Top Radiologic Technology Schools in South Dakota: Your Guide to Pursuing a Career in Radiology

Looking for radiologic technology schools in South Dakota? Find the right program for your ambitions with our detailed guide. We outline what South Dakota’s accredited institutions offer, how they prepare you for a radiologic technology career, and the added perks of studying in this state. Gear up for a quick journey through the essentials of radiologic technology education at South Dakota’s recognized schools.

Key Takeaways

  • South Dakota is home to several respected radiologic technology programs, boasting a theoretical and practical curriculum with certification and licensure preparation, including programs at Avera McKennan School, Mitchell Technical Institute, and Mount Marty University.
  • Students in South Dakota benefit from a lower cost of living and promising job prospects in the field of radiologic technology, with a higher-than-average location quotient for employment in this occupation.
  • Prospective radiographers in South Dakota must obtain ARRT certification or meet state-specific requirements, like limited-scope X-ray technicians, with various financial aid and scholarship options available to support students in radiologic technology programs.

Exploring Radiologic Technology Programs in South Dakota

Radiologic technology programs in South Dakota

South Dakota hosts a number of respected radiologic technology programs that aim to provide students with the necessary skills to thrive in this field. The programs focus on a mix of theoretical and practical learning, offering a comprehensive understanding of the field. Three institutions stand out in the state for their exceptional radiologic technology programs: Avera McKennan School of Radiologic Technology, Mitchell Technical Institute, and Mount Marty University.

Avera McKennan School of Radiologic Technology

Established in 1947, Avera McKennan School of Radiologic Technology in South Dakota offers a 24-month program that commences classes annually the day after Labor Day. This program, designed to accept up to twelve students each year, is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) for an 8-year duration and is in partnership with South Dakota State University (SDSU).

Students at the Avera McKennan School are exposed to a curriculum that combines lectures, demonstrations, and guided practice. Training encompasses various aspects of radiography, including general diagnostic radiography, trauma, fluoroscopy, and surgery. Additionally, students get the opportunity to explore specialized areas such as radiation therapy, ultrasound, PET CT, and nuclear medicine during limited rotations.

Along with theoretical knowledge, students also gain practical experience at healthcare facilities like Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center, Avera Medical Group McGreevy, Sanford Medical Center, and Veterans Administration Medical Center during their clinical rotations. The school prepares students to meet the necessary certification and licensure requirements for employment across all applicable states.

Mitchell Technical Institute

Mitchell Technical Institute offers an associate’s degree in Radiologic Technology, specifically an Associate of Applied Science degree, which students typically complete in about two years. The program requires students to maintain a grade of ‘C’ or higher, with foundational courses in the first two semesters including Intro to Clinical Radiology, Medical Terminology, and Radiographic Pathology.

The program merges academic coursework with hands-on clinical rotations across the Mitchell, Watertown, and Grand Rapids areas to foster practical skills among the students. Prospective applicants are also required to job-shadow in a radiologic technology department and submit an essay as part of the admission process, proving a comprehensive understanding of the field.

Mount Marty University

Mount Marty University offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Radiologic Technology, a degree program that is part of the Natural Sciences department. This program is designed to prepare students for further education in Radiologic Technology schools, providing a strong foundation in sciences.

The curriculum for Radiologic Technology at Mount Marty University includes:

  • Strong emphasis on scientific fundamentals and skills
  • High standard of education
  • Preparation for successful careers in radiologic technology
  • Opportunity to continue education in the field

This curriculum ensures that students are well-prepared and equipped for their future in radiologic technology, with a strong foundation in radiologic science through relevant science courses.

Benefits of Studying Radiologic Technology in South Dakota

Benefits of studying radiologic technology in South Dakota

South Dakota is an ideal location to study radiologic technology, not just because of its premier educational institutions. The state also offers significant benefits that make it an attractive destination for students.

The low cost of living, coupled with strong job growth in the field, accentuates the appeal of South Dakota as a hub for radiologic technology education.

Low Cost of Living

One of the key benefits of studying in South Dakota is the state’s affordable living environment. Major cities in South Dakota have a cost of living that is lower compared to the national average. Sioux Falls, a key city for students, has a cost of living 2% lower than the state average and 10% lower than the national average. Even in Pierre, the state capital, and Rapid City, living costs are still below the national average.

This low cost of living makes South Dakota an affordable option for students pursuing radiologic technology.

Job Opportunities and Growth

South Dakota boasts a high location quotient for Radiologic Technologists and Technicians, indicating that the state has a higher share of employment in this occupation compared to the national average. The employment per thousand jobs for Radiologic Technologists and Technicians in South Dakota is 2.29, above the national average, suggesting strong job opportunities in the state.

Particularly in Sioux Falls, SD, one of the highest concentrations of jobs for radiologic technologists is found, with an employment location quotient of 2.13. These indicators show that South Dakota offers promising career prospects for radiologic technologists.

Certification and Licensing Requirements in South Dakota

Becoming a registered radiographer in South Dakota involves completing an accredited radiologic technology program, earning an academic degree, and passing a national certification examination. In South Dakota, radiologic technologists are required to have ARRT certification or licensure in another state.

However, there is an exception for limited-scope X-ray technicians, which we will discuss in the following subsections.

ARRT Certification

ARRT certification is a requisite for radiologic technologists in South Dakota as it acts as a testament to their proficiency in the field. Earning this certification involves fulfilling specific education and ethics requirements and passing the ARRT national certification examination.

Graduates of Radiologic Technology programs, such as those from Mitchell Technical Institute, are eligible to sit for this certification exam and become a radiologic technologist.

Limited-Scope X-Ray Technicians

Limited-scope X-ray technicians are an exception in the South Dakota licensing requirements. These professionals can practice with just the completion of an accredited course rather than full ARRT certification. Their training encompasses classroom instruction and clinical practice, aimed at proficiently performing certain diagnostic imaging procedures.

Allied Health Education Programs in South Dakota

Allied health education programs in South Dakota

In addition to radiologic technology programs, South Dakota also offers educational programs in allied health fields like radiation therapy and nuclear medicine. These programs open up diverse career options for students, allowing them to explore various facets of healthcare.

Radiation Therapy

While radiation therapy is a significant component of allied health education, further research is necessary to ascertain the availability of radiation therapy programs in South Dakota. As this field continues to evolve, it’s crucial to stay updated with the educational opportunities available.

Nuclear Medicine

Southeast Technical Institute stands out as it offers a Nuclear Medicine Technology program that is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT). This program awards an Associate of Applied Science degree upon completion, and students must complete between 102 to 104 credits, including courses in:

  • Applied physics
  • Chemistry
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Patient care
  • Health care relations
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Humanities (3-credit class)

The program also includes clinical internships at affiliated hospital and radiology department, where students learn to measure, prepare, administer, and dispose of radioactive materials for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures as part of their radiology programs.

Salary and Employment Outlook for Radiologic Technologists in South Dakota

Salary and employment outlook for radiologic technologists in South Dakota

With a projected growth of 13.4% from 2020 to 2030, the field of radiologic technology in South Dakota offers a hopeful employment outlook for budding radiologic technologists.

Furthermore, as of May 2022, the average annual salary for radiologic technologists in the state was $58,900.

Average Salary

Despite the slightly lower average salary for radiologic technologists in South Dakota compared to the national average, the state’s lower cost of living should be taken into account. When adjusted for the cost of living, the average salary in South Dakota might be more comparable to the national average.

Job Outlook

Graduates with a radiologic technology degree in South Dakota can find opportunities as radiologic technologists or MRI technologists. This diversity of roles allows graduates to find a position that suits their skills and interests, making South Dakota a promising place to kickstart a career in radiologic technology.

Financial Aid and Scholarships for Radiologic Technology Students

Financial aid and scholarships for radiologic technology students in South Dakota

The cost of education can often be a barrier for many students. However, in South Dakota, various forms of financial aid and scholarships are available for radiologic technology students. These include:

  • Federal grants
  • Loans
  • Work-study options
  • State-funded scholarships

These options can significantly reduce the financial burden of education.

Financial Aid

Students seeking financial aid are advised to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application is a crucial step in determining eligibility for federal student aid programs. However, it’s important to note that the priority deadlines for FAFSA submission may vary among South Dakota colleges, so students should check with their specific institution.

South Dakota also offers other financial aid opportunities. For instance, the Western Undergraduate Exchange Program can offer reduced tuition fees for students in western states, including South Dakota. The Reduced Tuition for South Dakota National Guard members program offers 50% tuition assistance, which could be a significant aid for students pursuing radiologic technology.

Scholarships

Radiologic technology students in South Dakota can seek educational and professional growth grants through the ASRT Foundation. Another notable scholarship is the Robin Berke Memorial Life Member Scholarship, which is available to active radiologic technology students in South Dakota who are also members of the South Dakota Society of Radiologic Technologists.

In addition, the following scholarships are available for radiologic technology students in South Dakota:

  • The Herman Lerdal Scholarship offered by the South Dakota Bankers Foundation
  • The David S. Birkeland Scholarship offered by the South Dakota Bankers Foundation
  • The SDRA Jerry Wheeler Scholarship offered by the South Dakota Retailers Association

These scholarships provide financial assistance that may benefit radiologic technology students.

Furthermore, the Deb Gates Scholarship awards $1,500 through the South Dakota Bankers Foundation, which could be a significant financial resource for radiologic technology students.

Summary

South Dakota offers excellent opportunities for students aspiring to become radiologic technologists. With diverse educational programs, a low cost of living, strong job growth, and a multitude of financial aid options, the state provides an ideal environment for students to pursue a career in radiologic technology. So why wait? Start your journey in South Dakota and make a significant impact in the healthcare industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does South Dakota State University have a radiology program?

Yes, South Dakota State University offers a radiology program in partnership with Avera McKennan School of Radiologic Technology, where students can earn an Associates or Bachelor degree of General Studies with a focus in Radiologic Technology.

How much does a rad tech make in South Dakota?

A Radiologic Technologist in South Dakota earns an average yearly salary of $59,280, with wages typically ranging from $37,620 to $74,660. So, the average salary for a Radiology Technologist in South Dakota is around $59,280 annually.

Does University of South Dakota have a radiology program?

Yes, the University of South Dakota offers the opportunity to earn an Associates or Bachelor degree of General Studies with a focus in Radiologic Technology (source: https://www.sdstate.edu/).

What are the certification and licensing requirements for radiologic technologists in South Dakota?

To work as a radiologic technologist in South Dakota, you need to have ARRT certification or licensure from another state.

What are the financial aid options for radiologic technology students in South Dakota?

Radiologic technology students in South Dakota have access to federal grants, loans, work-study options, and state-funded scholarships for financial aid. These options provide diverse support for students pursuing their education in this field.