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Computed Tomography Certification and Certificate Programs

Read about computed tomography certificate programs. Discover the educational prerequisites, coursework and employment outlook statistics. Learn about certification options.

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Essential Information

Computed tomography technicians, also known as CT technologists, assist radiologists by operating x-ray machines and taking cross-sectional scans of patients for diagnostic purposes. Although many community colleges and universities will offer a CT course within an associate's degree or certificate program in diagnostic medical imaging or radiography, some schools offer certificate programs related specifically to the field of computed tomography. The primary purpose of such a certificate program is to train students to take these computed tomography scans, also called CT scans.

Courses are taught through both classroom and clinical instruction, providing students with hands-on opportunities to learn how to operate CT scan technologies. Primary certification, as a registered technologist, and an associate degree are required prior to enrolling in a certificate program of this nature. To earn primary certification, candidates must pass a qualifying test. Post-primary certifications are also available to graduates of computed tomography certificate programs.

Education Prerequisites

Many schools offering computed tomography certificate programs do require that incoming students first be the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) registered technologists. This also means that most computed tomography certificate programs are only open to students who have at least an associate's degree. Students should also submit proof of immunizations and a current CPR certification.

Program Coursework

Students of computed tomography certificate programs learn that CT scans work by utilizing waves of energy that take sectional photos. They are then processed through a computer in order to create three-dimensional images. Students also learn about the basics of radiation protection and safety procedures that are employed during CT scan procedures.

The courses included within a computed tomography certificate program are specifically designed to provide students with a working understanding of how to operate CT equipment in health care setting. Specific courses include:

  • Principals of CT imaging
  • Imaging procedures
  • Sectional anatomy for computed tomography
  • Safety and patient care
  • Computed tomography protocols
  • Pathology
  • Clinical practicum

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, radiologic technologists in general held approximately 194,790 jobs in 2012 (www.bls.gov). Computed tomography technologists in particular earned between $41,517 and $74,426 per year in 2013, according to PayScale.com.

Certification Options

Graduates must gain primary certification by the ARRT before they can even begin a certificate program in computed tomography. They can gain primary certification by completing programs in radiography, sonography, or nuclear medicine and then successfully take an examination offered by ARRT. Once students have completed an additional accredited certificate program in computed tomography, they are eligible to gain the post-primary certification of CT technologists from ARRT.

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