Radiology Technologist Schools and Careers in Illinois
The colleges and universities in Illinois offer a broad array of programs in radiologic technology, including options for pursuing specialized practice areas such as vascular interventional radiography (VI), sonography, and computed tomography (CT). This overview of radiologic technologist and technician schools in Illinois will help you make the right decision on where to attend school. As an alternative to traditional on-campus courses, you can also consider online schools, which some students find to be a better match to their scheduling needs. Learn about the difference between radiology technologists and radiology technicians. Read more about radiologic technologist and technician schools in Illinois with our table of rad tech programs, student reviews, profiles of available programs, and more below.
- There are 37 not-for-profit colleges and universities with radiologic technology degree programs in Illinois.1
- 17 schools offer a certificate program in radiologic science.1
- 27 schools offer an associate’s degree in radiologic science.1
- 10 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in radiologic science.1
- 2 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in radiologic science.1
- 24 schools have medical imaging programs accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).2
- 7 schools have medical imaging programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).3
- 1 school has medical imaging programs accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT).4
Table of Contents
- Illinois Medical Imaging Schools Comparison
- Select Schools in Illinois with RT Programs
- How to Become an RT in Illinois
- Illinois RT Salary and Job Outlook
- Illinois RT Career Interviews
- Student Reviews
Illinois Medical Imaging Schools Comparison
We have designed the following table to allow you to easily compare the not-for-profit radiologic technology and medical imaging programs in Illinois on a variety of factors. You should check with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) to ensure that the program you are considering will meet licensure requirements.
|School Name||Associate’s Imaging Program||Bachelor’s Imaging Program||Graduate Imaging Program||National Accreditation||Completion Rate2||Credential Exam Pass Rate2||Job Placement Rate2||Net Price1|
|Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing & Health Sciences||—||Yes||—||JRCERT||—||—||—||N.Av.|
|Carl Sandburg College||Yes||—||—||—||—||—||—||$3,094|
|City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College||Yes||—||—||JRCERT||81%||87%||100%||$4,440|
|College of DuPage||Yes||—||—||JRCERT, CAAHEP, JRCNMT||89%||96%||100%||$5,184|
|College of Lake County||Yes||—||—||JRCERT||84%||93%||100%||$5,169|
|Danville Area Community College||Yes||—||—||JRCERT||100%||89%||100%||$5,122|
|Elgin Community College||Yes||—||—||JRCERT||85%||100%||100%||$3,968|
|Harper College||Yes||—||—||JRCERT, CAAHEP||85%||93%||100%||$8,065|
|Heartland Community College||Yes||—||—||JRCERT||90%||95%||100%||$11,542|
|Illinois Central College||Yes||—||—||JRCERT||100%||97%||100%||$11,559|
|John A Logan College||Yes||—||—||CAAHEP||—||—||—||$6,826|
|John Wood Community College||Yes||—||—||—||—||—||—||$6,557|
|Joliet Junior College||Yes||—||—||CAAHEP||—||—||—||$4,440|
|Kankakee Community College||Yes||—||—||—||—||—||—||$7,574|
|Lincoln Land Community College||Yes||—||—||JRCERT||86%||98%||100%||$4,265|
|Moraine Valley Community College||Yes||—||—||JRCERT||86%||83%||92%||$1,711|
|National University of Health Sciences||—||—||Yes||—||—||—||—||N.Av.|
|North Central College||—||Yes||—||—||—||—||—||$25,285|
|Oak Point University||—||Yes||—||JRCERT||100%||96%||100%||N.Av.|
|Olney Central College||Yes||—||—||JRCERT||100%||89%||98%||$4,687|
|Rend Lake College||Yes||—||—||JRCERT||65%||89%||98%||$9,909|
|Richland Community College||Yes||—||—||JRCERT||90%||94%||100%||$4,790|
|Sauk Valley Community College||Yes||—||—||JRCERT||83%||96%||99%||$10,166|
|South Suburban College||Yes||—||—||—||—||—||—||$4,289|
|Southern Illinois University-Carbondale||Yes||Yes||Yes||JRCERT, CAAHEP||71%||99%||100%||$16,990|
|Southwestern Illinois College||Yes||—||—||JRCERT||89%||94%||100%||$6,768|
|Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences||Yes||—||—||JRCERT||65%||75%||89%||N.Av.|
|Triton College||Yes||—||—||JRCERT, CAAHEP||90%||84%||100%||$5,936|
|University of St Francis||—||Yes||—||JRCERT||91%||83%||100%||$18,560|
- — indicates none.
- N.Av. indicates no data available.
Select Schools in Illinois with Radiology Technologist Degree Programs
The College of DuPage (COD) offers a two-year radiography program. To achieve the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Diagnostic Medical Imaging Radiography (DMIR) degree, students are required to earn 70-72 credit hours. These courses provide a complete scholastic and clinical education for a career in radiography. Beginning with the summer semester, the program takes approximately 24 months to complete. Graduates may earn a national certification after successfully passing a national certification exam such as those offered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). The radiography program has a limited enrollment of approximately 50 students per year and an early admission deadline in the spring. Typically, at least 80% of students admitted each year reside in COD’s service district, with admissions based on a competitive ranking system. The college also offers advanced certificates in Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Mammography, and Radiation Therapy.
Danville Area Community College (DACC) offers a radiology program leading to an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Radiologic Technology. The career-based curriculum includes courses such as Anatomy and Physiology, Atypical Radiologic Procedures, Radiographic Pathology, and Special Topics in Radiologic Technology. During the course of study, students also learn about patient positioning and care, radiation safety and exposure, and digital imaging. Learning takes place both in the classroom and during clinical education that is supervised by licensed technologists working at medical facilities affiliated with the college. Graduates of the program are prepared to begin entry-level work as radiologic technologists or enter advanced training for post-primary imaging such as CT. DACC’s radiologic technology program is accredited by the Joint Review Commission on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) and program graduates are eligible to take the ARRT exam. DACC also offers certificates in Echocardiography and Sonography.
Sauk Valley Community College (SVCC) offers an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Radiologic Technology that is accredited by JRCERT. The 21-month program requires 69.5 credit hours to complete, of which 53 credit hours are in the radiologic technology major. Program admission is competitive and the priority deadline for applying to the program is March 1 for entry in the following fall semester. An average of 24 to 26 students are admitted to each cohort. SVCC also offers a Computed Tomography (CT) certificate program for those who have graduated from an accredited radiography or nuclear medicine program. SVCC also has a cooperative agreement with the College of DuPage for Sonography degree and certificate options.
South Suburban College’s (SSC) Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Radiologic Technology program requires students to complete 72 credit hours of prerequisite and program requirements. Students generally earn their degree in seven semesters, with one of the two summer semesters dedicated to clinical rotation. Successful applicants begin their studies in the summer and must complete all prerequisite courses prior to starting the program. Students will spend their first summer and fall semesters focusing exclusively on program coursework before beginning their clinical rotations at a local affiliated hospital or medical facility. Program coursework covers topics including radiographic fundamentals, radiographic procedures, radiobiology, and radiographic pathology.
Graduates of Southwestern Illinois College’s (SWIC) Associate of Science (AS) in Radiologic Technology program will be eligible to sit for the ARRT certification exam and to begin working in entry-level radiologic technologist positions. The program generally takes two years to complete with students enrolled full-time and year-round. Successful applicants begin the program during the summer, completing their coursework during the day at the Belleville campus. Clinical rotations take place at local hospitals and medical facilities with students working between 15 and 20 hours each week during the fall and spring semesters. Students must work at a clinical rotation each summer for 30 hours a week. Applications must be submitted between September 1 and December 1 of each year.
How to Become a Radiology Technologist in Illinois
All radiology technologists and technicians must be accredited (i.e., licensed) by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) to be eligible to work in the state. IEMA offers accreditation options in Radiography; Nuclear Medicine Technology; Radiation Therapy Technology; Chiropractic Radiology; Limited Radiography; Radiologist Assistant; and Nuclear Medicine Advanced Associate. In general, the process to accreditation in Illinois involves:
- Complete an accredited program in your selected modality. The IEMA does not provide approval guidelines for accredited programs; however, candidates must pass an approved exam, which generally requires completion of a program accredited by the ARRT or Nuclear Medicine Technology Board (NMTCB) (see below).
- Pass a qualifying professional exam. Prospective radiologic technologists in Illinois must pass the ARRT exam for their modality, if available. If looking to become certified in another modality the corresponding national exam is required, such as the NMTCB exam for nuclear medicine technologists and nuclear medicine advanced associates.
- Submit an application. The IEMA provides an application form for each modality and instructions on its website.
- Receive your license. Processing times vary, but the IEMA will notify you once your accreditation has been issued.
- Apply for ARRT certification, if desired. The ARRT’s voluntary national certification is different from the licensure process and can add a valuable credential to your qualifications. Read more about national certification.
- Complete continuing education. Accredited radiologic technologists must complete continuing education. Typically, ARRT members can meet this obligation by meeting the ARRT’s ongoing continuing education requirements.
The IEMA also offers a license in Limited Radiography (LR) for limited scope x-ray technicians, who may operate x-ray equipment provided a licensed medical professional approved by the IEMA is in the same room as the technician when images are being taken. Prospective technicians should have completed an accredited certificate or diploma in x-ray technology, and must first apply to the IEMA for permission to take the ARRT Limited Scope of Practice in Radiography exam. Once the exam is passed, prospective LRs may apply for a license.
Illinois Radiology Tech Salary and Job Outlook
Projected Job Growth
Radiology Techs in Illinois from 2020-20305
Estimates predict a job growth rate for radiologic technologists in Illinois of about 4.5% between 2020 and 2030, compared to projections for 8.6% growth nationally.5 However, an average of 670 annual job openings for radiologic technologists are expected in the state during this timeframe when including replacement positions.5 The Chicago-Naperville-Elgin metropolitan area is home to one of the highest concentrations of employed radiologic technologists in the US, with 5,500 rad techs reported working in this area as of 2022.6 This is behind only the New York City metro area (which reported 12,620) and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metro area (which reported 6,400).6 Although the BLS does not track occupational data for x-ray technicians, technicians typically earn less than RTs due to the lower educational requirements and work responsibilities. Radiologic technologists and technicians typically find work in hospitals, doctors’ offices, medical facilities, and imaging clinics. Companies that hire radiologic techs in Illinois include McDonough District Hospital, Advocate Health Care, Hospital Sisters Health System, Northwest Memorial Hospital, the University of Chicago Medical Center, and Rush University Medical Center.
Illinois Radiologic Technologist Salary by Metro Area
|City||Number Employed6||Average Annual Salary6|
|Davenport-Moline-Rock Island IA-IL||270||$55,580|
Illinois Radiologic Technologist Career Interview
- Mary Messengill, Past Secretary, Illinois State Society of Radiologic Technologists
College of Lake County
19351 W Washington St
Grayslake, IL 60030
Student Review: “The Medical Imaging program at the College of Lake County was a specialized degree program that very obviously had a lot of time and money dedicated to the learning equipment, faculty, and curriculum. I felt like I was in a very professional environment and had confidence that my instructors were beyond knowledgeable and experienced in the trade. We had specific courses that addressed a lot of the nuances of the profession that aren’t obvious to the patient or public eye; patient care was heavily emphasized and even the basics of billing insurance were addressed. I appreciated that the primary focus was equally distributed between the science behind x-ray technology and patient care, it made me more respectful of why we have certain procedures and rules no matter what environment you’re working in, hospital or clinic. The few things I would improve on would be accessibility. Entrance to the program was very competitive and limited, and I feel as though there were a lot of students who dropped out over the few years and were never replaced. Overall, I had a wonderful experience that gave me the confidence to be a compassionate and able radiographer.” -Student at College of Lake County
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology Program Effectiveness Data: https://www.jrcert.org/program-effectiveness-data/
3. Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs: https://www.caahep.org/students/find-an-accredited-program
4. Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology: https://www.jrcnmt.org/programs/
5. Projections Central Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm
6. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, Radiologic Technologists and Technicians: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292034.htm
7. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcma.htm