Radiologic Technology

Associate of Applied Science Degree in Radiologic Technology

One of the biggest indicators of success in the medical field today is having specialized, industry-specific training — like X-ray or medical imaging — that makes you a valuable and marketable member of the healthcare team. The Associate of Applied Science degree in Radiologic Technology from Northwestern College in Chicago is a competitive program committed to professionalism, patient care, safety, and treating our patients with empathy and compassion.

Radiologic Technology: What It Is and What They Do

Radiologic technology is the practice of using radiation — generally in the form of X-rays — to provide images of the bones, organs, soft tissue, and vessels of the human body in order to help diagnose and assess patients’ conditions. Radiologic technologists are also sometimes known as X-ray technologists or radiographers and are trained to do tasks like:

  • Adjusting, operating, and maintaining imaging equipment
  • Analyzing and following physicians’ orders on what areas of the body need to be imaged
  • Preparing patients for imaging procedures, including taking medical histories and shielding exposed areas
  • Positioning patients in order to get the correct images
  • Working with physicians and other medical team members to evaluate images and see if any other images are needed
  • Filling out and maintaining patient records

While most of the time we think of radiologic technologists as just being synonymous with X-rays, the truth is many times they’re trained in the use of multiple types of diagnostic equipment, including mammograms and computed tomography (CT) machines. Depending on the size of the healthcare facility where the radiologic technologist works, you may often specialize in one type of machine or another.

Radiologic Technology Education and Certification

People who thrive in the radiologic technology profession are often detail-oriented, good at working with technology and complex machinery while also comfortable with closely interacting with patients. States like Illinois require radiologic technologists to have gone through a focused, quality education through a program like Northwestern College’s Radiologic Technology degree. Our students learn in an interactive environment that’s designed to emulate the working world As such, they receive training on the same equipment currently in use in top medical facilities. Throughout your education, you will focus your studies on performing diagnostic imaging exams, learning how to take x-rays, and working as a liaison between patients and their physicians. The result is graduates who stand out in the healthcare community and are poised to meet the unique healthcare needs of the Chicago community. Students are qualified to sit for appropriate licensing exams, like the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) exam. And after acquiring your radiologic technology degree, you can often build off your education by training for additional imaging areas like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), radiation therapy, nuclear medicine, medical sonography, and more.

Radiologic Technology Classes at Northwestern College

The Associate of Applied Science in Radiologic Technology degree from Northwestern College has been designed with both our students and the needs of healthcare employers in mind. We’ve honed our curriculum to cover the most vital skills, like positioning, practicing radiation safety, evaluating radiographic images, using effective oral and written communication skills, selecting radiographic technical factors, performing non-routine radiographic procedures, and demonstrating behavior that advance professional growth and development.

Students must complete at least 108 credit hours in order to earn an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Radiologic technology. Classes in this program include:

  • Fundamentals of Radiography
  • Radiographic Exposure I, II and III
  • Patient Care in Radiography 
  • Radiation Protection
  • Radiography Patient Care Activities
  • Image Systems I 
  • Radiographic Procedures I, II, III, IV and V with Lab
  • Clinicals I, II, III, IV, V and VI
  • Radiation Physics I and II
  • Radiographic Pathology 
  • Radiation Biology
  • Digital Imaging Critique & Technical Evaluation 
  • Registry Review 
  • Medical Terminology in Medical Imaging 
  • Medical Law and Ethics for Radiographers
  • Anatomy & Physiology I and II with Lab 

As a degree program, the radiologic technology courses also include general education studies like:

  • Communications
  • Life Skills 
  • Math 
  • Social Sciences

For the full curriculum, visit our College Catalog.


The Outlook for Radiologic Technology Jobs

Given the fact that the baby boom population is getting older and that there is predicted to be a corresponding increase in medical conditions like cancer and dementia that will require imaging diagnostics, it’s no surprise that the outlook for radiologic technology careers is bright. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment in this field to grow 7% — almost double the rate of all occupations — through 2029 to meet this demand. A lot of these jobs will likely be in state, local, and private hospitals, who employed 60% of all radiologic technologists in 2019, with physicians’ offices and specialized facilities like outpatient care centers and medical laboratories also driving employment growth.

Student Handbooks and Program Effectiveness

Program Student Handbooks

Student Handbook Part 1 General Information-2020-2021

Student Handbook Part 2 Clinical Education-2020-2021

Program Effectiveness Data

Program Mission Statement

The Radiography Program at Northwestern College is committed to excellence in radiologic technology education and its administration. Consistent with the mission of Northwestern College, the program “educates, prepares, and empowers its diverse student body to pursue their professional goals.” The purpose of the program is to graduate competent and caring entry–level radiographers to meet the health care needs of our community.

Program Goals

Consistent with its mission statement, the goals of the program are that graduates/students will:

  1. Be clinically competent entry-level radiographers.
  2. Communicate effectively.
  3. Use critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  4. Evidence the importance of professional responsibility, development and lifelong learning.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply positioning skills, practice radiation safety, and evaluate radiographic images as clinically competent entry level radiographers.
  2. Use of effective oral communication skills and practice effective writing skills, in both the laboratory and classroom setting.
  3. Select radiographic technical factors and perform non-routine radiographic procedures using critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  4. Demonstrate professional behavior and prepare for initial employment and career advancement evidencing the importance of professional growth and development.

Accreditations and Approvals

Northwestern College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, 230 S. LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604, (312) 263-0456,

Our Radiologic Technology Associate in Applied Science Degree is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT), 20 North Wacker Drive, Suite 2850, Chicago, Illinois 60606-3182, phone 312-704-5300, [email protected] and

In 2018 the maximum Accreditation status of eight years was awarded by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.

We are also approved for veterans training under the G.I.® Bill for Veterans Educational Assistance. 

On top of that, we are proud to support our students with things like financial aid assistance and job search assistance. 


Discover Chicago Radiologic Technology Programs Today

Specialized training, comprehensive support, and a future you can look forward to—all of it is possible, and all of it is much closer than you realize. Take the first step in your radiologic technology training by contacting administrative team at Northwestern College today. We’ll walk you through the program requirements and expectations, introducing you to the field of radiology and all it has to offer.