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Radiologic Technologist Salary

Radiology technicians use equipment to take diagnostic images of the human body using X-ray machines and CT scanners. They are responsible for prepping the patient and taking images the Radiologist (MD) needs. They may also maintain the equipment, keep patient records, and evaluate the images along with physicians and surgeons.

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According to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, in order to potentially qualify for a position as a radiological technician you may need to earn an associate degree from an accredited college or university prior to being licensed. You may also be required to learn about biology, chemistry, anatomy, and physiology during the course of earning your degree however, according to the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, the major of the degree is irrelevant.

Radiologic Technologist Salary At A Glance

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, salaries for radiologic technologists may fluctuate depending on geographic area, level of experience and employer type. Reasons for this salary range can include the growing need for diagnostic imaging as a means of preventative medicine and the current education required for employment. Check out the chart below to see potential salary ranges:

Source: 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Factors that Affect Radiologic Technologist Salaries

  • Level of education and training received
  • Type of medical facility (hospital, diagnostic image lab, physician office)
  • Geographic location (urban / dense versus rural)

According to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, most states require radiologic technicians to earn a license in order to practice, and, according to the BLS, many states use the ARRT certification exam for licensure. Earning the license can include taking and passing the ARRT exam which requires completion of at least an associate degree, or additional steps which vary by state. Some states may restrict which machines can be used by a technician before or without licensure.

FAQ for Radiology & Medical Imaging Workers

Radiologic technicians have many avenues to expand their earnings.  In addition to gaining experience, there is always the option to obtain additional earnings by enrolling in a radiology certificate program, or earning a radiology bachelor's degree. For those who are on the path to become a doctor, you can also read about steps to take towards becoming a Radiologist M.D. For those who don't want to attend school for such a long tenure, becoming a Radiologist Assistant (R.A.)can be a prudent option due to its higher than median salaries and possible rewarding nature of a career in medical imaging sciences.

What If I'm just getting started in medical imaging?

For those just getting started, there are a number of options. For those looking to maximize their starting salary, becoming certified after completing your program could improve your initial salary offer and the process takes relatively little time upon graduating from a radiologic or ultrasound program.

The BLS recommends that you start by becoming a certified medical imaging professional in one of the major medical imaging professions. Becoming a certified professional can be a reality with as little as a one or two year program at radiology technician schools, ultrasound technician schools, or cardiovascular technologist schools.

I'm not sure medical imaging is right for me. Can I get my "feet wet" with any health care programs or jobs to be sure this is for me?

If you want to ease into the health care arena slowly, but not completely sure about a career in medical imaging, we recommend looking at Medical Assistant Schools, EKG Technician Schools, or Phlebotomy Schools. Your future in healthcare starts with taking the first step and finding a school near you. For those who are unable to attend regular campus courses, there are many online health care programs to choose from as well that let you work towards your future goals from home and work around your current work schedule. Sometime making the sacrifice is the key determinant in successfully making a career transition.

Radiology and Medical Imaging Specializations 

The specialization you choose can have an effect on your compensation as well. The following data was taken from the BLS and offers a comparison between various radiological technician careers and health care careers of similar education and training. You can learn more about specific areas of specialization in radiology, visit our radiology specializations page.

CareerBottom 10% Annual WageAnnual Median WageTop 10% Annual Wage
Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians$28,650$55,570$89,450
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers$48,660$69,650$99,100
Nuclear Medicine Technologists$53,440$74,350$101,850
Radiologic Technologists$38,660$57,450$82,590
Source: 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Growth for Radiology Technicians

Employment outlooks for states and cities may vary. Nationally, growth in the field is projected to be the result of an increasingly elderly society, who incur breaks and fractures at a higher rate than younger populations, and recent federal legislation which increases the number of patients who have access to healthcare. The role of diagnostic imaging in preventative medicine may also contribute to the growth of this profession over the next decade.

CareerTotal EmploymentProjected Number of New JobsProjected Job Growth Rate
Radiologic Technologists200,65025,20012.3
Source: 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Compare Salary Information by State

Below you'll find a more detailed look at average base salaries for radiologic technologists by state. We've also included salary information for ultrasound technicians and medical assistants. The salary range may be different in your local community and will depend on the size of the hospital or clinic.

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Compare Total Employment & Salaries for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

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Often times radiology college career centers can help you find the highest paying jobs in your area. A recent Salary.com survey found that nearly 80% of Radiologic Technologist jobs are filled by individuals with an associate degree. In only two years you can make a great living in a very rewarding career. For those looking to move into clinic management you should consider earning your Bachelors degree. Currently almost 17% of working technologists have a Bachelor’s degree.


Sources:

  1. Radiologic and MRI Technologists, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Radiologic-technologists.htm#tab-1
  2. American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, https://www.arrt.org/Certification

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