How Long is a Radiology Tech Program?

Most radiology tech programs are two years long, although some schools offer one-year certificate programs.

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Becoming a Radiology Technician takes between 2 and 4 years, depending on the level of education you pursue. There are many schools that offer radiology technician programs so finding one should not be difficult. The majority of programs will lead to an Associate’s degree, although some may offer a certificate or Bachelor’s degree.

Types of Radiology Tech Programs

There are two types of radiology tech programs: certificate programs and associate’s degree programs. Certificate programs typically take one year or less to complete, while associate’s degree programs take two years to complete.

Associate’s Degree

If you’re interested in becoming a radiology tech, you’ll need to complete an accredited radiology tech program. There are two main types of programs available: associate’s degree programs and certificate programs. Most entry-level jobs in the field require an associate’s degree, although some employers may hire radiology techs with a certificate.

Associate’s degree programs typically take two years to complete and include both classroom and clinical components. Coursework covers topics such as human anatomy, medical ethics and patient care. Students also gain hands-on experience through clinical rotations at hospitals or other healthcare facilities. Once they graduate, radiology techs must pass a certifying exam before they can begin working in the field.

Bachelor’s Degree

Radiologic technologists normally need at least an associate’s degree, preferably a bachelor’s degree, in radiologic technology.
Some colleges and universities offer 5-year programs that lead to both a bachelor’s degree and an associate’s degree in radiologic technology.
Program length may vary depending on the type of institution attended and whether the program is part of a hospital-based certificate, diploma, or degree program.
Programs accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) must meet standards that include minimum requirements for clinical education hours.
After completing an accredited radiography program, graduates must apply to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) examination to earn their credential as a registered technologist.


A certificate in radiology takes around one year to complete. These programs are typically found at community colleges. They introduce students to basic concepts in imaging, patient care, and radiation safety. Students learn how to perform imaging procedures and take X-rays under the supervision of a licensed radiologic technologist.

Earning a certificate is the shortest path to becoming a radiology tech. It can lead to entry-level positions in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities. Some states require certification by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) before workers can perform imaging procedures on patients, but this varies by state. Many techs choose to pursue further education and earn an Associate’s degree or Bachelor’s degree in radiologic technology.

Length of Radiology Tech Programs

Rad Tech programs can vary in length, with most taking between 24 and 36 months to complete. Some schools offer accelerated programs that can be completed in as little as 18 months.

Associate’s Degree

An Associate’s degree in Radiology Technology will typically take two years to complete, although some schools offer accelerated programs that can be completed in as little as 18 months. During your course of study, you will take classes in subjects such as medical ethics, patient care, and radiology technology. You will also complete a clinical rotation, during which you will gain hands-on experience working with patients and using radiology equipment.

Bachelor’s Degree

Most radiology tech programs at the bachelor’s degree level take four years to complete. However, some programs may take up to five years to finish. During the first two years of a four-year program, students generally take general education courses. The last two years are spent taking radiology tech courses and completing clinical rotations.


A certificate in radiologic technology can be earned in as little as 12 months, but most programs take 15 to 18 months to complete. These programs include both classroom and clinical instruction in diagnostic imaging and radiation safety.

Factors That May Affect the Length of Your Program

There are a few factors that can affect the length of time it takes to complete a Radiology Tech program.

The first factor is the type of program you choose. There are two types of programs: certificate and associate’s degree. A certificate program takes about one year to complete, while an associate’s degree program takes about two years to complete.

The second factor is whether you attend school full-time or part-time. Full-time students generally take less time to complete their programs than part-time students because they are taking more credits each semester.

The third factor is the curriculum of your chosen program. Some programs may have more requirements than others, which can affect how long it takes to complete the program.

Once you have considered all of these factors, you will be able to better estimate how long it will take you to complete a Radiology Tech program.


Radiology tech programs vary in length, but most last between two and four years. Some programs may offer accelerated options for students who already have some college experience. Upon completion of a radiology tech program, graduates will be eligible to take the national exam to become a certified radiographer.

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