Radiology Technician Job Training
A formal education in radiology is the best training anyone can receive in order to prepare themselves for a career as a radiology technician. This is best achieved through earning an associate or bachelor’s degree.
Not only does a college education in this area equip students with a general knowledge base in health care, but it also equips them with information about radiation physics and imaging technology, subject areas that are very valuable to radiology technicians. Another good thing about earning a radiology technician degree is that it prepares you for state licensing, a qualification you must have in order to legally work as a radiology technician in most states. You can earn a college education at universities, technical schools, community colleges, hospitals and through online universities.
The capstone of a degree program in radiology is hands-on clinical training, where students observe and learn firsthand from radiology technicians the skills they will need for their future careers. You don’t have to worry that you will miss out on this part of your education if you choose an online degree program in radiology. While all course work is done online from your home or other location of choice, the staff at your online school will also help you arrange for credit-bearing clinical training at a medical facility near your home.
It is important when you are choosing a degree program that you learn if the school and program you are enrolled in are accredited through a legitimate accrediting agency. Accreditation for radiography programs is given through the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). You can search for your program using their list of accredited educational programs. You can also check to see if your university and/or its radiology program is accredited by running its name through the U.S. Department of Education’s database of accredited postsecondary institutions and programs.
As mentioned above, most states require radiology technicians to be licensed so that all are trained to use radiology equipment properly and to limit a patient’s exposure to radiation only to areas where it is medically necessary. Specific requirements for licensure differ from state to state, but typical requirements are that a person has graduated or is about to graduate from an accredited education program in radiologic technology and that a person pass a state exam for radiology technicians. Most states also offer limited licensure, permitting someone to practice radiology on specific areas such as the skull, chest, cardiovascular system, feet or spine. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recommends that students contact their state’s health board to learn the specific requirements.
While voluntary, it is a mark of distinction to be certified as a radiology technician, and many employers look favorably upon candidates who have certification. Certification can be obtained through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Some states even use exams given by the ARRT for their own state licensing. To remain certified, you will need to complete 24 hours of continuing education every two years.