Radiology FAQs

Radiologist Salary: How Much Does a Radiologist Make?

Let’s be honest: one of the big factors that we consider in selecting a career or profession is the projected salary or earning potential in that particular industry or field.

We want to make sure that the career we invest our effort and education into is something that at least provides a return of the investment, and can provide us with our daily essentials and needs, allowing us to support our loved ones or family as well.

Medical science continues to be one of the more popular industries that people looking for careers are interested in.

After all, health care is always a need in society, and it provides steady and reliable employment for so many across different fields and areas of specialization.

Radiologist Salary: How Much Does a Radiologist Make?

Radiology, as one of the different branches of medical science, may be one of the areas of medical science that you are looking into. So what is the average salary for professionals who are employed in various jobs related to radiology?

On average, a radiologist’s annual salary is one of the highest among other medical professionals.

In the United States, the average radiologist’s salary is about $216,577 annually. Of course, various factors come into play, such as experience, geographic location, board certification, gender, and other variables.

Radiologists with less than 5 years of experience, for instance, average an annual salary of about $157,909, while those who have work experience of up to 12 years may be taking home up to $400,000 yearly.

Interventional vs. Non-Interventional

Now, there are also differences in the average salaries between interventional and non-interventional radiologists.

Non-interventional radiologists generally perform the examinations on patients, interpret results, and discuss findings and possible treatments or courses of action.

Interventional radiologists, on the other hand, not only interpret test findings but also perform minimally invasive procedures and treatments. Because the role of interventional radiologists is more complicated and with more responsibility, they earn, on average, more than their non-interventional counterparts.

According to a 2011 study conducted by the recruiting firm Profiles, interventional radiologists earned about $5,000 more than non-interventional radiologists in their first year of practice. Meanwhile, according to a salary survey by American Medical Group Association, overall median income for interventional radiologists stood at $478,000 yearly compared to $454,205.

Salaries Can Vary By State

Where you eventually practice is a major factor in your average salary as a radiologist. In some states, the median salary for radiologists is much higher, due to different variables such as demand and state requirements for practice.

As of 2013, here are some of the figures for average radiologist salaries in certain states:

  • California – $190,000 annually
  • Georgia – $189,000 annually
  • Massachusetts – $198,000 annually
  • Mississippi – $202,000 annually
  • New York – $203,000 annually
  • Washington – $197,000 annually

With the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting that the employment growth for physicians and surgeons up to 2020 will increase by 24 percent, the radiology career would seem to be a wise choice if you are in the middle of selection.

In particular, radiologists will continue to be highly sought-after as an aging population requires diagnosis and treatment of age-related illnesses and other conditions.

Radiology FAQs

Radiologist vs. Radiology Technician: What’s the Difference?

Perhaps you have noticed that there are several titles or job descriptions that are related to radiology, and you are curious to know what the differences are.

If you have had to have an X-ray, CT or MRI scan before, it is possible that you have noticed how there are radiologists and radiology technicians who work in hospitals, clinics, or other medical facilities, and they seem to have different job descriptions of their own.

While both are considered as health care professionals, working side-by-side in hospitals and other medical and healthcare facilities, and dealing with much of the same aspects of radiology and its purpose of diagnosing and combating illnesses, radiologists and radiology technicians differ based on their level of training, experience, and duties.

What Do Radiology Technicians Do?

Radiologist vs. Radiology Technician: What’s the Difference?Radiology technicians specialize in handling the equipment and in conducting the various imaging tests such as ultrasounds, X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, etc.

Generally, radiology technicians focus on specializing in one type of procedure, but it is more advantageous to aim for certification in more than one procedure so the radiology technician can perform several.

If you walk into a clinic or hospital, the radiology technician would be the one to assist you with the procedure based on the doctor’s instructions and the patient’s needs.

The radiology technician is also responsible for making sure that the patient is properly shielded and prepped for the examination. Most importantly, the radiology technician must operate the equipment correctly, aligning and adjusting the imaging equipment appropriately and assisting the doctors or radiologists with the test results.

What Do Radiologists Do?

On the other hand, the radiologist is trained for more advanced responsibilities such as using radiation equipment for treating illnesses, and analyzing results and discussing them with the patient in order to come up with the best possible solution.

They have a higher level of understanding of the medical imaging procedures and test results, so they are expected to fully interpret and discuss them with patients. While in smaller clinics or facilities, the radiologist may also be the one to handle the examination itself, in larger facilities it is usually the radiology technician’s duty to carry out the examination, while the radiologist handles the results.

Education and Training: More Required for Radiologists

Radiology technicians can usually complete an associate’s or bachelor’s degree to prepare for the job, and be able to earn a state license (requirements vary by state) as well as pass a comprehensive examination.

Many vocational schools or community colleges have fast-track courses and programs for radiology technicians, averaging about two years of schooling.

Radiologists, on the other hand, go through a much longer process of acquiring an undergraduate and graduate degree, completing internship and residency, before being able to practice as full-fledged radiologists.

Aspiring radiologists are looking at an average of 10 years of training.

Salary Comparison: Radiologists Earn More

Of course, the hard work does pay off in the end.

On the average, radiologists have an annual salary of around $356,885 yearly, while radiology technicians average $54,340 yearly.

That said, job growth prospects for both radiology technicians and radiologists are expected to continue to grow yearly, with the demand projected to increase to 28 percent by the year 2020.

Want to learn more about Radiologists and Radiology Technicians?

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Jobs in Radiology

Radiology Jobs: Where to Apply for a Career in Radiology

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.

Radiology professions

Radiology Jobs: Where to Apply for a Career in RadiologyWithin 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.

Look into job options

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.