Where can you find a career that pays somewhere in a range between $41,000 per year up to $440,000 per year? The short answer is Radiography. The field of radiography offers continuous expansion from a Medical Assistant with Limited Scope X-Ray Tech all the way up to Radiologist M.D. While the above high end salary seems excessively high for most professions in the United States, it would only be fair to point out that this salary in the 200K to 400K per year range is usually reserved for individuals who have an M.D. by their name. However, for those of us who are not willing or able to invest the amount of time necessary to becoming an M.D., there are still opportunities in radiography that will pay you in the 100K range annually. This position is known as a Radiologist Assistant, or R.A. for short. Below, I will get you more acquainted with various roles that fall under the broad category of medical imaging with a specific emphasis on the salary for radiography.
For individuals just out of a radiography program, you can expect to earn an average of $41,612 nationally according to the American Medical Association. When you are reading about salary from a national source, you’ve got to remember that there is often a wide variance in the actual salaries that make up that average. This can be accounted for by the differences in pay for radiographers, depending on their geographic region. Those seeking jobs in urban, metropolitan markets can expect to get paid higher, while those in rural settings or less stimulated economic regions can expect to be paid at the lower end of the scale. At first glance, this could be alarming to those of you who live in depressed economic regions; however, it is important to remember that the cost of living in these areas is usually significantly lower. You must also remember that with no experience under your belt, you should not expect higher than average compensation; however, there are always exceptions to the rule.
Radiologist Assistants (R.A.) get paid significantly higher because their level of experience and education warrants it. Radiologist Assistants must complete a Master’s Degree and pass a special test administered by the ARRT in order to obtain the official title of R.A. If you have the drive and perseverance to complete your bachelor’s degree, then move on to complete your radiography masters degree, you could be a candidate for this position. You will need to have an advanced knowledge of anatomy, medical imaging physics, and several imaging modalities before you may be considered for a program. Those who obtain the title work closely with the Radiologist M.D. and usually get paid salaries of 100K or more per year. The responsiblity is great, but so is the pay.