states pay the highest for radiology technologists in the US?
The states that pay radiology technologists the highest average annual salaries in the US are:
- California: $95,010
- Hawaii: $82,990
- District of Columbia: $82,270
- Alaska: $79,330
- Massachusetts: $78,830
Where do radiology technologists work?
These are the places with the highest concentration of radiology techs:
Radiology techs work mostly in hospitals, where they help physicians conduct imaging tests on patients. They’re also very handy when there’s an emergency and a series of imaging tests need to be run on a patient.
Physicians with private clinics employ radiology techs to conduct the necessary imaging tests on their patients.
Outpatient Care Centers
Outpatient Care Centers are among the largest employers of radiology techs in the US. They are healthcare centers where patients visit for treatment but do not stay overnight.
Medical and Diagnostic Labs
Most medical and diagnostic labs provide extensive medical tests for patients who couldn’t run tests in the hospitals. Radiology techs work in these facilities to provide the necessary services.
Imaging Equipment Vendors
Imaging equipment vendors hire radiologists to contribute to the design of imaging equipment that meets modern standards. They also educate the customers about the specifications of their products.
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What skills do I need to be a radiology technologist?
As a radiology technologist, you’d need to have interpersonal skills, technology skills, and ultimately the right medical skills. Here are the specific skills that could help you succeed as a radiology tech:
- Medical examination skills
- Communication skills
- Computer skills
- Attention to details
- Time management
How do I become a radiology technologist?
Attend an accredited radiology technology school
Acquire either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree from an accredited radiology tech school. The programs listed in this article have full accreditation from the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.
Obtain the ARRT Certification
After acquiring a degree in radiologic technology, you have to write and pass the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists’ (ARRT) radiology exam. Though most employers prefer the ARRT certification, there are some states that insist you must meet state license requirements to get permission to work in them.
Apply for jobs
Once you’ve acquired both an ARRT and a state license, you can go ahead and apply for jobs in your preferred healthcare facilities in the state.
What other careers are similar to radiology tech?
These are related careers to radiology tech:
- Cardiovascular Technologists
- Dental Assistants
- Dental Hygienists
- Licensed Practical Nurses
- Medical Appliance Technicians
- Surgical Technologists
Finally, I hope you’ve discovered from this article that radiology tech is a beautiful and rewarding career path. The growing demand for radiology techs means your chances of securing a good-paying job after graduation are very high, especially if you attended one of the best schools in the US.
I hope you’ll stop at nothing to make your beautiful radiology tech dreams come true.
Frequently Asked Questions about schools for radiology tech in the US
What is the difference between a radiology technologist and a radiology technician?
There’s absolutely no difference between a radiology technologist and a radiology technician. Their roles are the same; they aspire for the same position and attain the same education. An associate degree holder in radiologic technology is called a radiologic technician. In the same way, a bachelor’s degree holder in the same discipline is also called a radiologic technician.
However, a holder of a bachelor’s degree in radiologic tech will earn more than an associate degree holder in radiologic tech.
Is admission to radiology tech schools competitive?
Admission to radiology tech schools is very competitive. This is because most schools admit fewer than a hundred applicants from the pool of applications they receive yearly.
What does it cost to become a radiology tech?
There are three paths to becoming a radiology tech in the US. The certificate program costs between $2,000 and $10,000 per year. The associate’s degree program costs between $4,000 and $12,000 per year. Finally, the bachelor’s degree program costs between $7,000 and $30,000 per year.
Which school offers the best radiology tech program in the US?
The University of Iowa ranks as the best school of radiology tech in the US.
Is radiology tech a hard discipline?
Yes, radiologic tech can be said to be a hard discipline. This is because it requires you to have good technological and medical knowledge. However, many people have excelled in this career, and I have no doubt you can too.