2022 Guide to JRCERT-Accredited Radiology Programs
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in radiology, earning an accredited degree will set you up for a successful future. While participating in a JRCERT-accredited radiology program, you will learn how to perform diagnostic procedures so that you can work closely with other healthcare professionals and patients seeking radiation treatment, X-rays, CAT scans, and other imaging procedures.
If you’re interested in this path, there are many ways to earn a radiology degree, including online. However, not all programs are created equal. To ensure the best educational experience, it’s important to look into JRCERT-accredited programs that meet certain academic standards. Doing so will give you the experience you need to pursue a fulfilling radiology career.
What Is JRCERT-Accredited Radiology?
JRCERT stands for Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. Its mission is to promote excellence in education and elevate the safety and quality of patient care by accrediting educational programs. Programs accredited by JRCERT include radiography, radiation therapy, magnetic resonance, and medical dosimetry.
Today, this committee remains the only organization recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) for the radiology-related programs listed above and continues to be seen as the “gold standard” of accreditation for educational programs in the radiologic sciences. Currently, over 700 educational programs are accredited by JRCERT.
To qualify for accreditation, a radiology program must meet six standards related to the following:
- Accountability, Fair Practices, and Public Information
- Institutional Commitment and Resources
- Faculty and Staff
- Curriculum and Academic Practices
- Health and Safety
- Programmatic Effectiveness and Assessment: Using Data for Sustained Improvement
What Is an Online JRCERT-Accredited Radiology Program?
It is important to note that online radiology programs, particularly those that are JRCERT-accredited, provide the same quality of education compared to a traditional in-person program.
Program requirements vary from one online JRCERT-accredited radiology program to the next.
To complete a JRCERT-accredited program, you will need to take courses in various subjects, many of which will be specific to radiology. However, you may also need to take biology, psychology, and math courses — for example, Anatomy and Physiology, Introduction to Psychology, and Introduction to Statistics.
Once all required courses are complete, graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification examination administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Radiology-specific courses may include Radiologic Technology, Radiologic Science, CT Imaging, Radiation Physics, and Radiology Clinical Experience.
Once you complete an online JRCERT-accredited radiology program, you will have many options concerning career opportunities. You may have the option to work in an imaging center, hospital, private medical office, educational institute, clinical research lab, etc.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for the healthcare industry is expected to grow by 14% between 2018 and 2028, projecting 9% job growth for radiologists. There will be approximately 20,800 openings for radiologic and MRI technologists each year. Employment opportunities will depend on the industry. For example, the highest number of radiologic technologists are employed in general medical and surgical hospitals, followed by physicians’ offices, and then diagnostic labs.
Depending on your area of interest and educational background, several options range from a diagnostic medical sonographer to a cardiovascular technologist.
What Are the Benefits of a JRCERT-Accredited Radiology Program?
There is no shortage of benefits when participating in JRCERT-accredited programs.
Quality of Education
Many of the top schools in the country offer online programs, including JRCERT-accredited radiology programs. These programs are far from online diploma mills — a term used to describe an organization that awards degrees and diplomas without approval by educational accrediting bodies, such as JRCERT. Again, that is why it’s so important to seek education from an accredited program. You can feel confident knowing your chosen program will set you up for success.
Unlike in-person programs, many online programs allow you to take classes when you have time. Some programs offer live classes during flexible times, including on weekends or during the late evening. This schedule is ideal for students with other commitments, such as a family or a job that will fund their education. An online JRCERT-accredited radiology program allows you to get your education regardless of your current schedule.
Range of Options
Since there are several paths you can take with a background in radiology, you’ll appreciate the spectrum of JRCERT-accredited radiology programs available. You can often take a stand-alone course or class to fulfill a graduation requirement. Alternatively, you can focus on a more specialized program, one that will allow you to get your Ph.D. For example, you may specialize in mammography, nuclear medicine technology, or bone densitometry.
There are integrated options when seeking a JRCERT-accredited program to pursue a career in radiology. These programs are ideal if you want to participate in a program that incorporates both online and in-person components. For example, you may require the flexibility of online learning but also want to participate in real-world imaging opportunities. This hybrid approach and the opportunities presented will depend on the program.
- A wide range of specializations are available
- Program length depends on the degree level
- Online, in-person, and integrated options are available
- Online radiology programs offer a high degree of flexibility
- Radiology is a high-demand profession
- Many types of radiology programs are JRCERT-accredited
- Program costs are highly variable
- Prospective students should consider associated fees, not just tuition
- For some students online programs provide cost savings