Radiology Tech Salary

  • Radiologic technologists are healthcare workers who conduct diagnostic imaging procedures to help diagnose and treat diseases and injuries.
  • Radiology technicians are individuals responsible for operating machines, positioning patients, and performing tests using diagnostic imaging technology.
  • According to a 2019 survey, a radiologic technologist may receive an average annual salary of $69,266(1).
  • The annual income for a radiology technician is $59,901(2).
Job Title Education Requirement Job Responsibilities Average Annual Salary
Radiologist Medical degree Analyzes and interprets imaging and test results $401,000(3)
Radiologic Technologist Associate degree Bachelor’s degree Conducting diagnostic imaging procedures $69,266(4)
Radiology Technician Vocational training Associate’s degree Conducting diagnostic imaging procedures $59,901(5)
Radiology is a branch of science that uses medical imaging technology, such as X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), ultrasound, mammography, and computed tomography (CT) to diagnose and treat various medical conditions, including cancer and trauma.  Individuals who specialize in radiology may either be a radiologistradiologic technologist, or radiology technician. A radiologist is a medical professional who analyzes and interprets imaging and test results, diagnoses patients, and recommends treatment.  According to the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), radiologic technologists conduct the diagnostic imaging procedure under the radiologist’s supervision(6). Radiologic technologists are also referred to as radiographers. On the other hand, a radiologist technician, also known as a medical imaging field service engineer, is responsible for operating machines, positioning patients, and performing tests using diagnostic imaging technology(7). While radiologists are required to have a bachelor’s degree and attend medical schools, technologists and technicians may pursue their careers after completing a two-year radiologic technology associate’s degree or a vocational training program.  Further on in their careers, radiographers may opt to undergo specialized training in radiology’s numerous disciplines.

How Much Does a Radiologic Technologist Make?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that the overall employment rate for radiologic and MRI technologists would increase by 9% from 2018 to 2028(8) This accelerated growth may be attributed to the fast-aging population, which will rely heavily on imaging technology to diagnose illnesses. In a 2019 report, the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) projected that the average annual salary across the United States is $69,266(9). This amount is 5.3% higher than the 2007 mean yearly income.  The report also states that 89.8% of technicians receive an hourly wage with an average of $24 per hour. Around 87.5% of technologists work full-time while 36.4% of those who work part-time render between 25 to 31 hours per week(10). A rad tech’s income may also vary depending on a technologist’s position. The 2018 annual salary has an average of $59,520 per year, with $48,400 as the lowest and $73,200 as the highest(11). According to ASRT’s 2019 report, an entry-level radiology tech may expect to earn $48,778 in a year, which amounts to 30% less than the average income(12). Rad techs in senior positions may expect a significantly higher income. The national average salary for a full-time Senior Technologist is $75,361, while a manager or supervisor may earn around $85,539(13) The highest-earning position for a technologist is an administrator, which garners an average of $109,801(14). This amount is 36% more than the average income. One’s specialization may also contribute to a radiographer’s salary. The highest-paying modality for a staff technologist is medical dosimetry, with an average income of 103,993(15). Meanwhile, the lowest-paying discipline for the same position is Radiography. Radiography is a radiology discipline that uses X-ray, ionizing radiation, or gamma rays to view the body’s internal parts. Individuals who practice radiography are also known as X-ray technicians. A medical dosimetrist specializes in carefully creating customized radiation treatment programs for cancer patients.  Professional skills for dose calculation and treatment design are necessary to ensure the treatment targets the cancer cells while sparing healthy tissues. Such skills are acquired through extensive training in the classrooms, laboratories, and clinical settings. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that more than half of the country’s radiologic staff works in hospitals. In contrast, the rest work in other healthcare facilities, such as imaging centers, mobile clinic units, government projects, or corporate settings(16). According to ASRT, the type of workplace may also influence the compensation a radiology tech might receive. Individuals who work in corporate offices earn the most in all disciplines with annual compensation of $89,007, while those working in clinics or physicians’ offices earn the lowest at $58,630(17). Incomes for technicians working in hospitals also differ. Individuals working in a non-profit hospital may earn $73,800 annually, while individuals employed in a for-profit hospital earns $69,162(18). Technicians working as temporary staff receive around $69,888, and industrial technicians get an $89,007 annual income(19). These numbers are notably higher than the salaries reported on ASRT’s 2016 survey(20). The level of education and years of professional experience also weighs in on a rad tech’s projected salary. Individuals with associate’s degrees earn the least with an average of $65,207 across all disciplines, while those with a bachelor’s degree make $71,434(21) Technologists may receive higher compensation if they opt to further their education or earn certificates from educational institutions.  Salary increases also grow proportionally to one’s years of experience. Among all the radiology disciplines, technologists with less than two years of experience may earn an average of $51,763, while those with more than 30 years of experience may receive 35% more with $80,017(22). Zeroing in on different radiology disciplines, radiography remains the lowest-paying field with entry-level technologists earning less than $50,000 and senior techs with more than 30 years of experience making around $70,000(23). Medical dosimetry remains the highest paying field with a $93,176 salary for entry-level workers and $125,567 for senior workers(24).

Radiologic Technologist Salary by State

State Radiologic Technologist Annual Salary (2016)(25) Radiologic Technologist Annual Salary (2019)(26)
California $92,396 $101,699
DC $81,083 $83,707
Washington $79,311 $80,143
Hawaii $79,182 $89,497
Alaska $76,082 $85,191
Arkansas $54,998 $56,113
Alabama $52,530 $54,122
South Dakota $54,122 $56,995
Mississippi $54,447 $55,898
The state where one practices their field also influences the amount of annual salary received. In its 2016 report, ASRT noted that the states with the highest mean compensation across all radiology disciplines are California, District of Columbia, and Washington. California reported an annual average of $92,396, while the District of Columbia and Washington state garnered an average of $81,083 and $79,311 of radiology tech salaries. Alabama, South Dakota, and Mississippi have the lowest salaries for technologists(27). In 2019, radiologic techs’ salaries in California remained the highest, along with Hawaii and Alaska. California reported a slight salary increase with $101,699, while Hawaii and Alaska reported an income of $89,497 and $85,191(28). Meanwhile, Alabama and Mississippi remained the states with the lowest salaries, with the addition of Arkansas(29). Other notable states include Florida, where the average salary amounts to $62,474 across all disciplines. Radiation therapists, registered radiologist assistants, and individuals in nuclear medicine receive the highest average(30). Salaries in Nebraska and Idaho are close to Florida’s wage. The mean amount in Nebraska is $61,640 and $64,380 for Idaho(31). The average radiology tech’s salary in Maryland amounts to $71,272; New Hampshire slightly surpasses Maryland at $72,193. New York’s annual salary is $76,448, with Nevada and New Jersey closely behind(32) The state of Oregon gives a slightly higher figure at $79,335, though Massachusetts gives more than $80,000 in income(33). Oklahoma is one of the lowest-paying states with only less than $60,000 average(34).

How Much Does a Radiology Technician Make?

The BLS projected a 9% increase in the job outlook for radiology technicians within 2018 to 2028, which is the average rate for all occupations(35) As medical engineering continues to evolve, the bureau anticipates a slight increase in employment opportunities.  A 2019 report on a salary database pegs radiology technicians’ average annual income at $59,901(36). The lower end of the income spectrum dips at $49,585 while the upper end is at $71,555. Monthly salary for radiology technicians is estimated at $4,992, while hourly wage is around $29/hr(37-38) According to the report, there is only a modest increase in a technician’s pay range, which suggests that skill level only slightly impacts career advancement. Instead, location and years of experience may be a greater contributing factor.

Radiology Technician Salary by State

State Annual Salary (2019)
California $63,901(39)
DC $66,201(40)
Hawaii $62,001(41)
Alaska $66,601(42)
Arkansas $52,701(43)
North Carolina $57,401(44)
Utah $56,901(45)
West Virginia $54,501(46)
North Dakota $58,501(47)
Alaska is a high-paying location for radiology techs with an annual average of $66,601. California follows with $63,901 yearly income or $30.72 per hour. Washington, DC and Hawaii round out the list with a salary of $66,201 and $62,001 per year(48). Other notable states are North Dakota and North Carolina with $58,501 and $57,401, respectively. When discussing salaries per state, it is essential to pay attention to the state’s cost of living index or CLI.  The CLI compares the cost of living in a major city to a metropolitan area. Workforce members may use the corresponding figures as a benchmark when seeking employment in a specific state.

How to Become a Radiologic Technologist

Aspiring radiographers must first possess a two-year associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. Through further training and education, a rad tech may choose to specialize in one or more radiology disciplines.   As of 2019, only 35.7% of rad techs specialize in a secondary discipline(49). Not all radiologic technology degree programs are created equal. A committee, called the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technologists (JRCERT), is in charge of reviewing and accrediting degree programs to ensure quality education(50). Some states may require employment-seeking rad techs to complete a JRCERT-accredited program, while others do not. It is essential to double-check such details beforehand. According to ARRT, more than 75% of US states have licensure laws on radiologic technology. Before practicing radiologic technology in those states, one must first go through a certification process and obtain a state license(51). Some states have established their own licensing and accreditation procedure. However, some states have deferred to associations, such as ARRT, and their licensing process. Individuals seeking employment in particular states may opt to register and get accredited with ARRT first. Note that completing a JRCERT-accredited program is one of the requirements for an ARRT certification. Additional certifications or licenses may be required if one is to practice specific radiology disciplines. For instance, California‘s state requires a certificate before working in diagnostic radiology, mammographic radiology, therapeutic radiology, and fluoroscopy fields. 

Radiologic Tech’s Job Description

A radiographer’s key role is to produce medical imaging of bones, tissues, organs, and vessels, which may be used to effectively diagnose and treat patients’ conditions. Radiographers are expected to work closely with physicians and operate the imaging equipment whenever and however necessary. At times, techs are required to interact with patients to explain and guide them through imaging procedures. They are also expected to follow strict procedure protocols to prevent unnecessary exposure to radiation on themselves and the patients..

How to Become a Radiology Technician

One typically needs to finish either an associate degree or a vocational training program to become a radiology technician. However, may pursue continuing education by enrolling in various certificate programs. While not strictly required, certification from institutions such as Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation or AAMI may improve one’s job hunting prospects in the long run. 

Radiology Tech’s Job Description

Radiology technicians are subsets of the umbrella term radiologic technologists.  They conduct diagnostic imaging procedures using X-rays, CT scans, or mammograms to aid radiologists in providing accurate diagnosis. 

Conclusion

Radiologic technologists are essential members of the healthcare workforce. They help diagnose, treat, and save millions of lives by performing medical imaging procedures and assisting physicians. Radiology technicians perform similar tasks with radiologic technologists. However, radiology technicians spend two years in an associate degree program or vocational training before earning their certification.  Technologists spend two to four years acquiring an associate or bachelor degree. Aspiring technologists may take a degree program from a certified educational institution to begin their careers and receive further training to pursue a specialization. Technicians may pursue an associate degree or a vocational program. In 2019, the mean annual salary for a technologist was $69,266, while technicians earn $59,901 per year(52-53). According to BLS, the job outlook for radiologic technologists and radiology technicians is positive, and projected a 9% increase in their demand over a ten-year period.
  1. Radiologic Technologist Wage and Salary Survey 2019.” American Society of Radiologic Technologists, 2019. https://www.asrt.org/.
  2. “Salary.com Salary Wizard- Do You Know What You’re Worth?: Salary-Calculator.” Salary.com. Accessed August 31, 2020. https://www.salary.com/tools/salary-calculator/radiology-tech.
  3. 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.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Learn About the Profession, 2020. https://www.arrt.org/about-the-profession/learn-about-the-profession.
  7. Radiology Technology Career Options. (2020, April 20). Retrieved from https://www.allalliedhealthschools.com/medical-imaging/careers-in-radiologic-technology/
  8. “Radiologic and MRI Technologists : Occupational Outlook Handbook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 10, 2020. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/radiologic-technologists.htm.
  9. Radiologic Technologist Wage and Salary Survey 2019. op. cit.
  10. Ibid.
  11. “How Much Can a Radiologic Technologist Expect to Get Paid?” U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News & World Report, 2018. 
  12. Ibid.
  13. Ibid.
  14. Ibid.
  15. Ibid.
  16. Ibid.
  17. Ibid.
  18. Ibid.
  19. Ibid.
  20. Radiologic Technologist Wage and Salary Survey 2016.” American Society of Radiologic Technologists. American Society of Radiologic Technologists, 2016. https://www.asrt.org/docs/default-source/research/radiologic-technologist-wage-and-salary-survey-2016.pdf?sfvrsn=2.
  21. Ibid.
  22. Ibid.
  23. Ibid.
  24. Ibid.
  25. Radiologic Technologist Wage and Salary Survey 2016. Op. cit.
  26. Ibid
  27. Ibid.
  28. Ibid.
  29. Ibid.
  30. Ibid.
  31. Ibid.
  32. Ibid.
  33. Ibid.
  34. Ibid.
  35. Radiologic and MRI Technologists : Occupational Outlook Handbook. Op. cit
  36. “Salary.com Salary Wizard- Do You Know What You’re Worth?: Salary-Calculator.” Salary.com. Accessed August 31, 2020. https://www.salary.com/tools/salary-calculator/radiology-tech.
  37. “Salary.com Salary Wizard- Do You Know What You’re Worth?: Salary-Calculator.” Salary.com. Accessed August 31, 2020. https://www.salary.com/tools/salary-calculator/radiology-tech-monthly.
  38. “Salary.com Salary Wizard- Do You Know What You’re Worth?: Salary-Calculator.” Salary.com. Accessed August 31, 2020. https://www.salary.com/tools/salary-calculator/radiology-tech-hourly.
  39. “Radiology Tech Salary in California City, California.” Salary.com. Accessed August 31, 2020. https://www.salary.com/research/salary/alternate/radiology-tech-salary/california-city-ca.
  40. “Radiology Tech Salary in Washington, District of Columbia.” Salary.com. Accessed August 31, 2020. https://www.salary.com/research/salary/alternate/radiology-tech-salary/washington-dc.
  41. “Radiology Tech Salary in Hawaii National Park, Hawaii.” Salary.com. Accessed August 31, 2020. https://www.salary.com/research/salary/alternate/radiology-tech-salary/hawaii-national-park-hi.
  42. “Radiology Tech Salary in Anchorage, Alaska.” Salary.com. Accessed August 31, 2020. https://www.salary.com/research/salary/alternate/radiology-tech-salary/anchorage-ak.
  43. “Radiology Tech Salary in Arkansas City, Arkansas.” Salary.com. Accessed August 31, 2020. https://www.salary.com/research/salary/alternate/radiology-tech-salary/arkansas-city-ar.
  44. “Radiology Tech Salary in Raleigh, North Carolina.” Salary.com. Accessed August 31, 2020. https://www.salary.com/research/salary/alternate/radiology-tech-salary/raleigh-nc.
  45. “Radiology Tech Salary in Salt Lake City, Utah.” Salary.com. Accessed August 31, 2020. https://www.salary.com/research/salary/alternate/radiology-tech-salary/salt-lake-city-ut.
  46. “Radiology Tech Salary in Charleston, West Virginia.” Salary.com. Accessed August 31, 2020. https://www.salary.com/research/salary/alternate/radiology-tech-salary/charleston-wv.
  47. “Radiology Tech Salary in Bismarck, North Dakota.” Salary.com. Accessed August 31, 2020. https://www.salary.com/research/salary/alternate/radiology-tech-salary/bismarck-nd.
  48. Ibid.
  49. Radiologic Technologist Wage and Salary Survey 2019. Op. cit.
  50. “Find A JRCERT Accredited Program.” Joint Review on Education in Radiologic Technology. Joint Review on Education in Radiologic Technology. Accessed August 20, 2020. https://www.jrcert.org/find-a-program/.
  51. “State Licensing.” American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Accessed August 20, 2020. https://www.arrt.org/about-the-profession/state-licensing.
  52. Radiologic Technologist Wage and Salary Survey 2019. Op. cit.
  53. Salary Wizard- Do You Know What You’re Worth?: Salary-Calculator. Op. cit 

Need more?