It’s a fact: A competitive salary is something everyone wants…but not every job provides. Actually, you’re right (and smart) to think about the return on investment (ROI) for your college education. That’s the good news about discovering the facts about a radiologic technologist’s salary.
Wait… What’s a Radiologic Technologist?
A radiologic technologist, sometimes called a radiographer or rad tech is a medical professional responsible for producing the body images radiologists and other physicians must have for effective, accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Becoming a rad tech takes someone with technical aptitude and a deep desire for excellence in patient care. That unique combination of talents results in salary expectations that do provide a great ROI. Go here to know more about what rad techs do.
Here are some reassuring (actually, very exciting) insights about radiologic technologist salaries. This data comes from the 2019 Survey of Radiologic Technologist Salary and Wages, distributed by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT). The ASRT is recognized as the leading professional association for the diagnostic medical imaging and radiation therapy occupation.
A radiologic technologist’s salary can vary significantly due to demand and the imaging credentials earned. For a radiologic technologist starting in the Midwestern U.S., the salary range is between $48,175 and $51,763.
According to the ASRT report, California and Hawaii are the U.S. states with the highest median compensation per year. High demand for rad techs can drive salaries up by 20-30%.
Meanwhile, the median salary for all radiologic technologists working today is $59,901, according to Salary.com.
You may wonder if such salaries reflect real-world earnings. In a word, yes, because the ASRT survey includes more than 14,000 responses from radiologic technologists who are active in the profession.
One advantage of becoming a radiologic technologist after certification as a radiographer is where they can go from there. Many earn additional certifications, including MRI, computed tomography (CT), or sonography, which increases their employment options and salary potential.
Here are three specialty imaging disciplines that the ASRT says earn $89,000 or more per year.
Here’s more welcome news about the rad tech profession: More than 41% of respondents indicate their diagnostic medical imaging employer provides full or partial funding for continuing education.
The salary stats are impressive, and so is the type of work radiologic technologists do.
Today, diagnostic imaging is the “go-to” option by physicians seeking to diagnose and assess diseases and injuries. A radiologic technologist’s specialized medical equipment can range from stationary X-ray and portable units to operating C-arm imaging equipment. C-arm machines are used to visualize human anatomy during surgeries.
A rad tech has a career that’s both “high-ouch and high-tech.” That means they work nearly as much with people every day as they do with some of the most advanced technology in the healthcare field.
Often, in an emergency room scenario, the ER physician sends the patient directly to the hospital’s imaging department. Because of this, radiologic technologists must have the skills to gain a patient’s trust in what they are being asked to do. That’s the high-touch aspect.
Meanwhile, rad techs must learn a lot about human anatomy, how to safely and carefully position the human body for optimal imaging results, and monitor radiation safety levels for the patient and the healthcare team. That’s the high-tech part.
All of this helps explain why a radiologic technologist’s salary is higher than most healthcare support roles achieved in a two-year college program. According to the U.S. News/Money annual job rankings, being a rad tech is in the top-15 of all healthcare support jobs.
Part of the reason is that radiologic technologists are needed in various work settings. Options include:
The Two-Year Degree in Radiologic Technology
A two-year associate of applied science degree (A.A.S) is an accelerated degree program where the majority of classes and experiences focus on mastering the knowledge and skills to be used in work settings. A typical two-year A.A.S. curriculum is 75 college hours, including introductory classes and focused professional coursework.
More than half of all working radiologic technologists choose to earn an A.A.S. degree in Radiologic Technology. Here’s an example of an A.A.S. in radiologic technology class schedule.
Additional Learning to Increase Your Salary Potential
As a radiologic technologist, your career pathway opens way up. Other popular designations listed in in the ASRT report include computed tomography (12.5%), mammography (10.5%), radiation therapy (9.5%), magnetic resonance imaging (9.1%), and vascular interventional radiography (3.1%).
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, healthcare-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas, a large, vibrant suburb of the Kansas City metro. Our A.A.S. in Radiologic Technology program was designed with the guidance of diagnostic imaging center professionals and is recognized as an American Registry of Radiologic Technologist (ARRT) approved educational provider for radiography.
Students complete eight general education prerequisite courses, then spend 16 months receiving instruction in the classroom and clinical training settings. The CUKC program meets the educational requirements for certification by the ARRT and our graduates are eligible to apply for certification and registration with the ARRT.
Other advantages of the CUKC Radiologic Technology degree program:
For details about a radiologic technologist’s role in today’s healthcare, contact an admissions advisor, and get the free eBook, Your Complete Guide to a Career as a Radiologic Technologist!