20 Best X-Ray Tech/Radiology Tech Schools in 2024

October 31, 2023

radiology tech schools, x-ray tech

Are you not quite sure what a degree in X-ray technology/radiology technology looks like? That’s fine. In this blog post, the field will—hopefully—become as clear as day. Here’s a collection of information to help you see your way through radiology tech school/x-ray tech school.

With a degree in Radiology Technology, you’ll be able to use medical scanning tools ranging from MRIs to angiography to look inside the body. From your studies, you’ll develop razor-sharp precision in handling delicate and specialized equipment, with the option of focusing on what kind of medical imaging most interests you. Because patients sometimes find going into machines scary, you’ll gain tools to navigate stressful interpersonal situations, developing holistic professional skills through courses on patient care and ethics.

In 2022, Lego declared that it would donate 600 Lego models of MRIs to hospitals working with kids. This was the result of a brainwave that two Danish employees had: couldn’t Lego help kids learn, feel comfortable, and even have fun while undergoing MRIs? The project has been a massive success and shows how much play can assist scientific understanding. Degree programs in radiology technology emphasize exactly this sort of interdisciplinary, horizontal thinking. Maybe you should go ahead and bookmark Lego’s MRI training videos—for medical staff, not kids—now.

Radiology Tech Salary

The job outlook for Radiology Techs is very strong. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2022 median pay was $67,180 a year. There were 264,100 jobs available in 2022, with a projected 10-year growth rate of 6%, which is higher than average. For more specialist concentrations within the field, like MRI technology, the median annual salary was $80,090.

How Long Does It Take to Become an X-Ray Tech?

Most graduates receive Associate’s degrees, which typically take around two years to complete full-time. However, there are multiple avenues towards the career. Some schools offer Bachelor’s programs or even Certificates. It’s important to note that Associate’s degrees often end up taking as long as Bachelor’s programs because students are expected to have certain general education requirements under their belts before beginning this specialized field of study. Once students graduate, the vast majority of them sit for—and pass—professional certification exams. They can then work.

20 Best X-Ray Tech/Radiology Tech Schools

As with all rankings, this list is not exhaustive. It contains a mix of Associate’s and BS programs, but note that many of the former require college-level courses to be completed before enrollment. Programs are selective and students usually have to apply once they have already been admitted at the college. Although some other rankings online suggest the University of Alaska Southeast, this school only has a Certificate program, so our list also mentions the University of Alaska Anchorage’s AAS (which Certificate students can transfer to). The name of the major also varies from school to school, but the curriculum content is commensurate.

1) University of Iowa

At the University of Iowa, students can select the Radiologic Technology track as part of the larger Radiation Sciences major. Within Radiologic Technology, students can apply for five competitive programs. They are Radiologic Technology (general focus), Radiologic Technology and Breast Imaging, Radiologic Technology and Computed Tomography, Radiologic Technology and Cardiovascular Interventional, and Radiologic Technology and Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Because the major is offered jointly with Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine, students can do clinical internships in their specialty areas. Graduates can take national certification exams. The job placement rate is 100%.

2) Indian Capital Technology Center (ICTC)

Students at ICTC’s two-year Radiologic Technology program have packed schedules. In their first year, they take 10 classes ranging from Patient Care for Radiographers to Film-Screen Acquisition and Processing. In their second year, they take 8 courses that build on knowledge from the first year. The degree highlights applied learning, and students can become members of organizations like Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) and The American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT). After graduating, they can take the exam to qualify as certified radiologic technologists.

3) University of Mississippi

Ole Miss students earn B.S. degrees in Radiologic Sciences, where they learn how to operate imaging technology as well as provide radiation therapy. They complete the first few years of classes in the Allied Health Studies program, then apply to move into Radiologic Sciences, which is selective. They receive personalized academic and career advising and firsthand medical experience.

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4) Collins Career Technical Center

A two-year Associate’s of Applied Science in Radiologic Technology lets students take professional certification exams and practice soon after graduation. From 2018-2022, 97% of graduates passed the certification exam on their first try, and 100% got jobs. Students gain real-world experience at seven different clinical sites in Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

5) Foothill College

Foothill College in Silicon Valley offers a two-year Associate’s of Science in Radiologic Technology. The program has been around since 1961, so students have a strong alumni network. Students gain entrance through a lottery and must take prerequisites before entering. Once they’re in, they work with up to 15 different medical institutions in the region. Between 2018 and 2022, 99% of graduates passed the professional certification exam on the first try, and 100% were placed in jobs.

6) Ogeechee Technical College

Radiologic Technology graduates from Ogeechee Tech leave with Associate’s of Applied Science degrees, with the option of Computed Tomography Specialist Certificates. Students need to complete 9 prerequisites before being eligible and the program brings in 12 new students each spring. They achieve not just clinical aptitude, but also communication and critical thinking skills. 96.4% of graduates pass the certifying exam on their first attempt.

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7) Santa Barbara City College

With this two-year Associate’s of Science in Radiology Technology, students leave well-prepared to take on the workforce. From 2018-2022, 87.2% of graduates passed the certification exam on their first try and 97.4% were placed in jobs. They take a diverse array of courses and have designated academic counselors. The beautiful Santa Barbara setting means that students can also spend off time at the beach.

Note: As of the 2024 cycle, the Radiology Technology major is not open for admissions until the waitlist is exhausted (right now, that’s 2026). The website is the best source for updated information.

8) Lakeshore Technical College

In-person classes at LTC are supplemented by online class options for Nicolet College and Gateway Technical College students, making this degree more accessible. Students are taught a mix of technical and customer service skills, and can apply for financial aid. With a 96% first-time pass rate on the professional certification exam and a 100% job placement rate, they can feel confident about their prospects.

9) Mitchell Technical College

A two-year Associate’s of Applied Science program, Radiologic Technology at Mitchell Tech blends classroom learning with hands-on application in the lab and clinic. There are two semesters of classes, followed by three semesters of clinical rotations. Various scholarships are available and well-advertised on the website. All of the instructors are women, and the job placement rate is 100%.

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10) University of Alaska Southeast/University of Alaska Anchorage

The one-year certificate program in Pre-Radiologic Technology at the University of Alaska Southeast provides students with a strong basis to go on to an AAS in Radiologic Technology at the University of Alaska Anchorage’s School of Allied Health. While other schools ask for general education prerequisites, the University of Alaska system bundles up the specific ones needed for Radiologic Technology into one program. Students can also learn online and go in-person for clinics.

11) Pasadena City College

Radiologic Technology Associate’s degree students at Pasadena City College can take advantage of the institution’s 10 clinical partnerships in the LA area. The program asks for prerequisites and is selective. Between 2017 and 2021, graduates had a 96% pass rate on the professional certification exam and a 100% job placement rate. The college hosts information sessions for prospective applicants to learn about the program.

12) Mt. San Antonio College

The system to enroll in Mt. SAC’s Radiologic Technology degree is a little different than at other schools. Students don’t need to wait until they complete prerequisites to apply. Instead, once they submit an application for general admission, they can place themselves on the program waitlist. While they wait to get off, they fulfill the necessary core classes. Mt. SAC offers many course options, as well as affiliated hospitals where students can build medical experience.

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13) Marion Technical College

This Associate’s degree combines technical and science classes with ones in communication. There are a total of 27 courses that students need to complete by graduation. Subsequently, they appear for the professional certifying exam. Since the college offers an array of healthcare programs, students can socialize with and learn from others who may be their future colleagues.

14) Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Students have a few different options when it comes to pursuing a degree at IUPUI. First, they can do an Associate’s of Science in Radiography, which also offers them the opportunity to conduct research and study abroad. Across two years, they spend an impressive 1,300 hours caring for patients. 98% of AS graduates passed the professional certifying exam from 2018-2022, and 100% received jobs. Second, they can do a Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging Technology, and choose between MRI, CT, IR/CC, Mammo, DMS (Ultrasound), and Non-Clinical tracks. Finally, the Radiologic Sciences department offers an undergraduate major in Nuclear Medicine Technology, in which technologists trace the movement of radiopharmaceuticals through the body to investigate health issues.

15) Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU offers a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Radiation Sciences. Students concentrate in diagnostic medical sonography, nuclear medicine technology, radiation therapy, or radiography. They avail of extensive lab facilities and get work experience at a range of clinics. The major is part of the College of Health Sciences, one of the largest health centers in the country.

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16) Randolph Community College

This Associate’s of Applied Science degree in Radiography is taught by professors at the Shackleford Jr. Allied Health Center. Admission is selective, and there are information sessions through the semester for prospective students to learn more Financial aid is available. From 2018-2022, 94.5% of graduates passed the certifying exam on their first attempt, and 100% of students got jobs. After graduation, students can keep studying to receive specialized certificates in Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technology.

17) City College of San Francisco

The Radiological Sciences department here has its own acronym: CCSF RADSCI. Its (rather long) expanded form is: Compassionate patient care, Continued pursuit of learning, Sensitivity to the learning needs of our students, Fair and equitable treatment for all, Respect for all, Accountability and ethical behavior, Diversity consciousness, Service to the community and the advancement of the Radiologic Technology Profession, Commitment to excellence in the Radiologic Technology Profession, and Integrity of the educational process. Definitely a word soup, but its mission-driven approach translates to quality lab infrastructure and clinical opportunities for Diagnostic Medical Imaging AS students. From 2016-2020, 99.2% of students passed the certifying exam on the first try, and 96% of students got jobs.

18) St. Philip’s College

With the AAS in Radiography Technology, students don’t have to pick a concentration, but instead get rotational experience across different medical imaging techniques. 92.4% of students between 2018 and 2022 passed the professional certification exam on their first attempt, and 96.6% found jobs.

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19) Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing

Students at this healthcare-focused institution can pursue an AS in Radiologic Technology and BS in Imaging Sciences at the same time. Once they finish the AS, they are eligible to take the certifying exam and can then finish the BA largely online, giving them flexibility to both work and study. In addition, students can pursue certificates in CT, MRI, and Mammography. The AS degree had a 90% exam pass rate and a 100% job placement rate from 2018-2022. Students can also minor in Spanish, allowing them to build language skills to communicate effectively with a wider swathe of patients.

 20) North Dakota State University

Radiologic Sciences majors here follow a unique structure. The first two years, they take a series of intensive courses. The next two years, they pursue a two-year, full-time internship in specialized areas like radiography, diagnostic medical sonography, or echocardiography. This rigorous combination of classes and medical experience leaves students ready to take on workplace challenges.

Best X-Ray Tech/Radiology Tech Schools – Additional Resources

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