Radiologist Salary in California

  • Healthcare workers comprise approximately 7% of California’s workforce(1). This factor may affect the job opportunities for radiologists in the state.
  • The mean annual salary for radiologists in California may be over $483,000(2). This salary range is higher than the national average salary for radiologists.  
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that the 2020-2030 job growth for radiologists may be 9%(3). Such salary estimates are at least as high as the BLS’ projected job growth for other occupations. 
  • The earning potential of California radiologists vary based on certifications, including diagnostic radiologists, radiologist specialists, and interventional radiologists

Salaries by Skills, Certifications, and Other Qualifications 

Prospective radiologists may ponder how much money radiologists make in California. The mean annual salary for radiologists in California may be $483,690(4). 

Salaries vary in cities and towns throughout the Golden State based on various factors such as years of experience.    

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the mean annual salary for radiologists in the United States is $301,720(5).  Such figures include statistics from states like New York, Alabama, Oregon, and Hawaii.

Thus, the mean annual salary for radiologists in California is higher than the national average.  

Meanwhile, here are radiology certifications that may impact salaries in California(6):

Certified Diagnostic Radiologist 

A diagnostic radiologist utilizes X-rays, electromagnetic radiation, and ultrasound to treat diseases. Trainees of this program typically complete an additional year of training in a fellowship. Individuals must become certified in diagnostic radiology before specializing in a particular area.   


Radiologists can become certified in a subspecialty, securing additional training and examination for these specializations:

Nuclear Radiology: Radiologists administer trace amounts of radioactive substances to produce images for patients’ diagnoses. Body imaging may involve positron emission tomography (PET). 

Pain Medicine: These medical professionals diagnose and treat medical patients with health problems such as cancer-related pain and chronic pain.

Pediatric Radiology: Pediatric radiologists utilize images related to the diagnosis, care, and management of various abnormalities present at birth. 

Neuroradiology: Individuals with such radiologist jobs have responsibilities such as diagnosing and treating disorders, including the brain, spinal cord, central nervous system (CNS), and neck.

Certified Interventional Radiologist 

An interventional radiologist combines competency in imaging, image-guided procedures, and periprocedural patient care.  

The objective is to treat malignant and benign conditions of the abdomen, pelvis, thorax, and extremities.  

Various therapies include:  

  • Angioplasty
  • Drainage and ablation
  • Embolization
  • Stent placement
  • Thrombus management

Training for an interventional radiologist includes diagnostic radiology and interventional radiology

Certified Radiology Administrator (CRA)

The Certified Radiology Administrator (CRA) credential is an exam-based certification designed for medical imaging administration. Such an examination(7):

  • Focuses on all facets of imaging management. 
  • Is earned by passing an exam testing knowledge and skills in various areas. 

Individuals must renew the credential and complete continuing education (CE) requirements in various domains. 

As of May 27, 2022, the average annual salaries in California for the above-mentioned radiological certifications include:

  • Certified Diagnostic Radiologist: $365,000 per year(8).
  • Certified Radiologist Specialist: $363,999 per year(9)
  • Certified Interventional Radiologist: $483,700 per year(10) 
  • Certified Radiology Administrator: $124,126 per year(11).  

Radiologist Salary per City in California

The state or region where radiologists practice can impact their earning potential. Potential factors affecting radiologists’ salaries include the cost of living and the demand for radiologists

California has the largest population among the 50 states(12). Thus, this factor may affect the state’s healthcare spending and demand for healthcare professionals like radiologists.

As of May 27, 2022, here are some average radiologist salaries for California cities(13):

  • Sunnyvale: $81,866
  • Santa Cruz: $81,109
  • Santa Rosa: $79,280
  • Fairfield: $74,384
  • San Francisco: $72,768
  • Berkeley: $72,968

Average annual salaries may also differ for other California cities and towns, including:

  • Los Angeles
  • Sacramento
  • San Diego
  • San Jose 

Radiologist Earnings by Seniority

The seniority level of radiologists in California may affect their earning potential. As of May 28, 2022, the average annual salaries of radiologists in California are the following(14):

  • Mid-level: $204,190
  • Junior-level: $118,110

Radiologists starting in their careers should expect to earn generally lower salaries than those in junior-, mid-, and senior-level positions.

Entry-level radiologists starting their radiology careers can earn an average yearly salary of $63,860(15).

Salary Satisfaction

A study published in La Radiologia Medica assessed the job satisfaction rate among radiologists(16). The researchers showed that 49% of diagnostic radiologists reported job satisfaction.

In addition, the study showed that the medical industry’s lower-level radiologists reported less job satisfaction than colleagues located in the top positions. 

Factors that affect job satisfaction include working conditions, gender, freedom to choose work methods, and job variety(17). 

Additional research is necessary regarding the relationship between radiologists’ salaries and job satisfaction.

Comparison of Radiologist Salaries to Similar Careers

In some situations, radiologists may function as a locum that fulfills the duties of other doctors with similar responsibilities.  

In addition, individuals may ponder if they can make a significant amount of money as a radiologist. Individuals should know how the average annual salary of radiologists compares with other medical occupations.

As of May 28, 2022, radiologists earn approximately the same salary as California employees in related careers(18)

The average salaries of similar careers can be:

  • Orthopedic surgeon: $221,000
  • Neurosurgeon: $221,000
  • Surgeon: $221,000
  • Colorectal surgeon: $221,000
  • Gynecologist: $201,000
  • Urologist: $204,000
  • Sports medicine physician: $204,000
  • Radiologist: $204,000
  • Hospitalist: $204,000
  • Pathologist: 204,000 

Job Description and Common Benefits

Radiologists are medical doctors specializing in utilizing medical imaging procedures such as(19):

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • X-rays
  • PET 
  • Ultrasound
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Computed tomography (CT) 

Requirements to become a radiologist may include medical school, residency, and fellowship-trained individuals with specializations such as interventional radiology, radiation oncology, and pediatric radiology(20).

Radiologists’ compensation may include salaries, medical, dental, and vision benefits. 

Companies for Radiologists in California

Companies in the job market that radiologists may consider in California include options like medical groups. Some examples include(21):

  • Curative
  • Radia
  • MedMark Treatment Centers
  • VA Illiana Health Care System

Individuals may work in such companies in various sectors, such as acute care.

Radiologists vs. Radiologic Technologists: What’s the Difference? 

The significant similarities and differences between the job titles of radiologists and radiologic technologists include(22):  

  • A radiologist is a health physician who interprets medical images, such as X-rays and MRIs, diagnoses patients, and recommends treatments. Thus, a radiologist typically earns more money than a radiologic technologist
  • A radiologist frequently supervises a radiologic technologist. These “rad techs” support doctors and other healthcare team members by conducting diagnostic imaging procedures. 
  • Radiologists must complete medical school. Meanwhile, radiologic technologists can often commence their career after completing a two-year associate degree program as full-time or part-time students. 
  • Radiologic technologists may later specialize in modalities such as cardiovascular imaging, MRI, or mammography.

As of May 28, 2022, the average base salary for X-ray technologists in California is about $95,960(23).

How to Become a Radiologist in California

The general steps to become a radiologist include(24):

Step 1: Earn a bachelor’s degree. Students striving to become a medical Doctor of Medicine (MD) must first earn a bachelor’s degree. They must complete courses such as biology.

Step 2: Complete medical school. Radiologists must earn an MD degree, typically taking four years to complete. Students must complete class coursework and clinical rotations. 

Step 3: Complete internship and residency. The next four years of training include paid internships, including working at hospitals, medical centers, and clinics. Then students start working in radiology as residents. 

Step 4: Complete fellowship. After a four-year residency, radiologists typically complete training in a fellowship. Fellowships typically are similar to residencies and last one or two years. 

Step 5: Complete licensure and certifications. Radiologists can then receive full state licensure to practice as radiologists. Individuals can also earn full-state licensure as employers often require radiologists to become board certified.

About California’s Healthcare Industry 

Here is some key information regarding California’s healthcare industry(25):

  • Healthcare-related occupations in California include doctors, nurses, and home health aides. Such positions comprise about 7% of California’s total employment,
  • Experts project that California’s healthcare industry will produce increased open positions due to factors including the aging population, technological advances in healthcare, and the implementation of the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA). 
  • California’s public and private higher education system trains all levels of the state’s healthcare workforce.
  • More opportunities are available in the state due to the projected surge in health insurance covering additional residents. 

  1. California’s health workforce needs
  2. Radiologist salary in California
  3. Radiologic and MRI Technologists
  4. Radiologist salary in California
  5.  29-1224 Radiologists
  6. American board of radiology
  7. Certified radiology administrator\
  8. Diagnostic radiologist salary in California–in-California
  9. Neuroradiologist Salary in California–in-California
  10. Interventional radiologist salary California
  11. Radiology Administrator Salary in Canyon Country, California
  12. Ranking of states by population
  13. Entry-level radiologist salary in California–in-California
  14. Radiologist salary in California
  15. ibid.
  16. Satisfaction at work among radiologists
  17. ibid.
  18. Radiologist salary in California
  19. What is a radiologist
  20. ibid.
  21. Radiologist salary in California
  22. Radiologist vs. radiologist tech
  23. Radiologic technologist salary in California
  24. Becoming a radiologist – careers and salary outlook
  25. Health care in California
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