How Much Does a Radiology Tech Make?

How Much Does a Radiology Tech Make?

A radiologist tech is a medical professional who uses imaging techniques to diagnose and treat patients. The median annual wage for a radiologist tech was $61,240 in May 2019.

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Introduction

Becoming a radiologic technologist—often called a radiographer—involves completing an accredited education program and obtaining certification from either the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) or the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Once certified, a radiographer can pursue an entry-level position in diagnostic imaging at a hospital, outpatient center, or physician’s office.

A radiologic technologist’s salary is based on several factors, including experience, education, location, and place of employment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median annual wage for radiologic technologists was $60,070 in 2017, with the bottom 10 percent earning less than $43,850 and the top 10 percent earning more than $84,140 per year.

How Much Does a Radiology Tech Make in Different Settings?

Radiology techs make a decent salary, with the average radiology tech making around $28 per hour. However, where you work and how experienced you are can have a big impact on your radiology tech salary. let’s take a look at how much radiology techs make in different settings.

Hospitals

Radiology techs who work in hospitals typically make more money than those who work in other settings, such as private practices or clinics. This is because hospitals tend to be larger and have more patients, which means they can afford to pay their radiologists more. Radiology techs who work in hospitals also tend to have more experience than those who work in other settings, which can lead to higher salaries. The average salary for a radiologist tech working in a hospital is $74,000 per year.

Outpatient Imaging Centers

In an outpatient setting, such as an imaging center that provides X-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds, and other radiology services to patients referred by a physician, the tech may work Monday through Friday during daylight hours. The average salary for a radiology technologist in this setting is $29.14 per hour, or $60,640 per year.

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Mobile Imaging Companies

Working for a mobile imaging company is a great way to get started in the field of radiography. These companies provide imaging services to long-term care facilities, nursing homes, and other customers who are not able to come to a hospital or radiology center. Mobile imaging companies typically employ one or two radiologic technologists, who work together as a team to provide imaging services. The technologists in these companies are usually responsible for all aspects of the job, from setting up the equipment to taking the X-rays to providing customer service. Because mobile imaging companies typically serve a small number of customers, they often offer their technologists a high level of autonomy and independence.

In return for this autonomy, mobile imaging technologists usually earn lower salaries than those working in hospitals or other settings. The median salary for a mobile imaging technologist is $40,000 per year, or $19 per hour. Mobile imaging technologists who are just starting out in their careers can expect to earn salaries on the lower end of this range, while those with more experience can earn salaries on the higher end.

Private Practices

Private practices are usually small businesses that are owned by one or a group of radiologists. They may be located in a hospital, but they are not part of the hospital organization. Private practices may employ other health care professionals, such as nurses, receptionists, and billing staff. In some cases, the radiologists in a private practice may also provide consulting services to other physicians or hospitals.

Radiology techs working in a private practice setting may have more flexible hours than those working in a hospital. They may also have the opportunity to work with a smaller number of patients, which can allow for more individualized care. Salary levels for radiologists working in a private practice vary depending on the size and location of the practice, as well as the number of patients seen.

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What Factors Affect a Radiology Tech’s Salary?

Education, experience, and geographic location are just a few of the factors that affect a radiology tech’s salary. Radiology techs with more experience and education can command higher salaries. Those working in urban areas typically earn more than those working in rural areas.

Location

Radiology techs who live in rural areas usually earn less than those who live and work in metropolitan areas. City and suburban hospitals tend to pay more than rural hospitals and imaging centers. According to the 2016-2017 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, the median annual salary for a radiology tech was $60,070. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $40,850, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $82,710.

Education

Radiologic technologists typically need an associate’s degree from an accredited program. Some colleges and universities offer 4-year bachelor’s degree programs in radiology, but these programs generally are geared toward those who want to become radiologists—not radiologic technologists or technicians.

Some community colleges, technical institutes, and hospitals offer 2-year associate’s degree programs in radiography. These programs include classroom and laboratory work in anatomy, patient positioning, imaging procedures, radiation safety, and physics. Most states require licensure or certification for all radiologic technologists, although requirements vary by state.

Certification

In order to become a certified radiology technician, one must graduate from an accredited radiology program and then pass a certification exam administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Certification must be renewed every other year, and continuing education is required to maintain certification. Once certified, a radiology technician may use the title Registered Radiologic Technologist (R.R.T.).

Experience

One of the most important factors that affect a radiology tech’s salary is experience. Techs with more experience usually command higher salaries than those with less experience. Hospitals and other employers are often willing to pay more for techs who have specialized training or experience in areas such as computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or cardiovascular angiography.

How to Increase Your Salary as a Radiology Tech

Radiology techs are in high demand and the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 12% growth in the field by 2026. With such high demand, comes the potential for high salaries. The median salary for a radiology tech is $61,240 per year, but there are several ways you can make more money in the field. Here are a few tips.

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Get More Education

One way to make more money as a radiology tech is to get more education. You can get an associate’s degree, which is the entry-level degree for this profession, or you can get a bachelor’s or master’s degree. The more education you have, the more money you can make. You can also get certified in a specialty, such as mammography or computed tomography (CT), and this can also help you make more money.

Get Certified

Radiology techs can improve their earning potential by becoming certified. Certification demonstrates to employers that you have the skills and knowledge to perform your job at a high level. To become certified, you must pass an exam administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).

Gain Experience

The best way to increase your salary as a radiology tech is to gain experience. The more experience you have, the more valuable you will be to potential employers. In addition, most employers will offer raises and other financial incentives to employees who have been with the company for a longer period of time. There are a few ways to gain experience in the field of radiology, such as working as a certified radiology tech or working in a hospital or medical center.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how much does a radiology tech make, annual salaries for radiology techs can range from $46,000 to $84,000, with the average salary falling somewhere in the middle at about $65,000 per year. Factors such as experience, education, location, and employer type can all play a role in determining how much a radiology tech makes each year.

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