Radiologic technicians perform medical imaging procedures like X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. These forms of diagnostic imaging go a long way in catching and preventing life-threatening conditions. A career in radiography puts aspiring professionals at the helm of this amazing technology.
On this page, we’ll cover radiology career and salary data and degree requirements. We’ll also highlight the most affordable online radiology technology degrees for prospective students.
What Kind of Online Radiology Technology Degree Should You Get?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), radiologic technologists only need an associate degree to begin working in the field. But to earn the highest potential in their career, students should consider earning a bachelor’s degree. Many states also require licensure or certification for radiologic technologist jobs.
We based our program ranking selections on affordability and accessibility. Students can complete all of the listed programs either fully online or in a hybrid format. These formats allow learners to maintain their daily schedules while still attending school. Each program also features an affordable tuition rate.
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How Much Money Do People Make With an Online Radiology Technology Degree?
According to the BLS, radiologic technologists earn a median annual salary of $61,900. Top earners make more than $92,660 per year. MRI technologists can earn higher salaries. These professionals earn a median salary of $74,690 annually. The top 10% of MRI technologists earn over $104,210 per year. Both types of technologists who work in California, Hawaii, and Washington, D.C. earn the highest mean salaries in the U.S.
The BLS projects jobs in the field to grow 9% from 2020-2030, about as fast as the average for all jobs. This projection amounts to about 20,800 new jobs each year on average.
What Can You Do With an Online Radiology Technology Degree?
Thanks to the many diagnostic technologies available, online radiology technology degree graduates can pursue various specialties and careers. The most common diagnostic imaging includes mammograms, CT scans, MRIs, and X-rays. But there are also a variety of specific imaging tests for less common issues. With a number of these programs, students can select specific techniques to specialize in.
Radiologic technologists perform various tasks that involve interacting with patients and other healthcare workers. They position patients for accurate imaging, operate the machinery, and provide proper documentation for doctors.
What Are the Requirements for an Online Radiology Technology Degree?
All ten of the programs in our ranking lead to a bachelor’s degree in radiology technology. Some schools provide degree-completion programs. This means students must hold an associate degree in radiology technology before enrolling. Degree-completion programs also often offer more specialized classes.
Online radiology technology programs typically require about 120 credit hours to graduate. Many schools accept at least 40-60 transfer credits. Depending on the program, learners may complete a mix of coursework and clinical experiences for hands-on practice in healthcare settings. After graduating, learners may need to pursue licensure or certification depending on their career goals.
What Are the Most Affordable Online Radiology Technology Degrees?
Our College Choice data team maintains a methodology for selecting top programs. For this ranking, we weigh each schools’ affordability and online offerings the most heavily. Other factors include overall reputation, financial aid, graduation rates, retention rates, and graduates’ starting salaries.
The final list features the 10 most affordable online radiology technology degrees.
See our rankings methodology page.
University of Louisiana at Monroe
Overview:The University of Louisiana-Monroe has got the whole package when it comes to affordable and quality education. A public regional university, the University of Louisiana-Monroe enrolls around 9,100 students. About 1,000 of those students attend fully online.
Program Features:The University of Louisiana-Monroe makes the top spot on our list for its online BS in Radiologic Technology. It’s not only the most affordable but also flexible in its format. You will gain experience in ultrasound, MRI, computerized tomography, mammography, and more. Some core classes include Radiographic Processing Techniques, Fundamentals of Medical Imaging, Patient Care Laboratory, and Clinical Radiography.
Notables:The program at the University of Louisiana-Monroe is first on our list for a number of reasons. For one, it’s known as the best program in the state of Louisiana. It also has a 100 percent job placement rate for students after they graduate. Combined with it’s affordability, you really can’t go wrong with this program.
Missouri Southern State University
Overview:Missouri Southern State University was established in 1937 as a junior college. Now, however, it functions as a public four-year university. It is based in Joplin, Missouri. The school has garnered a number of accolades, one of which is being one of the top ten universities in the nation for out of state tuition.
Program Features:Missouri Southern State University delivers a degree-completion program for a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology. This is a 124 credit-hour program that allows you to transfer in to complete your degree. You will hone your skills at radiologic position and analysis through an online curriculum that covers Radiation Biology, Radiographic Positioning, Image Critique and Quality Management, and Patient Care and Radiation Protection.
Notables:Missouri Southern State University has a strong distance learning program. One of the huge perks that sets it apart is its inclusion of four surrounding states to be included in in-state tuition. If you live in Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, or certain counties in Illinois, you’ll be seen as an in-state student.
Overview:A public university in Ogden, Utah, Weber State University offers over 250 unique programs at the associate, undergraduate, and graduate levels. It performs well for return on investment. In fact, this year SmartAsset named Weber State University the Best Value College in Utah for its average starting salary and low tuition.
Program Features:The strength of Weber State University is in the details. You’ll earn a Bachelor of Science in one of four areas: Advanced Radiologic Sciences, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Nuclear Medicine, or Radiation Therapy. Within each program you can specialize further into different modalities. Most modalities can be accessed online and include Cardiovascular-Interventional Technology, Computed Technology, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and Women’s Imaging.
Notables:Each year, the school awards over $90 million in financial aid and scholarships. You can apply to both academic and need-based scholarships. You can also take advantage of veterans’ benefits and the Dream Weber program.
Midwestern State University
Wichita Falls, TX
Overview:The only public liberal arts institution in Texas, Midwestern State University is an independent university. It is based in Wichita Falls, Texas and houses around 6,000 students annually. Midwestern State University uniquely offers non-Texas residents a discounted tuition rate. That makes it one of the “Top 10 Public Schools with the Cheapest Out-of-State Tuition.”
Program Features:At Midwestern State University, you’ll earn an online BS in Radiologic Sciences. This degree will qualify you to become a registered imaging technologist. You’ll take anywhere from 120 to 130 credit-hours, depending on how much you want to specialize. This online program offers in-state tuition to all students. Some highlight classes include, Mammographic Quality Practice, Magnetic Resonance Imaging Applications, Principles of Computed Technology, and Health Law in Medical Imaging.
Notables:One fantastic feature of the degree at Midwestern State University is a built-in certification program. You can reserve 42 of your total credit-hours for additional certifications. This prepares you to receive certifications from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board, and others.
Overview:The flagship institution of the state system, the University of New Mexico is a public research university based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It has the largest enrollment in the state with over 26,000 students. University of New Mexico is classified with the highest level of research activity.
Program Features:The BS in Radiologic Science at the University of New Mexico is an online degree completion program. It only accepts students who are already eligible for radiologic certifications. You will use Blackboard as your learning management system. Your classes will consist of upper-level radiology applications. Examples include Healthcare Delivery Compliance, Physics of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Human Cross Sectional Anatomy, and Research and Medical Imaging.
Notables:UNM Online is ready to meet students with their particular needs. In addition to hundreds of online courses, the University of New Mexico provides over 20 unique online degree completion programs. Even more, the school makes it affordable. Close to 75% of students receive some kind of financial aid.
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Overview:A standby of public education the state of Louisiana, Northwestern State University of Louisiana was founded in 1884. It delivers over 50 degree programs to its students.
Program Features:You’ll find two options at Northwestern State University of Louisiana: a BS in Radiologic Sciences and a Radiologic Technologist to BS in Radiologic Sciences degree. That means wherever you’re at in the process, there’s a program for you. Your class requirements might vary, but the core classes are similar. They include Radiographic Positioning, Advanced Radiographic Procedures, Radiographic Pathology, and Radiation Protection.
Notables:Northwestern State University of Louisiana features fast-track classes through eNSU Global Campus. This means that during the fall and spring, your online courses will last 8 weeks. In the summer, you can take shorter classes that last around four weeks. This gives you optimal flexibility to finish your degree.
University of Southern Indiana
Overview:The University of Southern Indiana is a public institution in Evansville. Most of its 11,000 students are Indiana residents. Because of its status as a Carnegie Foundation Community Engaged University, the school connects with over 16,000 people each year through continuing education programs.
Program Features:At the University of Southern Indiana, you can either complete the BS in Radiologic and Imaging Sciences or attend the degree-completion program. Within these programs, you’ll have the chance to specialize in one of three tracks: CT/MRI, Clinical Education, or Radiology Management. Coursework includes CT/MRI Physics and Instrumentation, Digital Radiography and Imaging Informatics, Radiologic Imaging Sciences Practice and Management, and Issues in Health Care Leadership.
Notables:The program at the University of Southern Indiana has the numbers to back up the quality of this program. For the last five years, graduates of the radiology program have passed their certification exam at a 95% pass rate. This is testament to the depth of the curriculum at USI.
Fort Hays State University
Overview:Founded in 1902, Fort Hays State University has over 100 years of experience in public higher education. In 1999, it launched the FHSU Virtual College. Today, the Virtual College offers 19 bachelor’s degrees fully online. Over 5,800 of the 15,100 total students attend Fort Hays State University via online learning.
Program Features:Fort Hays State University delivers an online BS in Medical Diagnostic Imaging that requires a total of 124 credit hours. This curriculum incorporates a number of specific advanced imaging techniques such as bone densitometry, computed tomography, and more. Some of the upper-level courses you can look forward to include CT Procedures, Bone Densitometry, Advanced Mammography, and Principles of Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
Notables:When it comes to online learning, Fort Hays State University is hitting the marks. It made the top 30 in College Choice’s 2018 Best Online Colleges list. Additionally, it is listed as a Military Friendly Gold school.
University of Mississippi
Overview:The state’s largest university by enrollment, the University of Mississippi is a force to be reckoned with. It is located in Oxford, Mississippi and known as an R1 Doctoral University with the highest research activity. The University of Mississippi Medical Center is located in Jackson and home to the School of Health Related Professions.
Program Features:The School of Health Related Professions at the University of Mississippi offers a Bachelor in Radiologic Sciences. You can either choose the full-time program which lasts 22 months, or the part-time online program that lasts five semesters. The latter is a degree-completion program for registered radiologic technologists. Classes include Radiation Protection, Image Analysis, Digital Imaging Acquisition and Display, and Pharmacology and Venipuncture.
Notables:The University of Mississippi feautres strong program effectiveness rates. The five-year average for program completion is 97%. The five-year average for students passing the national certification exam is an impressive 98%. And the job placement rate for students who graduate is 100%.
East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, TN
Overview:East Tennessee State University is a public university rooted in its state history. It keeps the area culture alive with an Appalachian Studies program, among its many other programs.
Program Features:Designed for existing radiologic professionals, East Tennessee State University offers an online BS in Radiologic Sciences. You’ll not only study the technical skills of imaging, but also healthcare management, patient information, and beyond. You’ll complete a total of 120 credits in classes like Image Production and Evaluation. Radiography Procedures, Radiography Pathology, and Radiation Biology and Protection.
Notables:East Tennessee State University believes in the value of free education. That’s why ETSU Online features a number of free courses. This is a great way to see if this program is right for you. You can even take a free class and then decide to pay for it later as a for-credit class.