Degree In Radiology Salary

Last Updated on January 17, 2023

Diagnostic Radiology and Imaging Physics

The overall demand for healthcare workers, including medical imagers, is consistently increasing. The aging baby boomer population has resulted in opportunity, both in the increased need for diagnostic imaging procedures, and the need for providers to fill positions vacated by retirement. Such an increase in medical imaging careers is creating employment opportunities for individuals who are interested in, or who have already obtained, a two-year degree in the field.

It may be difficult to determine which medical imaging specialty is right for you. It’s important to weigh your personal interests, skill level, educational opportunities, and availability of programs in your area when selecting a specialization. It’s also important to take into account the income and job growth potential of the specialty you choose. Below we will break down the salaries of the top paying medical imaging careers, as well as employment growth rates, job descriptions, and educational requirements.  Conditions in your area may vary.

Top Careers in Medical Imaging

The top 5 paying medical imaging careers nationwide, ranked from highest to lowest:

SpecialtyMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth Rate
Radiation Therapists$86,8507%
Nuclear Medicine Technologist$79,5905%
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer$75,92017%
MRI/Radiologic Technologist$63,7107%
Cardiovascular Technologist$59,1005%

Salary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The most recent figures are from May, 2020. Conditions in your area may vary

Medical Imaging Career Paths

Numerous modalities have arisen or become more prevalent over the last few decades as a result of new technologies and discoveries. There are now many specialties within medical imaging to work towards, including these high paying careers:

Radiation therapist

Radiation therapists, who work closely with radiologists, can prescribe and administer radiation therapy, often for the treatment of cancer. The radiation therapist is part of a team that works to treat and ultimately cure a patient’s disease. Due to the nature of the disease, the radiation therapist often helps comfort and reassure the patient. A warm “bedside manner” is critical to the successful implementation of the treatment.

  • Educational Requirement: minimum Associate’s degree, bachelor’s often preferred
  • Median annual salary: $86,850/year, $41.76 per hour
  • Job growth: 7% increase by 2029

Nuclear medicine technologist

The nuclear medicine tech, working closely with a supervising physician, administers radioactive compounds, called radiopharmaceuticals. Responsibilities include performing and analyzing imaging procedures using radiation-detecting equipment, which the physician then uses for diagnostic purposes. Excellent communication skills and attention to detail are critical, as is a strong foundation in math.

  • Educational requirement: minimum Associates Degree, some require  Bachelor’s Degree
  • Median annual salary: $79,590/year, $38.27 per hour (BLS, 2020)
  • Job growth: 5% by 2029

Diagnostic medical sonographer

Diagnostic medical sonographers, also known as ultrasound technicians, use devices that emit high frequency sound waves to produce images of unborn fetuses, internal organs, tissues, and muscles. The use of ultrasound as a diagnostic and/or source of treatment has increased dramatically, and the demand for ultrasound technicians has risen as well. In fact, sonography has been ranked #5 in the top 30 best healthcare support jobs.

  • Educational requirement: Associates degree
  • Median annual salary: $75,920/year, $37.40 per hour
  • Job outlook: 17% by 2029

Most ultrasound technicians work in a hospital setting where workdays may include 12 hour shifts. Ultrasound techs, as with most of the other medical imaging specialists, must be capable of active physical exertion and able to lift up to 80 pounds.  There are also varying career paths available to sonographers beyond direct patient-care.

MRI / Radiologic technologist

MRI and radiologic technologists use imaging equipment that utilizes a magnetic field and radio waves to create images of the inside of a patient’s body. The large tubes that patients are placed in for an MRI are confining and loud, which can create anxiety and claustrophobia in the patient. Therefore, the technologist is often required to listen to the patient’s concerns and fears and reassure them.

  • Educational requirement: Associates degree
  • Median annual salary: $63,710/year, $30.63 per hour
  • Job outlook: 7% by 2029

Cardiovascular technologist

Cardiovascular techs can perform both invasive and non-invasive procedures on patients to help monitor and diagnose diseases related to the heart or vascular system. There are several specialties available within cardiovascular technology, including cardiology technologists, vascular technologists, and cardiac sonographers. The job duties for each may vary. Click here to learn more about cardiovascular technologists.

  • Educational requirement: Associates degree
  • Median annual salary: $59,100/year
  • Job Growth: 5% increase by 2029

Note that pre-requisites for some of the above credentials may require more extensive professional experience and/or CMEs than others in the list (and than those that did not make the top five).

How much does a Radiologist make?

As of Jun 21, 2021, the average annual pay for a Radiologist in the United States is $324,041 a year.

Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $155.79 an hour. This is the equivalent of $6,232/week or $27,003/month.

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $400,000 and as low as $80,500, the majority of Radiologist salaries currently range between $282,000 (25th percentile) to $400,000 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $400,000 annually across the United States. The average pay range for a Radiologist varies little (about $118,000), which suggests that regardless of location, there are not many opportunities for increased pay or advancement, even with several years of experience.

Based on recent job postings on ZipRecruiter, the Radiologist job market in both Lagos, NG and the surrounding area is very active. A Radiologist in your area makes on average $324,041 per year, or the same as the national average annual salary of $324,041. ranks number 1 out of 50 states nationwide for Radiologist salaries.

To estimate the most accurate annual salary range for Radiologist jobs, ZipRecruiter continuously scans its database of millions of active jobs published locally throughout America.

Find your next high paying job as a Radiologist on ZipRecruiter today.

What are Top 10 Highest Paying Cities for Radiologist Jobs

We’ve identified 10 cities where the typical salary for a Radiologist job is above the national average. Topping the list is San Jose, CA, with Oakland, CA and Tanaina, AK close behind in the second and third positions. Tanaina, AK beats the national average by $62,979 (19.4%), and San Jose, CA furthers that trend with another $69,043 (21.3%) above the $324,041 average.

Importantly, San Jose, CA has a moderately active Radiologist job market with only a few companies currently hiring for this type of role.

With these 10 cities having average salaries higher than the national average, the opportunities for economic advancement by changing locations as a Radiologist appears to be exceedingly fruitful.

Finally, another factor to consider is the average salary for these top ten cities varies very little at 4% between San Jose, CA and Concord, CA, reinforcing the limited potential for much wage advancement. The possibility of a lower cost of living may be the best factor to use when considering location and salary for a Radiologist role.

CityAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
San Jose, CA$393,084$32,757$7,559$188.98
Oakland, CA$388,613$32,384$7,473$186.83
Tanaina, AK$387,020$32,252$7,443$186.07
Wasilla, AK$387,014$32,251$7,443$186.06
Hayward, CA$380,474$31,706$7,317$182.92
Jackson, WY$380,066$31,672$7,309$182.72
Norwalk, CT$379,066$31,589$7,290$182.24
Seattle, WA$377,854$31,488$7,266$181.66
Vallejo, CA$377,761$31,480$7,265$181.62
Concord, CA$376,960$31,413$7,249$181.23

What are Top 5 Best Paying Related Radiologist Jobs in the U.S.

Analyzing some similar jobs related to the Radiologist job category, we found that Interventional Radiologist jobs have average salaries greater than Radiologist jobs.

However, Interventional Radiologist salaries only average 3.7% ($11,858) more than the average Radiologist salary of $324,041. If you’re qualified, finding work as an Interventional Radiologist may give you a small lift versus the average Radiologist position.

Job TitleAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
Interventional Radiologist$335,899$27,992$6,460$161.49
Musculoskeletal Radiologist$306,914$25,576$5,902$147.55
Breast Imaging Radiologist$304,649$25,387$5,859$146.47
Radiologist Physician$281,903$23,492$5,421$135.53
Physician Radiologist$272,075$22,673$5,232$130.81

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