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Radiologist Assistant Salary

What is a radiologist assistant?

A radiologist assistant is an advanced radiologic practitioner who serves primarily to extend the capacity of a trained radiologist and improve clinical efficiency and productivity. They work in a team with radiologic technicians and technologists to examine certain areas of the body using x-ray scanners and other diagnostic imaging equipment. According to the American College of Radiology, radiologist assistants may transmit observations and interpretations to the supervising radiologist but are considered neither physician's assistants nor radiologists themselves.

What is a radiologist assistant's salary?

Radiologist assistant salary figures vary depending on the amount of responsibility required of them, but wages typically fall between those of technicians and those of the supervising radiologic physician. Median annual wages for radiologic technicians and technologists came in above the national average for all occupations in 2012 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov), and certain workplaces or geographical areas have a tendency to offer more comfortable annual wages than others.

Job TitleBottom 10% Annual WageAnnual Median WageTop 10% Annual Wage
Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners, All Other-U.S.$39,330$74,530$135,650
Radiologic Technologists-U.S.$38,660$57,450$82,590
Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Is it difficult to find a job as a radiologist assistant?

Employment opportunities for diagnostic imaging professionals are on the rise, according to the bls.gov, so much so that job growth for radiologic technologists is expected to occur at a rate much faster than the average for all occupations between 2012 and 2022. Bls.gov cites the creation of more outpatient imaging centers to accommodate the increased availability of diagnostic medical services demanded by an aging population as a principal driver of the expected expansion in these positions.

Job TitleProjected Job Growth Rate
Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners, All Other-U.S.12%
Radiologic Technologists-U.S.8.7%
Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Is there room for advancement as a radiologist assistant?

Radiologist assistant was established as a career fairly recently, in order to place a highly trained radiologic professional at a level between the supervising radiologist and the radiologic technicians and technologists. It is possible for a radiologist assistant to become a radiologic physician, after undergoing a significant amount of further education and training.

Radiologist assistants can also advance to other areas of the health care profession with some additional schooling. Bls.gov projects physician assistants to be in extremely high demand by 2022, growing at a rate more than triple the national average for all occupations, and radiologist assistants who go on to earn a master's degree can line themselves up for one of these emerging positions.

Do radiologist assistants need to be licensed or certified?

According to the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, numerous accredited certification programs exist for radiologist assistants. In order to become certified, candidates must be previously certified and registered in radiography and have a bachelor's degree and at least one year of clinical experience. A radiologic mentoring period called a preceptorship must also be completed before certification can be awarded.

Sources:
Radiologic Technologists, Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012
http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes319097.htm

RRA FAQs, The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists
https://www.arrt.org/FAQ/RRA

Radiologic and MRI Technologists, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012
http://www.stats.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Radiologic-technologists.htm

National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012
http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm

Radiology Assistant Schools