- Radiologists are physicians who analyze and interpret X-rays and other medical imaging results, diagnose patients, and conduct radiation treatments.
- As of July 2020, the average salary of radiologists is $416,290 annually or $200 hourly(1).
- As of August 2020, radiologists in New York earn between $88,298 to $438,198 annually or $42.45 to $210.67 hourly. These New York-based professionals have an average salary of $355,429 per year or $171 per hour(2).
- Radiologists need a doctor of medicine (MD) status to practice and 10 to 14 years of experience to earn the average salary of the job(3).
|Job Title||Education Requirement||Responsibilities||Average Annual Salary|
|Radiologist||Medical degree||Diagnoses diseases of patients, uses radiation treatments, prescribes medication||$401,000(4)|
|Radiologic technologist||Associate’s degreeBachelor’s degree||Conducting diagnostic imaging procedures||$69,266(5)|
|Radiology technician||Associate’s degreeVocational training||Operating radiology equipment||$66,790(6)|
Radiologists, like other physicians who examine patients, decide on appropriate treatments, and prescribe medication. These professionals have earned a bachelor’s degree and a medical degree, and completed their internship and residency in radiology.
As the aging population grows, more demand for physicians’ services is expected.
Radiologic technology uses medical imaging to identify and treat diseases that older patients are more susceptible to(7).
Medical imaging technology includes X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), breast imaging and mammography, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), and positron emission tomography (PET). Radiologists interpret the results from these tests and use radiation treatments for cancer, among other illnesses.
How Much Does a Radiologist Make?
Based on a 2019 compensation survey, radiologists were among the top-earning physicians with an average annual salary of $401,000(8). The same survey states that 55% out of 19,328 radiologist respondents work in hospitals(9).
Gender gap may affect radiologist salaries. In the 2019 compensation survey, male radiologists earned $431,000, which was 15% more than the $375,000 female radiologists reportedly earned. Seventy-nine percent of the compensation survey respondents were male radiologists(10).
Men earned 25% more than women, based on the overall salary of physicians. In addition to gender discrimination, the hours that radiologists spend with patients is a likely factor for the wage disparity. Male radiologists spend 33 hours a week seeing patients, while female radiologists spend only 28 hours a week(11).
The latest average salary of radiologists is $416,290(12). Note that this is based on data from July 2020. This amount is only expected to increase as the aging population of America grows, and the demand for radiologists’ medical services increases.
Radiologist salaries are significantly higher compared to radiographers and radiologic technicians. The main contributing factor to this wage gap is the MD title of radiologists.
As physicians who have completed residency requirements and conduct actual diagnoses for illnesses, radiologists get appropriate compensation.
Different companies may also offer different salaries for radiologists. Geographic location and experience also contribute to the varying salaries of radiologists.
Radiologist Salary by Company
According to Glassdoor data, radiologists earn between $207,000 and $464,000, for an average salary of $330,227 per year(13). Salary estimates are based on 207 anonymous submissions from radiologists in the United States (US).
As of August 22, 2020, radiologists from the following companies made the most salary submissions.
|Company||Lowest Salary(14)||Average Base Salary per Year(15)||Highest Salary(16)|
|Advanced Diagnostic Imaging, PC||$289,000||$432,652||$507,000|
|US Department of Veterans Affairs||$163,000||$274,048||$371,000|
|Brigham and Women’s Hospital||$172,000||$260,055||$275,000|
|Associated Radiologists of Flint||$222,000||$327,109||$414,000|
Based on this data, the average salary of radiologists in the most popular companies does not meet the nationwide average of $401,000 in 2019. The top five companies alone have an average annual salary of $318,030.80.
Most companies compensate their radiologists lower than the nationwide annual average salary. Among these companies are the Cleveland Clinic of Ohio State, the US Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, DC, and the Birmingham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
The average annual salary of radiologists in the Associated Radiologists of Flint is the closest to the nationwide average. Radiologists based in Michigan could earn around $327,109 a year.
Compensation for radiologists in the Advanced Diagnostic Imaging, PC medical group goes beyond the annual average salary in the United States. At $432,652 a year, radiologists in this Michigan patient care center may earn at least 8% more than the nationwide annual average salary of radiologists.
Radiologist Salary by State
According to the salary estimates of ZipRecruiter, the national average annual salary for radiologist jobs in the United States is $324,041. This amount is about 19% less than the 2019 national average salary of $401,000(17).
However, the following salaries are based on data as of August 18, 2020. The cost of living in the following states may also affect the varying salaries.
|State||Hourly Wage(18)||Annual Salary(19)|
New York ranks first among the US states for radiologist salaries. As of August 2020, the average hourly wage for radiologists in New York is about $171.
Radiologists can make a starting salary as low as $42 dollars and as high as $210 dollars an hour in New York. This salary translates to an annual income of $355,429, which is about 10% more than the national average.
Radiologists in the states of Massachusetts, Washington, New Hampshire, and Hawaii also earn above average salaries. These four states make a combined average hourly rate of $166.16 and an average annual salary of $345,615.75.
Furthermore, there is little variation in the average salary for radiologists in these states, suggesting that there are few opportunities for salary increase or advancement, regardless of location and years of experience in the field.
Payment increase and advancement opportunities are also scarce for low-ranking states. The lowest-ranking states for radiologists in America are Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Florida, and North Carolina. The average annual salary for radiologists in these states is less than the national average.
Average Radiologist Salary by Experience Level
Becoming a radiologist requires a medical degree, which includes years of training before actual practice. With about 10 to 14 years of experience on the job, radiologists with MD status earn the estimated annual salary salary of $416,290, which is based on Salary.com estimates(20).
Radiologists with MD status and less than a year to two years of experience on the job may earn around $398,460, which is $17,830 less than the median salary. Radiologists with under nine years of experience on the job also earn less than the annual median salary salary.
A radiologist’s salary increases once they reach over 15 years of experience. A radiologist with over 20 years of experience may earn up to $432,859 annual salary, which is $16,569 more than the median pay of radiologists.
How to Become a Radiologist
Graduating from medical school is merely the beginning for aspiring radiologists. Prospects must also complete an internship, pass a state licensing exam, complete a residency program in radiology, and pass additional examinations to become board-certified.
Prospects may also complete optional specialization fellowships, since radiology branches out to several specific types. Among these specializations are cardiovascular technology, diagnostic medical sonography, nuclear medicine technology, and magnetic resonance imaging.
What Does a Radiologist Do?
Radiologists mostly work as full-time physicians in hospitals or medical clinics. These professionals interpret medical images of patients that they obtain using radiologic technology. The images help radiologists diagnose a patient’s disease and recommend appropriate treatment.
Radiologists are often confused with radiologic technologists, radiology technicians, and other occupations in radiology. The main factor that separates radiologists from other radiology professions is their status as physicians.
Radiologists are actual physicians who have earned medical degrees and completed residency requirements. They make significantly more money than radiology technicians and radiographers because radiologists conduct actual diagnoses. Rad techs and radiographers may assist radiologists, but cannot give formal diagnoses.
Other Jobs in Radiology
Other professionals who specialize in radiology include radiologic technologists and radiology technicians.
According to the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), radiologic technologists, or radiographers, work under the supervision of radiologists(21). These professionals may perform diagnostic imaging examinations alongside physicians.
Meanwhile, radiology technicians mainly work with radiologic technology equipment. They are also called medical imaging field service engineers(22). These professionals often conduct maintenance, service repairs, and installations of diagnostic imaging equipment. Rad techs also assist patients with imaging procedures.
According to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT), radiologists are physicians who have earned either a doctor of medicine (MD) or doctor of osteopathy (DO) degree(23). These professionals also complete four-year residencies in diagnostic radiology or radiation oncology.
The ASRT states that radiologists may also specialize in other fields, including nuclear medicine, pediatric radiology, cardiovascular-interventional radiology, angiography, and neuroradiology. Radiology technicians may work alongside these different types of radiologists. Other specialty physicians include:
- Diagnostic Radiologists:
- These professionals specialize in the interpretation of MRI scans, CT scans, radiographs, nuclear medicine scans, sonograms, mammograms, and other medical images.
- Diagnostic radiologists are trained to identify diseases and injuries of the different human body systems.
- Radiation Oncologists:
- These physicians specialize in treating cancer.
- Radiation oncologists determine the best therapy options for patients and schedule treatment with them and their primary care physicians.
- Radiation oncologists work closely with a medical dosimetrist to calculate the appropriate amount of radiation to deliver to a patient.
- Medical dosimetrists are experts in math, physics, anatomy & physiology, and radiobiology. They also have knowledge of the features and clinical relevance of radiation oncology treatment equipment.
- Interventional Radiologists:
- These physicians treat several vascular and nonvascular medical conditions.
- Under fluoroscopic guidance, or real-time moving x-ray images of the body, interventional radiologists perform treatment procedures in:
- Ablation techniques
- Tube placement
- Stent placement
- Coil and glue embolization
- Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty
The number of specializations under radiologic technology creates opportunities for aspiring radiologists. For students who find that radiology takes several years of education, radiologist assistant positions are available.This expansion helps meet the growing demands for the professional specialized service.
Other High-Paying Jobs in Radiology
Radiology has several specializations that offer services for specific conditions and ailments. After completing residency requirements and becoming board-certified, radiology students may take additional fellowships to specialize in a specific radiology study.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) offers an Occupational Employment Statistics Query System which gathers the latest labor data of multiple industries(24).
Based on the BLS, some of the highest paying occupations related to radiology that are not specifically radiologist jobs include the following:
Industry: Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)
Period: May 2019
|Occupation||Employment(A)||Hourly mean wage||Annual mean wage(B)|
|Nuclear Medicine Technologists||13,230||$38.42||$79,920|
|Diagnostic Medical Sonographers||44,420||$36.51||$75,930|
|Magnetic Resonance Imaging||23,100||$35.32||$73,470|
|Radiologic Technologists and Technicians||125,310||$30.76||$63,980|
|Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians||44,060||$28.07||$58,390|
- Estimates for detailed occupations do not sum to the totals because the totals include occupations not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.
- Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the corresponding hourly wage by 2,080 hours.
Date extracted: Aug 25, 2020
According to the above data, nuclear medicine technologists make an hourly wage of about $38 and an estimated annual salary of $79,920. Although this radiology profession is listed among the highest-earning jobs, nuclear medicine technologists have a lower employment rate compared to the other listed occupations.
Radiologic technologists and technicians are among the most employed radiology professionals, aside from radiologists. These techs share similar responsibilities with radiologists. What sets radiologists apart from these techs is that they diagnose and treat illnesses.
Radiologists spend many years in school to become actual physicians who diagnose and treat patients. These professionals typically work long hours in hospitals and use radiologic technology to assess diseases and decide on the best treatment plans.
These physicians may earn an annual salary of over $400,000. This amount may increase or decrease based on several factors.
Companies, geographic locations, and experience in the radiology field are some factors that affect radiologist annual salaries.
Despite the varying salaries, radiology occupations have a promising job growth, as the demand for these specialized services increases. The aging population is the main factor for this growing demand.
- “Radiologist Salary in the United States.” Salary.com. https://www.salary.com/research/salary/alternate/radiologist-salary.
- “Radiologist Salary in New York.” ZipRecruiter. https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/How-Much-Does-a-Radiologist-Make-a-Year—in-New-York.
- “Radiologist.” Salary Calculator. Salary.com. https://www.salary.com/tools/salary-calculator/radiologist?edu=EDLEV6.
- Kane, Leslie. “Medscape Radiologist Compensation Report 2019.” Latest Medical News, Clinical Trials, Guidelines - Today on Medscape. Medscape, April 29, 2019. https://www.medscape.com/slideshow/2019-compensation-radiologist-6011349#2.
- “Radiologic Technologist Wage and Salary Survey 2019.” American Society of Radiologic Technologists, 2019. https://www.asrt.org/
- “X-Ray Service Engineer Annual Salary ($66,790 Avg: Aug 2020).” ZipRecruiter. ZipRecruiter, August 14, 2020. https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/X-Ray-Service-Engineer-Salary.
- Kane, Leslie. “Medscape Radiologist Compensation Report 2019.” Op cit.
- “Radiologist Salary in the United States.” Salary.com. Op cit.
- “Radiologist Salaries.” Glassdoor.com. https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/radiologist-salary-SRCH_KO0,11.htm
- “What Is the Average Radiologist Salary by State.” ZipRecruiter. https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/What-Is-the-Average-Radiologist-Salary-by-State
- “Radiologist.” Salary Calculator. Salary.com. Op cit.
- Learn About the Profession, 2020. https://www.arrt.org/about-the-profession/learn-about-the-profession.
- Jones, Ron. “Differences of Radiologic Technologist and Radiology Technician?” The Radiologic Technologist, March 27, 2020. https://theradiologictechnologist.com/what-is-the-difference-between-a-radiology-technician-and-a-radiology-technologist/.
- “What Physicians Do R.T.s Work With?” American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT). https://www.asrt.org/main/career-center/careers-in-radiologic-technology
- “Occupational Employment Statistics Query System (Search Type: Multiple occupations for one industry; Industry Sector: Sector 62 - Health Care and Social Assistance; Industry: Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals); Occupations: Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians, Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, Nuclear Medicine Technologists, Radiologic Technologists and TEchnicians, Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists; Data types: Employment, Hourly mean wage, Annual mean wage)” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. May 2019. https://data.bls.gov/oes/#/home