Radiology Technology Salary
How much money do radiology technologists make?
Radiologic technologists have the potential to make an attractive annual salary. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for radiology technologists nationwide was $55,870 as of the last BLS wage update on May 2014. However, those in the top ten percent earned an average of $80,080 while those in the lowest 10 percent earned an average of $37,610, showing just how much annual salaries can vary.
Radiology technologist salaries can also differ based on a variety of factors, including location, area demand for radiological services, type of employer, experience level and educational credentials. Based on the figures provided by the BLS, radiology technologists that were employed in California, Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, Hawaii and Alaska had mean occupational wages for the field that were $68,000 or above, some of the highest in the country.
The most common higher education radiologic technology degree is an associate degree. Radiology technologists with more impressive educational credentials, including a bachelor's or master's degree in the field, could have a greater chance of advancing in their career.
What is the job outlook for radiology technologists?
The BLS reports that the number of radiologic technologist jobs should grow faster than average compared to all jobs nationwide from 2012 to 2022. This growth should reach 21 percent, which could lead to 41,500 new positions becoming available during this time. As of 2012, 199,200 people were employed as radiologic technologists in the country, but this could reach 240,800 employed by 2022, according to BLS numbers.
As new and improved diagnostic imaging techniques are developed, the demand increases for well-educated, experienced and properly credentialed radiology technologists who can perform those techniques. In addition, the demographically dominant baby boomer generation is aging, and as the American population ages, the need for diagnostic imaging, interventional radiological technology, radiation therapies and radiological monitoring of disease progress and treatment will increase, creating demand for well-qualified radiology technologists. Moreover, as more women enter their fifties and sixties, the need for mammography, one of the most highly demanded diagnostic imaging tests, also should surge.
Is there room for advancement?
Job opportunities could be best for those who have certification to prove their skills. Those who are certified also may be able to find better opportunities for advancement. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) is one organization that offers certification, which requires graduating from an accredited program in the past three years and passing an exam. In fact, the BLS reports that technologists with multiple certifications, such as CT scans, MRI scans, ultrasound and mammography, could obtain some of the better job opportunities.
After more time and experience on the job, radiologic technologists may also be able to advance to manager or head of a unit. Also, they may wish to continue their education to transition to a higher-paying health care occupation such as a nurse practitioner, physician assistant or doctor. Even though these occupations require a greater investment in a college education, they can also be a rewarding way to continue providing health care services to patients.
- Radiologic Technologists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292034.htm
- Radiologic and MRI Technologists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Jan. 8, 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/radiologic-technologists.htm