Radiology is a specialist field of medicine which uses radiation and imaging to help doctors diagnose and treat medical conditions. A diagnostic radiologist is a physician who interprets the results of x-rays, ultrasound, CT scans, nuclear medicine, and MRIs, in order to diagnose illnesses. Clinical radiologists are also physicians, and use radiation to treat certain conditions, such as cancer.
Radiologists are assisted by radiological technologists, who are skilled in using imaging equipment to produce scans. Radiological technologists usually physically perform the scans, under a radiologist’s direction, ensuing the imaging is done accurately and safety.
Annual salaries for radiologists and radiologic technologists will vary depending on your experience, education level, and expertise.
In 2013, the average annual salary for miscellaneous physicians and surgeons working in the U.S. was $187,200 per year, but it isn’t clear how many of these physicians and surgeons were radiologists.
In 2013, the average annual salary for radiologic technologists in the U.S. was $56,760 per year.
For more information on what parts of the country have the most opportunities in radiology, click through to our Best Places to Work tab for information on the number of people employed and the average salary in each state.
California leads the nation in employment for radiological technologists, where 14,740 are currently working statewide, and earning an annual average salary of $72,030. Texas is second in employment with 13,520 radiological technologists occupying positions in various industries, who earn an average salary of $53,490. Separate career numbers for radiologists are harder to come by.
The metro areas employing the most radiological technologists are:
The metro areas employing the highest concentration of radiological technologists are:
The metro areas employing the best-paid radiological technologists are:
Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career in radiology. The associated information has been gathered from Bureau of Labor statistics, representing data collected in 2012.
It’s hard to understate the importance of radiology to patients, but it has benefits as a career as well. Here are some of them:
Good-quality scans and careful examination of the resulting images is vital—it can save lives. It requires great skill and care. A working knowledge of these skill sets will help to set you apart from other candidates.
Feel like you’ve got a lot to learn? Get more information about radiology careers, degrees, and applicable courses from one of the schools below.
For radiological technologists, the usual qualification is an associate’s degree in the subject through a college, technical school, or vocational school. Coursework includes anatomy and physiology, radiation physics and protection, pathology, and image evaluation.
Radiologists must also become licensed in most states. Requirements vary, but the license usually requires an exam.
For radiologists, many more years of study are needed. First, radiologists need to obtain a bachelor’s degree, and then to attend medical school, getting either a medical degree (MD) or doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO).
During the four years of medical school, radiology candidates will go through two years of study, followed by two years of supervised rotations inside of a hospital or other healthcare facility. Afterward, radiologists must then complete four years of a radiology residency, giving them hands-on experience performing radiology procedures on patients.