Radiology technologists produce x-ray films of the internal body that are used by physicians to diagnose a medical condition. Most radiology technologists are also trained in performing diagnostic imaging procedures such as CT scans, MRIs and PET scans under the direction of a physician. In general, radiology technologists work in hospitals, laboratories, outpatient centers and diagnostic imaging centers. The job outlook for radiology technologists appears to be positive and the demand remains high. According the United States Department of Labor, the demand for radiology technologist is expected to increase by 17% in employment for the next 8-10 years.
Individuals interested in becoming a radiology technologist, or a radiographer, may choose to obtain a 1-year certificate, a 2-year Associate’s degree or a 4-year Bachelor’s degree in radiology technology. While most students pursue their radiology career by attending traditional vocational schools, radiology colleges, community colleges or universities, an increasing number of individuals are enrolling into online radiology programs. There are several radiology online schools available to interested individuals but it is important to choose a radiology program that is accredited. Students must ensure that their radiology online program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JCERT). Students should also keep in mind that getting a radiology degree or certification online also involves on-site clinical training hours at hospitals, clinics, laboratories or doctor’s office. Additionally, there are also online programs for currently practicing radiographers to improve their skills or to acquire certification to various radiology specialties such as mammography or bone densitometry.
Most students who want to have a career as a radiographer usually apply to two-year colleges for their Associate degree in radiology since a Bachelor’s degree takes longer. There are some people, however, who choose to obtain their radiology technology degree from online programs. Radiology classes that are taken online allow the students to learn lectures, participate interactively, take examinations, and submit projects over the internet which makes it convenient for individuals who prefer to work while earning their degrees. Students who are earning their radiology degree or certification online would still need to complete offline clinical training at an approved healthcare facility to provide students the experience they need to perform patient procedures.
Online radiology programs are definitely very accessible to people who have demanding work schedules. Moreover, online learning gives working individuals, stay-at-home mothers, and people with physical limitations more educational options when pursuing a radiology degree. Another advantage of obtaining a degree though an online radiology program is affordability. Typically, students studying at traditional schools often times have to pay for higher tuition, school fees, commute expenses, textbooks and housing. Because online classes do not require students to commute to and from school and to pay other unnecessary fees, students are able to get their degrees without breaking their budget. The schedule is also more flexible compared to traditional schools, allowing students to finish their radiology course at their own pace and right at the comforts of their homes.