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Inside the Top Accredited Rad Tech Programs Online

Browse today’s best online rad tech programs, get insider info on courses and curricula, and learn how students are funding their online degrees with scholarships and financial aid.

Last Updated: 08/03/2020
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The Best Online Radiology Tech Programs for 2020

As more colleges add accredited online radiology tech programs to their offerings, students may feel a bit stressed about picking the right one. Fortunately, EduMed is here to help. We’ve identified the best online schools and programs for aspiring radiologic technologists. We’re listing the most affordable and comprehensive programs with the accreditation you need to begin a rewarding career in the field. We’ve also spotlighted three programs in full so you can begin to visualize your journey from start to finish. See who stands out for 2020.

or
About the ranking

X

Methodology for EduMed’s 2020 Rankings

To be considered for this ranking, each school must have the following:

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Program(s) offered at least partially online.

School Metrics Explained

EduMed.org data scientists analyzed government higher education data and created a proprietary algorithm to rank each U.S. postsecondary institution and its online programs using 5 primary factors:

  • Cost: Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Online Program Availability: Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to Department of Education.
  • Academic Counseling: Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement: Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid: Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

About Our Data

EduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

Most recent data pull: February 2020

# School Name Type Cost Online Programs More Details School Information Online Students Academic Counseling Career Placement Students w/Institutional Aid Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry Accreditation
1 Northwestern State University of LouisianaNatchitoches, LA Public $$ 1

Northwestern State University of Louisiana’s Radiologic Technologist to Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences (BSRS) program does not train students to become radiologic technologists. Instead, it’s for those who are already registered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) in Radiography but would like to earn a bachelor of science degree. Much of the curriculum will cover general education courses, but many classes will still relate to radiology and health topics, such as upper division radiologic science courses. Some of these include culture and ethical influences on healthcare, introduction to health care quality, special imaging, and leadership challenges for professional radiographers.

Program Overview:

Radiologic Technologist to Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences

  • Credits: 75
  • Length: Approximately two to three years.
  • Cost: $475/credit (for the first nine credits); $100 for the tenth and any additional credits
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
65%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
2 University of Alaska SoutheastJuneau, AK Public $$ 1

The University of Alaska Southeast offers a unique program for students interested in a career in radiology. The Pre-Radiologic Technology Qualifications Certificate requires as few as nine courses in general education and allied health subjects. Completion of this program does not result in eligibility for obtaining national certification through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Instead, this certificate is intended to prepare students for the coursework they can expect once they enroll in a future radiologic technology program, such as one providing an associate of applied science degree. To get credit for the coursework in this program, all students must achieve at least a “C” grade, with at least nine of the 30 minimum credits coming from courses taken at the University of Alaska Southeast.

Program Overview:

Pre-Radiologic Technology Qualifications Certificate

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: Approximately one year
  • Cost: $5,904 (total program cost)
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: NWCCU (school)

Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
42%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
3 East Tennessee State UniversityJohnson City, TN Public $$ 1

East Tennessee State University’s (ETSU) Radiologic Science degree completion program is intended for radiologic professionals who already have an associate degree. The goal is to help practicing radiologic technologists make professional advancements within their field. The curriculum requires completion of 120 total credits. However, with incoming students already having an associate degree, many of the prior degree credits will transfer into ETSU’s program. Remaining credit requirements will be met with coursework in subjects such as anatomy and physiology, introduction to allied health, patient care and assessment, and introduction to microbiology. With this upper level curriculum, graduates will be better prepared to take on leadership and supervisory roles within the allied health field.

Program Overview:

Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science

  • Credits: 120
  • Length: Approximately two years
  • Cost: $19,343 (total program cost)
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school); JRCERT (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
37%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
4 Presentation CollegeAberdeen, SD Private, Not-for-Profit $$$$ 2

The Radiology Technology program at Presentation College is somewhat unique because it not only results in a bachelor of science degree upon completion, but does not require incoming students to already be American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certified. Instead, this program is designed to train new radiology professionals from the ground up. To enroll, students must first become students at Presentation College. Once they finish two radiology technology-related courses, they can apply to the radiology technology program. The major-related coursework takes about four standard semesters plus one summer semester to complete. The program also includes 12 months of hands-on clinical training.

Program Overview:

Radiologic Technology, Bachelor of Science

  • Credits: 123
  • Length: Approximately two years
  • Cost: $555/credit
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school) and JRCERT (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
99%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
5 Midwestern State UniversityWichita Falls, TX Public $$ 1

For students already registered as radiologic technologists, or who are in their second year in a radiologic sciences program, Midwestern State University offers its Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences degree completion program. While it takes 120 credits to earn this bachelor’s degree, most incoming students will receive as many as 42 credits if they are already registered technicians through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), the Nuclear Medicine technology Certification Board (NMTCB), or the American Registry of Diagnostics Medical Sonography (ARDMS). Even when obtaining these 42 transfer credits, students will still need to complete 42 credits of general education classes and 36 credits of radiology professional courses.

Program Overview:

Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences

  • Credits: 120
  • Length: Approximately two to three years
  • Cost: $4,690/semester (resident); $5,665/semester (non-resident)
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
69%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
6 University of Louisiana at MonroeMonroe, LA Public $$ 1

Radiologic professionals who already possess their American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification and want to make the most of their training can consider the University of Louisiana at Monroe’s Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology program. The coursework in this program will prepare students for more advanced radiographic work, as well as taking on managerial, administrative, or supervisory roles. To be admitted, students must have their ARRT certification, but upon presentation of proof of certification, students will receive 38 credits that count toward their bachelor of science degree. Of the remaining credit requirements, at least 30 must be met by taking courses at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Program Overview:

Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology

  • Credits: 100-120
  • Length: Approximately two to three years
  • Cost: Cost: $400/credit
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school); JRCERT (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
58%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
7 Saint Joseph’s College of MaineStandish, ME Private, Not-for-Profit $$$$$ 2

Students seeking a college degree in the field of radiologic science have two choices when enrolled at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine. The first is the Associate of Science in Radiologic Science Administration. In this program, students will take both radiologic and general education courses as they work toward an associate degree. The second pathway is the Bachelor of Science in Radiological Science Administration program. This is designed for radiologic professionals who have completed a radiology tech program or who already have professional experience working as a radiologic technologist. Depending on the degree, an incoming student may receive up to 50 credits toward the completion of their bachelor of science at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine.

Program Overviews:

Associate of Science in Radiologic Science Administration

  • Credits: 66
  • Length: Approximately two years
  • Cost: $557/credit
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: NECHE (school)

Bachelor of Science in Radiological Science Administration

  • Credits: 128
  • Length: Approximately two to three years
  • Cost: $557/credit
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: NECHE (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
98%
AccreditationNew England Commission of Higher Education
8 Pima Medical Institute-TucsonTucson, AZ Private, For-Profit N/A 2

Pima Medical Institute – Tucson (PMI) offers practicing radiologic professionals who already possess their American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification the opportunity to advance their careers further by earning a bachelor’s degree. Through PMI’s Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science (BSRS) program, students will take courses such as advanced section anatomy, pharmacology, and healthcare management. The coursework is based on the American Society of Radiologic Technologists’ recommended radiography curriculum. While the program requires completion of 120 credits, many students can finish in less than two years due to the ability to transfer up to 70 credits to PMI.

Program Overview:

Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences Program

  • Credits: 120
  • Length: 15 months
  • Cost: $20,014 (total program cost)
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: ABHES (school) and JRCERT(program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
5%
AccreditationAccrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
9 The College of Health Care Professions-NorthwestHouston, TX Private, For-Profit N/A 1

The College of Health Care Professions – Northwest (CHCP) offers the Radiologic Technology Associate of Applied Science Degree Online Completion Program to those who do not possess an associate degree but already have Texas licensure with Limited Medical Radiology Certification (LMRT). The curriculum will cover subjects such as patient care and pharmacology, advanced imaging – fluoroscopy, radiology pathology, and a clinical practicum. There will also be general education classes, such as introduction to psychology, college mathematics, and English composition. Upon graduation, students will be eligible to sit for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam.

Program Overview:

Radiologic Technology Associate of Applied Science Degree

  • Credits: 78.5
  • Length: 64 weeks
  • Cost: $23,250 (total program cost)
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: ABHES (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
20%
AccreditationAccrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
10 ECPI UniversityVirginia Beach, VA #N/A $$$$ 1

ECPI University has a robust set of online program offerings, including the Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences. The primary goal of this program is to provide additional training and instruction to practicing registered radiographers who wish to expand their professional growth into administration, leadership, or supervisory roles. Because of the advanced standing of incoming students, most can take advantage of ECPI University’s accelerated format and graduate in less than three years. Upon completion of the American Society of Radiologic Technology guided curriculum, graduates will be ready to take on a more strategic role in the delivery of radiographic medical services to patients.

Program Overview:

Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences

  • Credits: 32
  • Length: 30 months
  • Cost: $6,960/semester
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school); JRCERT (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
28%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
11 Adventist University of Health SciencesOrlando, FL Private, Not-for-Profit $$$ 2

Adventist University of Health Sciences offers a Bachelor’s of Science in Radiologic Sciences program to students who wish to take their current radiography career to the next level. For example, incoming students will need to have an active certification with the appropriate certifying body, such as the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Given this admission requirement, the number of credits needed to graduate will be about half of what’s typically needed for an incoming first-year student. The curriculum is evenly distributed between general education and courses in radiologic sciences. This will provide the well-rounded education of a bachelor’s degree along with the advanced classes necessary to take a leadership or administrative role in the radiologic industry.

Program Overview:

Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences

  • Credits: 66
  • Length: Eight trimesters
  • Cost: $630/credit
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
40%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
12 Marian UniversityFond Du Lac, WI #N/A $$$$$ 1

At Marion University, radiologic technologists who already have their American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification will be perfect for the Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology program. This program is intended to help practicing radiologic technologists make the next step in their careers, such as by taking a management role. Because incoming students will already have formal radiologic training, they will receive 60 credits toward their bachelor’s degree. This will effectively cut the time to earn a bachelor’s degree in half. While enrolled, students will take a large number of liberal arts general education classes, many of which will be electives.

Program Overview:

Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: Two years
  • Cost: $28,100/year
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
13 Colorado Mesa UniversityGrand Junction, CO Public $$ 1

Colorado Mesa University has a unique program for students interested in a career in radiologic tech. Many schools with online programs will have special bachelor’s degree completion programs for individuals who are already American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) credentialed. But Colorado Mesa University is different in that its online Bachelor of Applied Science in Radiologic Sciences completion program is for individuals who aren’t yet certified, but already have an associate degree. This means the curriculum will be primarily focused on upper level radiologic courses, such as principles of magnetic resonance imaging, advanced patient care, and applied computer tomography.

Program Overview:

Bachelor of Applied Science in Radiologic Sciences

  • Credits: 120
  • Length: Two semesters
  • Cost: $434/credit
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school); JRCERT (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
44%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
14 Loma Linda UniversityLoma Linda, CA Private, Not-for-Profit $$$$$ 3

Loma Linda University (LLU) offers a unique blend of radiology-related coursework that allows students interested in radiology to advance in ways many other radiologic technologists cannot. For example, students interested in earning a bachelor’s degree can enter the Bachelor of Science in Radiation Sciences program. Students looking to work alongside radiologists as registered radiologist assistants (RRA) can enroll in the Master’s in Radiologist Assistant program and earn a master’s degree. Finally, there’s the Master of Science in Radiation Sciences, which provides leadership, policy, education, and administrative training to those wishing to take a management role in a radiologic department.

Program Overviews:

Bachelor of Science in Radiation Sciences

  • Credits: 50-96
  • Length: 12 or 24 months
  • Cost: $490/credit
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: WASC (school and program)

Master’s in Radiologist Assistant

  • Credits: 38
  • Length: 21 months
  • Cost: $790/credit
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: WASC (school); ARRT (program)

Master of Science in Radiation Sciences

  • Credits: 38
  • Length: 21 months
  • Cost: $660/credit
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: WASC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationWestern Association of Schools and Colleges
or
About the ranking

X

Methodology for EduMed’s 2020 Rankings

To be considered for this ranking, each school must have the following:

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Program(s) offered at least partially online.

School Metrics Explained

EduMed.org data scientists analyzed government higher education data and created a proprietary algorithm to rank each U.S. postsecondary institution and its online programs using 5 primary factors:

  • Cost: Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Online Program Availability: Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to Department of Education.
  • Academic Counseling: Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement: Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid: Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

About Our Data

EduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

Most recent data pull: February 2020

# School Name Type Cost Online Programs More Details School Information Online Students Academic Counseling Career Placement Students w/Institutional Aid Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry Accreditation
1 Minnesota State Community and Technical CollegeFergus Falls, MN Public $$ 1

Minnesota State Community and Technical College (MSCTC) offers a highly competitive Radiologic Technology program. This program is designed for those interested in earning an associate degree while taking the first step toward a career in diagnostic medical imaging. The curriculum is delivered both online and through MSCTC’s Detroit Lakes campus. The online and clinical curriculum will teach students how to obtain diagnostic images through proper positioning and patient care, how to determine if a diagnostic image will be adequate for interpretation, and ethical and professional standards of behavior. Upon graduation, students will be ready to sit for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) national certification exam.

Program Overview:

Associate of Applied Science – Radiologic Technology

  • Credits: 79
  • Length: Approximately two years
  • Cost: $199/credit
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school) and JRCERT (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
5%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
2 Ogeechee Technical CollegeStatesboro, GA Public $ 1

Ogeechee Technical College trains future certified radiographers through its Radiologic Technology Degree program. The curriculum has both didactic and clinical components, with students completing the program with an associate of applied science degree and eligibility to sit for American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam. The classroom portion of the curriculum consists of both general education credits and radiology-related coursework. Some of these classes include radiologic science, radiographic procedures, and medical terminology for allied health sciences. The clinical portion can be completed at one of the 15 clinical sites spread out over eight counties around the state.

Program Overview:

Radiologic Technology Associate Degree

  • Credits: 80
  • Length: About two years
  • Cost: $8,070 (total program cost)
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school); JRCERT (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
3 Pima Medical Institute-Las VegasLas Vegas, NV Private, For-Profit $$$$$ 1

The Pima Medical Institute in Las Vegas offers its Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences (BSRS) program to those who already have a career in creating diagnostic medical imaging, but would like to earn a bachelor of science degree to make the most of professional potential. Some of the coursework students can expect includes technical writing, pharmacology, advanced sectional anatomy, pathophysiology, and a professional capstone. All classes are 100% online and include general education, as well as a focus on healthcare, to provide enough credits to earn a bachelor’s degree. Incoming students must already have American Registry of Radiologic Technologists certification and upon matriculation, will have 70 transfer credits.

Program Overview:

Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences

  • Credits: 50
  • Length: 15 months
  • Cost: $20,014 (total program cost)
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: ABHES(school) and JRCERT (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationAccrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
4 Cambridge College of Healthcare & TechnologyDelray Beach, FL Private, For-Profit $$$$$ 1

Cambridge College of Healthcare & Technology offers a Radiologic Technologist Training Program that allows students to earn an associate degree in radiologic technology. The coursework includes classroom learning that can be completed online, as well as hands-on learning, where students will receive real-world training using actual medical diagnostic tools and instruments. Sample classes include radiographic physics, introduction to radiologic sciences, and cross sectional anatomy/advanced modalities. Once the classroom and clinical portions of the curriculum are done, students will be ready to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam to become a certified radiologic technologist.

Program Overview:

Associate Degree in Radiologic Technology

  • Credits: 62
  • Length: Two years
  • Cost: $18,980/year (Atlanta, GA campus); $53,880/year (Delray Beach and Altamonte Springs, FL campuses)
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: ABHES (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationAccrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools

Miami Dade College

Miami-Dade-College

In addition to eight campuses and 21 outreach centers in southern Florida, Miami Dade College also caters to students seeking flexibility by offering distance education programs. One popular option is the associate degree in radiography. This program, comprising 77 credits, usually takes six semesters – or two years – to complete. Once all course requirements are met, students can sit for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists’ Board Exam to become registered.

In addition to a range of general education topics, degree seekers complete major-specific courses in areas of radiographic positioning, radiographic technology, radiation biology, and new imaging modalities in radiology. Many of these classroom courses have attached lab or clinical classes to ensure learners get hands-on experience. Students may need to visit campus to complete these components, or they may be able take them at a site approved by the school near their residence. Prospective students should check with the admissions advisor to be clear.  In terms of cost, individuals living in the state of Florida pay an estimated tuition cost of $9,102.94 for the whole program, while those living elsewhere pay $30,993.27

Rasmussen College

Rasmussen-College

Although Rasmussen College maintains its headquarters in Minnesota, the school also has campuses in Florida, Kansas, Illinois, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and online. The radiologic technology associate degree can be completed in just two years of full-time study and receives accreditation from the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. Some of the topics covered in this program include radiographic positioning and anatomy, radiobiology and radiation protection, introduction to radiology and patient care, and advanced modalities in radiology. All told, students complete 108 credits – 76 of which relate directly to the degree. The remaining credits are used for general education topics.

From the day they enroll, program administrators work with students to prepare them to sit for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists examination. Rasmussen also pays the fee for this exam the first time they take it. Learners can complete the program mostly online and take advantage of Flex Choice self-directed assessments. This allows students who already completed some radiologic coursework to receive credit without needing to take and pay for classes.

How Online Radiology Tech Programs Work

When looking at radiology tech programs, prospective students quickly notice that most degrees are offered in a hybrid format. Learners can typically complete all general education and subject-specific courses that do not require hands-on lab work online, while externships and clinicals need to be completed in face-to-face settings. Students can get a sense of the types of classes they’ll take in each format below.

  • Available online

    Medical terminology. Usually taken in the first semester, this class familiarizes learners with common words and terms used within the medical profession, with emphasis on how understanding prefixes and suffixes, combined with root words, can help them ascertain meaning. Students also learn the definitions and pronunciations of each.

    Human Anatomy. This course introduces students to the human body, with emphasis on articular, circulatory, digestive, endocrine, excretory, integumentary, lymphatic, muscular, reproductive, respiratory, and skeletal systems and how they work.

    Communications. Because radiologic technologists work with many different types of doctors and patients, learning how to communicate clearly and effectively serves as a crucial skill. This class introduces topics in professional and compassionate communication.

    Principles of Exposure. Students in this class learn about the basics of x-rays and image acquisition, with specific focus on interactions between radiation and the human body, digital imaging, and beam attenuation characteristics.

    Radiologic Procedures. This class introduces learners to safe procedures for using radiologic techniques for the appendicular skeleton, abdomen, and chest while also teaching students about radiologic positioning, correct exposure, radiation protection, intensifying screens, and computerized radiography.

    Radiobiology. Often taken in the second year, this advanced class provides an in-depth study of topics such as radiation safety practices, how ionizing radiation provides somatic and genetic effects, radiation measurements and regulations, and radiation biology.

    Digital Imaging. Students covers common topics within digital medical imaging, including picture archiving systems, image processing, display and quality, principles of exposure, image acquisition, cassette vs. digital systems, and image quality standards.

  • In-Person Only

    Clinical externship. Similar to an internship, this course requires learners to spend a certain number of hours at an approved facility where they can gain real-life skills that they will use as a radiographic technologist. Although students do not need to visit campus for this class, they must visit the externship site weekly.

    Radiology Positioning Lab. Typically offered on-campus rather than at an approved facility, this hands-on course helps students build skills in human anatomy, radiographic positioning, and how to provide appropriate patient care during examinations and x-rays.

    Radiographic Positioning Clinical. Students home in on the nuances of positioning, with focus on topics such as angiography, arthrography, cholangiography, hysterosalpingography, and myelography. Students also learn how to alter techniques if a patient has experienced injury or trauma.

Levels of Radiology Tech Programs Online

Individuals interested in studying radiologic technology online can choose from several degree levels to fit their academic needs. While individuals just starting out on a professional career path often pick the associate or bachelor’s degree to get their foot in the door, those who have worked in the field for several years and want to climb the career ladder may decide to pursue a master’s degree. Consider which fits your current needs best as you read about each below.

Associate Degree in Radiology

Online associate degrees in radiology exist for individuals who want to quickly enter the field and begin working. These programs typically take two years and teach students the foundational principles needed to sit for the ARRT certification exam. This degree prepares individuals for entry-level roles and typically entitles them to introductory salaries. Students complete approximately 60-80 hours in general education and major-specific topics, depending on the program.

Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences

When ascertaining differences between an associate and bachelor’s degree, the most obvious difference is that baccalaureate programs take twice as long. With this extra time, students have the opportunity to study more in-depth topics, take advantage of specializations, and spend more time learning how to use specialized equipment. Individuals who think they may want to complete additional schooling often pursue this path as it allows them to move directly into a master’s program, unlike the associate degree.

Master of Science in Radiologic Sciences

After working in the field, directly with patients and physicians, some radiology technicians decide they want to pursue other options. Enter the master’s in radiologic science. As evidenced by UT’s MD Anderson Center, M.S. in radiologic sciences programs often provide concentrations in administrative leadership or educational leadership for individuals looking to take on managerial or teaching positions. Most programs take two to three years to complete, depending on how much time a student can devote.

Accreditation & Licensing for Radiologic Technologists

Attending an accredited school represents an important step in the journey to becoming a radiology tech, as individuals who don’t may find it challenging to transfer credits, compete against other job candidates who attended an accredited school, and, if necessary, receive licensure. Learners should look for institutional and programmatic accreditation. In the former, regional and national accreditation exists, with regional considered the more rigorous option. Students should also seek out programmatic accreditation, which is reviewed below.

The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT)

As the only programmatic accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation for radiology and radiologic technology, JRCERT exists as the arbiter for on-campus and online programs. Prospective students can use JRCERT’s database to find an accredited program.

The American Registry for Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT)

For radiology techs who want to specialize in MRI, ARMRIT acts as the only MRI technologist registry and certifying organization. After passing the exam to receive certification, individuals can also post their resumes and review an active job board for open positions.

The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT)

Since its inception, ARRT has registered more than 330,000 qualified individuals working in interventional procedures, medical imaging, and radiation therapy. The group provides 13 credentialing options, all of which focus on specialization areas within radiology. In order to qualify, applicants must attend an ARRT-approved degree program, demonstrate moral character, and pass the examination. The test is computer-based, with most questions provided as multiple choice. Learners receive a preliminary score on the day and a final score within three weeks. To keep their certification, individuals must seek annual renewal, fulfill continuing education requirements every two years, and meet continuing qualifications requirements every decade.

Specializing as a Rad Tech

In addition to valuable skills and knowledge gained from a general radiography technology degree, the field also provides the opportunity for individuals with specific interests to concentrate their knowledge in a subfield. Some of the most popular are highlighted below.

1. Angiography. For individuals who enjoy detail-oriented work, angiography might be a great specialization for them. This area uses x-rays to see inside blood vessels, chambers, and arteries. Angiographers eliminate images of bones and other organs so the blood vessels are more easily seen.

2. Bone Densitometry. Also known as dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, this type of radiography measures bone mineral density as a way of checking for bone loss. These services are used regularly by osteopaths.

3. Cardiovascular Interventional Radiology. A fascinating specialization, individuals in this field use x-ray technology during procedures to help physicians see within chambers of the heart. This type of radiology is often used during angioplasties.

4. Computed Tomography. A fascinating option for individuals who enjoy a challenge, individuals who specialize in this area work to capture usable images of parts of the body that are usually difficult to reach.

5. Fluoroscopy. Similar to cardiovascular interventional radiology, fluoroscopy is used in real time to help physicians see inside the patient during a procedure. Individuals must know how to use x-ray imaging, fluorescent screens, and video recording devices.

6. Mammography. Individuals who pursue this specialization capture radiation imagery that helps diagnose illnesses and diseases in breasts. Students must learn about a special type of low dose x-ray used to identify cancer cells.

7. Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Also known as MRI, this specialization teaches students to understand magnetic resonance signals and how these can be manipulated to create images that allow for accurate diagnoses.

Paying for Online Radiology Tech School

While many individuals who decide to study radiologic technology dream of making salaries well above the national average, that doesn’t necessarily mean they have the funds on hand to pay for a degree out-of-pocket. Fortunately, students can find many alternative ways of paying for a degree even if they do not have enough money in their savings.

Prospective learners should start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. In addition to becoming eligible for federal grants, loans, and work study funds, many colleges and universities use the information provided on these forms to award institutional and programmatic scholarships. Distance students should also research outside scholarships from local and national radiographic organizations, private foundations, hospitals and other healthcare organizations, nonprofits, and state and local governments. Students looking for more advice about how to avoid substantial student debt should check out EduMed’s comprehensive guide on financial aid and list of scholarships for rad tech students.

Salaries & Career Growth for Radiologic Technologists

Before pursuing an online radiologic technology degree, prospective distance learners want to know how they can expect their career to progress and what salaries they can expect to earn. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, radiologic technologists earned median annual salaries of $60,070 in 2017, while those in the top 10% of earners brought home $97,460 each year. Positions for these professionals are expected to grow by 13%, meaning 30,300 new roles are projected to be added to the existing 241,700 between 2016 and 2026.

When compared to other roles at this level, positions for diagnostic medical sonographers are set to grow by 17%, while jobs for nuclear medicine technologists and veterinary technicians will grow by 10% and 20%, respectively. If individuals want to progress in their careers after a time, those who go back to school for higher education can earn even higher salaries. Radiation therapists earn $80,570 while registered nurses earn $70,000.