Explore Top Radiologic Technology Schools in Alaska

Navigating the path to a career in radiologic technology in Alaska begins with selecting the right educational program. With two primary radiologic technology schools in Alaska offering accredited courses, this article delves into each program’s specifics, alongside insights into certification requirements and the vibrant job market awaiting Alaska’s trained radiologic technologists.

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Radiologic Technology Programs in Alaska

Two institutions in Alaska offer rigorous radiography programs as part of their allied health education programs, including radiology programs. These programs cover a broad spectrum of topics, from radiation safety and anatomy to patient care and medical ethics, providing a robust foundation for aspiring radiographers. Moreover, students have the opportunity to specialize in areas like X-ray, MRI, computed tomography (CT), and mammography, opening up a vast array of career pathways.

University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA)

An Associate of Applied Science degree in Radiologic Technology is offered by the University of Alaska Anchorage. Students gain the necessary skills for a radiology career through this degree, which includes comprehensive radiologic technology coursework. Accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT), this program encompasses vital areas like:

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Radiographic Procedures
  • Medical Imaging Pathology
  • Radiologic Pharmacology

The UAA Radiologic Technology program offers distance-delivered program sites in areas such as Fairbanks, Juneau, and Kenai, enabling students from different locations to gain practical clinical education. During the summer semester, distance students are required to travel to Anchorage for a three- to four-week clinical rotation. This is important to consider when planning for the semester.

University of Alaska Southeast (UAS)

Conversely, the University of Alaska Southeast offers a certificate-level program in Pre-Radiologic Technology Qualifications. It is one of the options available for students pursuing this field of study, including those considering radiology technician schools. This program is specifically designed to prepare students for applying to professional medical imaging programs, including those offered at UAA. Prospective students are required to submit secondary school records, demonstrate competencies, and have completed college-preparatory programs.

The certificate program is accessible through various community locations such as Juneau, Ketchikan, and Sitka, and offers e-Learning online options. The online e-learning platform provides benefits such as reduced travel time and increased flexibility in learning, making it an attractive option for many students.

Becoming a Certified Radiologic Technologist in Alaska

To become a certified radiologic technologist in Alaska, one must:

  1. Complete an accredited program
  2. Comply with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) ethics standards
  3. Accrue clinical experience, which requires completing a specific number of clinical procedures within 24 months before applying for certification.

The certification process entails the critical step of the ARRT certification exam, which gauges an entry-level technologist’s knowledge and enforces stringent ethics requirements for good moral character. While not mandated by the state, Alaska radiologic technologists are encouraged to obtain ARRT certification to improve job prospects and demonstrate professional excellence.

Job Opportunities and Growth for Radiologic Technologists in Alaska

Alaska is currently experiencing a shortage of qualified radiologic technologists, making jobs readily available and salaries highly competitive. The job growth rate for radiologic technologists in Alaska is projected to be a robust 23.3% through 2026, with around forty new positions expected to open annually.

Radiologic technologists in Alaska find employment in various settings including:

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Private doctors’ offices
  • Imaging centers
  • Radiology technologist schools

With ongoing job growth attributed to an ageing population and increasing medical conditions requiring imaging, prospects for radiologic technologists in Alaska remain excellent, as supported by labour statistics.

There are also opportunities for career advancement into managerial or educational roles, as well as specialization in areas like mammography, MRI, CT, interventional radiology, or nuclear medicine technology.

Salaries and Compensation for Radiologic Technologists in Alaska

Radiologic technologists in Alaska receive competitive compensation. The average annual salary stood at $76,850 as of 2019 but saw a considerable increase to $81,940 by 2022.

In Anchorage, one of the primary cities in Alaska, the average annual salary for radiologic technologists was $75,810, reflecting the lucrative opportunities in the field.

Professional Organizations and Networking

Radiologic technologists in Alaska can avail of valuable resources and networking opportunities through professional organizations like the Alaska Society of Radiologic Technologists (AKSRT) and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). The AKSRT provides a Member Perks program including exclusive discounts on professional items like scrubs and x-ray markers, as well as insurance options.

Members can also enjoy additional discounts on travel, restaurants, shopping, and various financial products through the Member Perks program. Moreover, the ARRT and the ASRT Foundation offer the Affiliate Membership Educational Grant program, which provides reimbursements up to $500 for educational and professional development, including continuing education and ARRT certification exams.

Financial Aid and Scholarships for Radiologic Technology Students

Various financial aid and scholarship options are available to students pursuing radiologic technology programs in Alaska. The University of Alaska Southeast provides financial aid and scholarship options for its students, and the AKSRT offers a scholarship for radiologic technology students in Alaska.

To be eligible for the AKSRT Scholarship, students must have completed at least one semester in the UAA Radiology or Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program and maintained a GPA of 3.0 or higher. In addition to scholarships, AKSRT also provides a $500 student grant annually to affiliates who are student members.

Preparing for Your Radiologic Technology Career

Preparation for a radiologic technology career requires a clear understanding of the radiology technicians’ role, which chiefly includes providing diagnostic anatomical images to aid physicians. As a radiology technologist, familiarity with test centre locations and comprehension of exam security measures are vital for comprehensive preparation for the ARRT certification exam.

After completing the ARRT exam, candidates will be notified when to expect their results and the process for retakes if necessary. Furthermore, maintaining ARRT certification necessitates fulfilling continuing education requirements and taking advantage of tuition reimbursement for further studies.

Summary

Alaska offers promising opportunities for aspiring radiologic technologists, with comprehensive programs provided by leading institutions, robust job growth, and competitive salaries. By preparing adequately, adhering to ARRT ethics standards, and taking advantage of the resources offered by professional organizations, you can embark on a fulfilling career in radiologic technology at the Last Frontier.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a rad tech make in Alaska?

The average salary for a Radiologic Technologist in Alaska ranges from $67,301 to $81,601 per year, with an average yearly salary of $77,240. This can vary based on experience and location.

What is the best state to be an X-ray tech in?

According to the ASRT Report in 2022, the best state to be an x-ray tech in is California, with a mean annual wage of $114,123. This is due to the high demand for healthcare services and the competitive salaries.

Is radiology school harder than nursing?

The difficulty of Radiology Tech School compared to Nursing School largely depends on individual strengths, interests, and career aspirations, with Nursing School often being considered more academically rigorous due to its extensive curriculum and higher clinical hour requirements.

Which state pays radiology techs the most?

California pays radiology techs the most with a median annual wage of around $99,680, followed by Hawaii, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Nevada. Hawaii follows with a median annual wage of $88,440, and Massachusetts with $85,800. Consider these states if you’re looking for higher-paying opportunities in this field.

What programs do the University of Alaska Anchorage and the University of Alaska Southeast offer for aspiring radiologic technologists?

The University of Alaska Anchorage offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Radiologic Technology, while the University of Alaska Southeast provides a certificate-level program in Pre-Radiologic Technology Qualifications. Both programs are designed for aspiring radiologic technologists.