Despite the many challenges facing the medical industry in general, it is no surprise that health care professionals are still very much in demand today. Health care services and treatment facilities are always a necessity especially in the next few years as an aging population continues to grow.
Ever since the introduction of X-rays, MRI, CT scans, and other imaging technologies, radiology jobs have continued to be among the more stable and well-paid professions in the medical industry.
Within the field of radiology, there are various professions you can consider pursuing, and the opportunities for each also vary. Radiologists, or those who specialize in analyzing the images and diagnosing illnesses, are among the best-paid in the medical community.
General diagnostic radiologists averaging an annual salary of $470,939. Interventional radiologists, or those who specialize in the use of radiation in the treatment of certain illnesses, particularly tumors and growths, command even higher salaries, with an average annual pay of $507,508.
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The trade-off, of course, is that it takes many years of undergraduate and medical school, not to mention residency and fellowship training, to become a practicing radiologist. This may not be an option anymore for those who are already in the middle of a career and thinking of switching to a radiology-related profession.
Fortunately, there are other careers in radiology that are also in demand, such as that of a radiology technician. Radiology technicians assist radiologists in the examination procedures. In hospitals and clinics, the technicians are the ones who help to prepare the patients for the actual testing, and they are also trained to operate the testing equipment and analyze results.
Radiologic technologists and radiology technicians are not required to undergo the same rigorous and long medical training as radiologists. While they still go through the right training and practice, the length of the education is much shorter, with many learning institutions offering associate’s degrees and certificate programs for radiology technicians.
Two-year radiology technician course
After a two-year program, you can already be a certified radiology technician and find employment at hospitals or medical facilities. On the average, the annual salary of radiologic technicians and technologists is 54,340 per year, and the job outlook for this area of radiology is very positive, with an expected growth of 28% up to 2020.
With the advancements continually being made in technology, another interesting facet of radiology that may very well be a major force in coming years is the rise of teleradiology. There has been a recent trend among hospitals to outsource their radiology needs to contractors and companies working remotely.
Teleradiology companies and providers are sprouting up, usually staffed by recent radiology graduates who provide digital imaging analysis to hospitals and physicians remotely. These teleradiology companies first started as a response to the need for nighttime demand, but because of their cost-efficiency they are now also being used for daytime loads.
If you are considering a radiology job, you could also look into working with one of these teleradiology providers, which will allow you to work from home and have a more flexible schedule.