What Is the Average Salary for a Radiography Tech in the U.S.?

Radiography techs use high-tech machinery, like x-rays, to help doctors diagnose patients. Read on to learn more about radiography techs and how much they get paid. Schools offering Cardiovascular Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Description

Radiography techs are typically referred to as radiologic technologists and technicians. In this occupation, you'll use radiographic equipment to capture diagnostic images of parts of the human body, like internal organs and bones. First, you'll greet patients and explain the procedure to them thoroughly. During this time, you'll make sure patients meet all the necessary requirements to have the procedure performed, including removing jewelry and loose articles of clothing.

Next, you'll position them on or in front of the machine correctly in order to perform the radiography procedure. There are many different types of examinations and machines, such as mammography, x-ray, computer tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. This career requires you to wear protective materials and follow safety procedures in order to minimize risk to yourself and your patients.

Important Facts About Radiology Technologists and Technicians

Required Education Associate's degree
Professional Certification Exam provided by the state or through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT)
Key Skills Attention to detail, strong mathematical foundation, clear communication, reading comprehension, physical endurance, computer competency
Similar Occupations Radiation therapists; nuclear medicine technologists; diagnostic medical sonographers; cardiovascular technologists and technicians

Salary Overview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), radiologic technologists earned a mean hourly wage of $27.65 and a mean annual wage of $57,510 in May 2014 (www.bls.gov). Those within the top 10% made $38.50 or more per hour, which comes out to $80,080 or more yearly. Those within the bottom 10% made $18.08 or less per hour, which comes out to $37,610 or less yearly.

Salary by Industry

If you're interested in a career in the top-paying industry, pursue a job at a commercial and industry machinery and equipment rental and leasing, which offered radiography techs a mean hourly wage of $34.86, or a mean annual wage of $72,500 in May 2014. Other high-paying employers included colleges, universities, and professional schools ($65,920), nursing care facilities ($64,750), specialty hospitals ($63,650) and scientific research and development services ($62,540).

Average wages for industries with high employment levels included $58,610 for general medical and surgical hospitals, $53,560 for the offices of physicians, $58,030 for medical and diagnostic laboratories, $57,830 for outpatient care centers and $60,040 for the federal executive branch of the government.

Salary by Location

As of May 2014, the BLS reported that California, Texas, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania had high radiologic technologist employment levels. The average annual wages for these locations at that time were $73,550, $54,250, $66,280, $50,760 and $54,040, respectively. California also had the highest average wages in the country at that time.

States with high average pay included Massachusetts ($70,010), Alaska ($68,870), the District of Columbia ($72,530) and Hawaii ($68,190). Workers in states that included South Carolina, Alabama, Kansas, Iowa and Louisiana made much lower wages that averaged $26,510-$49,250.

Salary by Experience

Radiology technologists with 0-5 years of work experience earned salaries ranging from $31,916-$57,645, according to September 2015 figures from PayScale.com. Annual earnings were $36,720-$62,828 with 5-10 years of experience and $38,962-$69,565 with 10-20 years of experience.

Job Outlook

Radiography techs were expected to see faster-than-average job growth in the coming years, according to the BLS. Employment of radiography techs was expected to grow 9% from 2014 to 2024. This projection is due to an increased demand for healthcare - specifically diagnostic imaging - spurred by an aging and growing population. If you specialize in several different types of diagnostic imaging procedures, you may see better employment opportunities than radiography techs who specialize in only one type of diagnostic imaging.

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