A radiology technician takes x-rays in doctors’ offices, diagnostic labs, and hospitals for the physicians at these facilities. This is an interesting and rewarding career choice for those interested in both health care and technology. These are valid motivations and make the career attractive to many people. However there is the matter of the yearly salary a job offers, and that is certainly at least one of the deciding factors in selecting a certain profession. So how does being a radiology technician pay?
The job of radiology technician is one that pays quite well, there’s no doubt about it. The radiology technician salary is one that allows the an individual to live quite comfortably. This follows the general pattern for all the allied health professions. These are career paths that are on the rise in terms of job demand and promise substantial and attractive compensation. Let’s take a look at some figures to get more specific.
Often when you’re dealing with statistical or numerical information it helps to look at a few different sources. The website for the US Bureau of Labor Statistics US BLS), and the sites Salary.com and Payscale.com all offer figures regarding average salaries for radiology technicians. Let’s start with the US BLS statistics:
The BLS site puts the median (average) salary of radiologic technicians at $53,240. Their mid range is between$43,510 and $64,070. Finally, they say the bottom and top 10% make $35,700 and $75,440 respectively. These are fairly attractive salary figures no doubt. But how do they square with other estimates?
Radiology Technician Salary Data Figures
The Salary.com figures are as follows: The median salary is cited as $48,023. They give the mid range as between $43,943 and $52,474. The bottom and top ten percent are given as below $40,295 and above $56,526. Since we have above and below figures here, it’s a bit difficult to forecast how much higher or lower than these numbers the salaries go, but we can assume they are roughly coherent with the BLS figures. This site’s estimates do appear a bit lower on the whole, however, then the BLS information. Let’s take a look at the Payscale.com figures and see how they stack up.
The Payscale.com site gives the median salary range as between $37,217 and $52,735. This puts their average salary estimate at $44,976, at least based on an average of the median range. This site does not provide detailed upper and lower ranges on the main access page (perhaps it gives more information if you register) but we can assume it is fairly close to the others.
Overall then, the numbers are roughly congruous with each other. The slight variation may be due to statistical methods more than anything else. Clearly a radiologic technician or technologist can expect to make around $50k a year, and is probably looking at a starting wage of 35k to 40k. Once they have been doing it for a while and gain experience, get more specialized in a certain area of interest, and increase their skills base, they can reasonably expect to make $60k to $70k Not too shabby.
There are a number of factors that can also be taken into consideration when trying to get a sense of the salary potential for radiology. Like many other professions, this is one with a number of branches and specialties, and these show some wage variation.
The Payscale.com site sheds some light here. They break the profession down into a few different “industries” that make use of the skills of radiology technicians and looks at the average radiology technician salary for these industries. There is actually not a large amount of variation here, which in itself is interesting. They express the averages in hourly rates and the categories are as follows: Health Care $18.37 – $25.30, Hospital: $18.54 – $25.58, Orthopedic Surgery: $17.88 – $24.50, Radiology: $17.88 – $24.50, Medical Services: $18.47 – $25.56. Some of these categories appear a bit generalized or redundant. For instance “health care” and “hospital” and “medical services” sound very general and would seem to cross over.
Perhaps they mean hospital based radiology as opposed to things like home care and emergency services. But it wouldn’t seem to make a great deal of difference seeing as the salaries given here do not vary a whole lot. It appears that according to this radiologists employed by hospitals make the best salary overall, but not by a very large margin.
Probably a somewhat more important factor in determining salary is the time a practitioner has been in the field and their experience level. Employers in general like to hire more experienced personnel and are willing to pay them higher salaries. So experience is a decisive factor.
A word about motivation: though this profession offers a reasonable salary, this should probably not be the motivating factor in getting into radiology. This is a profession that requires technical expertise as well as a motivation to help people and an interest in health care. Not all states require certification, and some schools offer quick specialization in certain more focused areas. But safety and general technical competence is quite important in this field, so it is recommended that you take the profession seriously and get a decent educational background and get certified and licensed.