With today's aging population, health care fields offer more employment opportunities than ever. Schooling in aspects of health care such as medical X-ray studies, also called radiology or radiography, can help you get a secure job helping people. Most medical X-ray technology jobs require a minimum of an associate's degree, but some accept any training that leads to certification.
Community College of Rhode Island
The most common program in medical X-ray technology is an associate of applied arts (AAS), like the one offered through the Community College of Rhode Island in Warwick. This two-year degree requires general education courses in algebra, composition, literature and psychology in addition to classes teaching basic radiology techniques, anatomy and physiology and biology for X-ray technicians, patient care and quality assurance. Students must complete some classes before entering the program. Successful completion of the program awards the A.A.S. degree and allows graduates to sit for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists certification exam.
North Central Texas College
Other schools offering an A.A.S. in radiology or X-ray technology may differ in some requirements. For instance, North Central Texas College's various campuses require more hands-on experience: 16 hours each week during the first semester and 24 weekly hours the summer, fall and spring of the second year of the program. This program eliminates most of the general education credits, instead focusing coursework on radiological principles, procedures and safety measures. "Radiographic Pathology" and "Patient Care" are also required.
Sinclair Community College
For those who already hold some kind of radiography certification with the ARRT, a program that focuses on a specific type of certification can increase job opportunities. Some schools such as Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, award specialty certificates for students who take classes in these areas, such as CT, MRI and mammography. Since the program culminates in a certificate rather than a degree, coursework focuses on the practical, teaching information about the equipment and techniques for each type of imaging, including application.
Students looking for more education in X-ray technology in a more flexible program should examine the bachelor's of science program through Clarkson College in Omaha, Nebraska. Since a bachelor's takes about four years to complete, these degrees tend to be more encompassing, including education not only in X-ray technology but critical thinking, communications and patient care. This program covers aspects of medical imaging including MRI, angiography, mammography, CT and department administration in both coursework and hands-on experience. Students can finish the program online.
Kristie Sweet has been writing professionally since 1982, most recently publishing for various websites on topics like health and wellness, and education. She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Northern Colorado.