Many types of radiology programs are available at technical schools, junior colleges and universities. Individuals can begin learning about radiology procedures and using hospital X-ray equipment with just a high school diploma. The more education and experience you gain, the more career choices you will have. At the other end of the spectrum, medical doctors participate in radiology residency programs to become fully qualified radiologists.
High School Diploma
Many hospitals employ people in their radiology departments with only a high school diploma and a keen interest in gaining knowledge about radiology. It helps to have a good attitude and be willing to help where and when needed. Hospital-based training is a good way to start a radiology career.
Good Moral Character
According to the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, all students seeking certification through the organization must have a good moral character and abide by guidelines set forth in the ARRT rules of ethics. High moral standards are required to ensure the safety and confidentiality of all patients coming through the radiology department.
Radiology programs are increasingly requiring that students complete college-level science course work prior to being accepted. Requirements usually include biology and math classes, although English and humanities courses are also valuable. Universities that offer bachelor's degrees in radiologic technology require acceptable SAT scores and GPAs for program admission.
Some advanced radiology programs also require that applicants have a background in radiology. For instance, a radiology tech working at a hospital who wants to learn sonography would first need certification in a primary radiology area. Applicants also must pass a certification exam and demonstrate that they have the required amount of applicable radiology experience. According to the ARRT, all students seeking certification as a registered radiologist assistant after Jan. 1, 2015, will need to have earned some form of academic degree. Until then, hospital-based radiology training will be sufficient to gain certification.
Radiology Program Application
Whatever program you want to get into, you will need to complete an application and supply any required transcripts or personal statements to support your application.
A medical degree from a recognized medical school is a preliminary step toward acceptance into a radiology residency program. Doctors apply for a number of programs in the residency match and will only gain acceptance if a spot is available. Candidates can reapply to programs until they get their desired residency.
Erin Moseley is an advocate for science education. Since 1985, she has written numerous technical, user and training manuals for major corporations, public agencies and universities. She holds a Bachelor of Science in geology.