Master's in Radiology: Salary and Career Facts

Explore the career possibilities for individuals with master's degrees in radiology. Get the facts about job duties, certification requirements and potential salaries to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Cardiovascular Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is A Master's in Radiology?

A master's degree in radiology is earned after one completes graduate level studies to become a specialist in the field of radiology. Common careers for individuals with a master's degree in radiology include being a radiologic technologist, also known as a radiographer, or being a radiology assistant. These medical professionals are trained to use specialized equipment to perform tests on patients. They use the equipment to produce internal images. Radiologic technologists may be involved in maintaining and calibrating the equipment they use and performing minor repairs. They also keep patient records and use computerized equipment during the process of producing the images. Once they've produced the images they consult with physicians to ensure they have all the data that they need, or if more images are needed. The physicians use the images radiologic technologist's produce to diagnose the patient.

Degree Required Master's degree
Education Field of Study Radiology or radiologic science
Key Responsibilities Radiographers ensure patients cannot move during x-ray examination, monitor patients for reactions to medications used in examination

Radiology assistants assess and interact with patients, evaluate radiologic images
Licensure Licensure and registration requirements vary by state
Job Growth (2014-2024) 9% (for all radiologic technologists)*
Average Salary (2015) $58,520 (for all radiologic technologists)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics'

Masters in Radiology Career and Salary Overview

Potential careers for individuals with a master's degree in radiology include a radiographer or a radiology assistant. Typical training for a radiographer includes an associate's degree, bachelor's degree or a certificate, in combination with work experience. To become a radiology assistant, you must have a master's degree in radiology, and documented experience. This degree may be called a Master of Science in Radiology or Radiologic Science. You should expect to complete anywhere from 30-60 credit hours in order to graduate.

What Might My Duties Include?

According to Akron Children's Hospital, a radiographer - also called a radiologic technician or technologist - uses x-ray machines to take images of the human body in order to diagnose a patient's illness or condition (www.akronchildrens.org). The radiographer ensures that a patient cannot move during the x-ray examination, and places a lead vest over the patient for protection against excess radiation exposure. In addition, the radiographer monitors a patient for reactions to medications used in the examination, if any, and may work as part of a team in emergency treatment situations.

A radiologist assistant or radiologist extender works under a radiologist's supervision. As a radiologist assistant, you would assess and interact with patients; this includes examinations. Sometimes, a radiologist assistant evaluates radiologic images before forwarding the images and their observations to the supervising radiologist (www.asrt.org).

How Much Can I Earn?

A radiologic technologist earned anywhere from $54,290 in a physician's office to $63,890 at a scientific research facility in May 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In the same year, a radiologic technologist earned an average salary of $58,520 (www.bls.gov). The top paying states for radiologic technologist in 2015 included California, where a radiologic technologist earned $36.57 per hour, and the District of Columbia, where a radiologic technologist earned $36.01 per hour.

A radiologist assistant or extender's salary varies from state to state. According to the most recent data from SalaryExpert.com, radiology assistants earned an average of $46,171 in 2016.

Certification and Registration Information

The American Registry of Radiologic Technicians (ARRT) issues certification and registration for individuals with training in radiology. You can become certified after you finish an approved degree program and pass an entrance examination. Once a radiologic professional is certified, they can apply for registration (www.arrt.org). The registration is renewable on an annual basis and requires current certification and payment of a fee. Licensure requirements are different for each state, according to the American Society of Radiologic Technicians (www.asrt.org).

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including vascular technologists, nuclear medicine technologist and radiation therapists all work in the medical field. They all use medical equipment to either generate internal images of a patient or to administer treatments to patients. They are required to have an associate's degree. Their work is similar to the work that radiologic technologists do because they are trained to use specialized medical equipment. They must understand how the equipment works and be able to maintain it properly, and must also understand how the procedure will impact the patient to ensure that the test or treatment proceeds normally. They also need to be able to read the images they produce or analyze readings they receive during the process.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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