If you’re thinking about becoming a radiology technician, or have already decided to become one, it is important to know what education and training is needed to find employment in the radiology field. Although it is possible to complete your training for a certificate in as little as 1 year or as long as 4 years to earn a bachelor degree, most people take 2 years to finish their education at a radiology technician school thus earning an associate degree. Any of those, the certificate, an associate degree, or a bachelor degree allows you to take the certification exam given by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).
There are differences in the potential upward mobility of the three however. Many times a person holding a bachelor degree gets more opportunities for management positions than a person holding an associate degree or a certificate. Part of that comes from the wider education base of the bachelor degree in radiology and part of that comes from employers, as in many other fields, preferring candidates with more training.
It is possible to take online classes for many of the courses you will need to complete your education. Clinical training still must be completed at a brick-and-mortar facility but this is a possible option especially for people working full-time while studying to become a radiology technician.
Attending a school accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JCERT) is essential in enabling a student to be eligible to take the certification exam. Earning this certification is important for a radiology technician’s eligibility for employment at many places that only hire licensed radiographers. It also potentially enables you to earn a higher salary than people without licensure.