Diagnostic Radiology Diploma and Certificate Programs

This article explores diagnostic radiology diploma and certificate programs. Get information about educational prerequisites, popular career choices and licensing.

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Essential Information

Diagnostic radiology is the use of x-rays, or radiographs, to identify and diagnose medical problems. Professionals who produce radiographs are called radiologic technologists or technicians. Students interested in a career in diagnostic radiology might consider a certificate or diploma program in radiography or radiologic technology.


Diploma in Diagnostic Radiology

Diploma programs in diagnostic radiology are designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to pursue professional positions and to qualify for certification. Students could learn the theories behind radiology and the uses for radiologic images as well as how to operate the specialized equipment used during procedures.

Educational Prerequisites

Radiology programs generally require students to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Additionally, previous coursework in chemistry or biology might be required. Some schools have minimum score requirements on ACT or SAT tests, or might require an admission placement test.

Program Coursework

Diploma programs require between 70-120 credit hours of coursework. In addition, students participate in clinical courses in healthcare settings where they observe and participate in radiographic procedures. Typical courses include:

  • Introduction to radiography theories
  • Radiographic procedures
  • Radiographic imaging
  • Radiographic equipment
  • Radiographic pathology

Popular Career Choices

Students who complete a diploma program in diagnostic radiology are prepared to sit for certification exams to become certified radiologic technologists. Most technologists work in hospitals. Others are employed by diagnostic laboratories, physicians' offices or outpatient care clinics. Job titles include:

  • X-ray technician
  • Radiologic technologist
  • Radiologic technician
  • Radiographer

Licensing, Certification and Continuing Education

While requirements vary by state, at least 40 states require licensing for those working in diagnostic radiology, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov. Many states use the certification exam administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), www.arrt.org, for their licensing. To be eligible for ARRT certification, students must complete an accredited training program. Radiologic technologists are required to complete continuing education hours to maintain certification.

Certificates in Diagnostic Radiology

Certificate programs in diagnostic radiology are generally designed for practicing radiologic technologists who wish to specialize in an area such as computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These programs focus on the skills needed to operate specialized equipment used for these technologies.

Educational Prerequisites

Certificate programs that are designed for practicing radiologic technologists may require applicants to be currently enrolled in or have previously completed a diagnostic radiology program. Previous coursework in chemistry and biology may also be required.

Program Coursework

Certificate programs require between 25-30 credits hours of coursework. Curriculum includes clinical experiences where students receive hands-on training observing and operating imaging equipment. Coursework includes:

  • Sectional anatomy
  • Pathophysiology
  • Instrumentation
  • Imaging procedures
  • Clinical experience

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Employment for radiologic technologists is expected to grow at a faster than average rate during the period between 2010 and 2020, according to the BLS (www.bls.gov). Median wages were $54,620 annually as of May 2012.

Continuing Education and Advancement

With experience, radiologic technologists may advance into management or supervisory positions. With additional education, technologists can become radiologist assistants.

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (16)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (7)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (3)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Currently not accepting applications from Texas residents
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    Which subject are you interested in?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must have completed 12 college credits
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • California (19 campuses)
    • Washington (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Certificate - Health Administration

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Iowa (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Iowa include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
        • Athletic Trainer
        • Nuclear Medical Technologist
        • Physician Assistant
        • Radiological Science and Technologies
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Alabama (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of South Alabama include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Diploma
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
        • EMT and Paramedic
        • Physician Assistant
        • Radiological Science and Technologies
        • Respiratory Care Therapy
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Arizona (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Northern Arizona University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
        • Athletic Trainer
        • Radiological Science and Technologies
      • Nursing Professions
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Montana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at The University of Montana include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
        • Radiological Science and Technologies
        • Respiratory Care Therapy
        • Surgical Technologies
      • Nursing Professions
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions

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