7 High-Paying Radiology Jobs (With Salaries and Duties)
Updated August 9, 2023
The radiology field has several lucrative careers, such as sonographers and radiation therapists. These jobs involve using medical imaging equipment to diagnose and treat patients. If you're interested in pursuing the radiology field, then it might benefit you to learn about the different careers from which you could choose.
In this article, we discuss seven radiology jobs by listing each of their salaries and job duties, along with providing tips for finding a career in this field.
What are radiology jobs?
Radiology jobs are careers that specialize in diagnostic imagining. These careers usually involve equipment, such as X-rays, ultrasounds, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) technology. Professionals in the radiology field use these tools to create images of a patient's organs.
Once they develop the image, they study it to diagnose a disease or condition. They might compare the image of the patient's organ to an image of a properly functioning organ to identify any abnormalities. The doctor can also use these images to create treatment plans. There are several specialties within radiology, such as nuclear, pediatric and vascular radiology.
7 highest-paying radiology jobs
Here's a list of seven high-paying radiology jobs. For the most up-to-date salaries, please click on the links below:
National average salary: $61,370 per year
Primary job duties: An MRI technologist is a medical professional who specializes in magnetic resonance imaging testing. They complete MRI scans to diagnose a patient's medical ailments. MRI technologists prepare patients by injecting them with a special substance that allows the image to appear on the screen. They also explain the procedure to the patient and answer questions for them.
These professionals complete the test by using magnetic scanners with the substance to create the image. Some of their other job duties include positioning the patient and equipment, monitoring patients during the scan and analyzing the images.
Related: Learn About Being an MRI Technician
National average salary: $65,144 per year
Primary job duties: A radiologic technician is a medical professional who uses specialized imaging equipment on patients. They use this equipment to create diagnostic images of human anatomy. These professionals perform technical tasks like handling imaging equipment.
Radiologic technologists may reassure patients during their tests since scans like MRIs can be an uncomfortable experience. Some of their other job duties include maintaining the imaging equipment, preparing patients for their tests and operating the equipment during a scan. They also follow directions from a physician and record the patient's medical information.
National average salary: $77,740 per year
Primary job duties: A cardiovascular technologist is a radiological professional who works in a cardiac lab and performs imaging scans on patients. They diagnose and treat illnesses and disorders found in the heart. Cardiovascular technologists also complete procedures, such as stent implants, defibrillators and cardiac pacemakers.
These professionals may assist physicians with procedures or take emergency calls. They have several responsibilities, such as preparing patients for tests, answering patients' questions and recording patients' information. Cardiovascular technologists also complete stress tests and cardiograms.
National average salary: $77,740 per year
Primary job duties: A sonographer is a health care professional who uses special equipment to take videos, images or scans of patients to diagnose their health issues. Once they obtain the image, they analyze it to assess whether or not there are abnormalities. After they analyze the image, they report to a physician so they can develop a treatment plan.
Sonographers have several additional responsibilities, such as ensuring the images are high quality and creating a summary of what they found in the images. They also collaborate with doctors and nurses to care for each patient.
Related: Learn About Being a Sonographer
National average salary: $92,554 per year
Primary job duties: A radiation therapist is a health care professional who treats patients with cancer using radiation. They often collaborate with doctors and nurses who specialize in oncology, which is the study of cancer. Radiation therapists use large quantities of radiation to target cancer cells.
They follow directions given by a radiation oncologist, such as performing treatments. They have several responsibilities such as locating the area that needs treatment, using radiation machines and monitoring patients. These professionals use safety equipment to protect themselves and patients from the harmful effects of radiation.
National average salary: $93,624 per year
Primary job duties: A nuclear medicine technologist is a professional who uses radioactive drugs to perform imaging scans. They prepare the drugs and give them to patients before their tests. Radioactive drugs and radiation-detecting equipment allow doctors to capture images of a patient's body.
These professionals work closely with a supervising physician. They follow the doctor's instructions and give the test results to them so they can analyze the images. Some of their duties include handling the imaging equipment, explaining the procedure to the patient and disposing of the radioactive drugs after usage.
National average salary: $116,889 per year
Primary job duties: An ultrasonographer is a professional who specializes in ultrasound technology, which creates sound waves to take pictures of the inside of a patient's body. They may perform ultrasounds on pregnant women to monitor fetal development. They could also do ultrasounds on the heart, nervous system and cardiovascular system.
Ultrasonographers work closely with doctors and may help them perform biopsies. Some of their other duties include explaining procedures to patients, answering their questions and recording their medical information. They also monitor patients during the ultrasound and ensure that they're comfortable.
Tips for getting a job in radiology
Follows these tips for getting a job in radiology:
Decide which career you'd like to pursue
There are several careers within radiology, which is why it's important to decide the career path you'd like to pursue. This could refer to a specialty that you're interested in or the type of job you'd like to pursue. For example, you could choose a concentration in chest, abdominal, cardiovascular or neck radiology.
Choose a specialization that interests you. If you like working with children, then you could become a pediatric radiologist. Choosing a career also means the level that you'd like to pursue. For instance, you might want to be a radiologic technologist, which is a less advanced position.
Choose an appropriate educational program
After you decide on a career path, you can choose the appropriate educational program. Radiologists may have different educational requirements based on their concentration or type of job. For instance, a nuclear medicine technologist may take different courses than an ultrasonographer. This also refers to your level of education.
The requirements for a radiologic technician or technologist are usually a certificate or an associate degree. A radiation therapist typically has a bachelor's degree. Research the education requirements for your career path to ensure that you're receiving the proper amount of education.
Consider doing an internship
While you're training to enter the radiologist field, consider doing an internship. An internship provides participants with practical job experience. This is a beneficial experience that you can add to your resume or cover letter, which can help you look impressive compared to other candidates. These programs are also helpful because you get to learn about different concentrations or jobs within radiology.
Most colleges and universities have internships available with their education programs. You can also find internships, or similar programs, by researching them online. Try to choose an internship that interests you or relates to your career path.
Gain a variety of experiences
During your education and training, try to gain a variety of experiences. This can help you gain professional skills that you can add to your resume or cover letter. Gaining professional experience is important while in school because it might help you find a job easier once you graduate.
An employer might prefer a candidate who has experience and a degree or certificate versus someone who only has a degree. The experience shows that you're a qualified candidate. Consider joining a radiology fellowship or residency. You can also volunteer or apply to be an assistant.
Earn a license or certificate
Some states require radiologists to have a certification or license before they can work. These credentials show that you have extensive knowledge and experience related to radiology. Research your state's radiologist qualifications to see if it's a requirement to earn a certificate or license.
Even if it's not a requirement, it might be beneficial to earn these credentials. Having a certification is an impressive qualification that might help you earn a job. Consider earning a certificate through the American Board of Radiology.
Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
Frequently asked questions
What subspecialties in radiology pay high salaries?
Both diagnostic ultrasound sonography and interventional radiology pay high salaries. Interventional radiology involves conducting minimally invasive procedures using radiological equipment to diagnose and treat diseases affecting a wide range of organs. An interventional radiology nurse earns a national average salary of $161,314 per year. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the link provided.
What are the highest-paying cities for radiologic technologists or X-ray technicians?
Radiologic technologists or X-ray technicians in New York, New York, earn a national average salary of $118,262 per year. Other high-paying cities include Louisville, Kentucky, and Chicago, Illinois, at $104,685 per year and $91,773 per year, respectively. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the link(s) provided.
What states offer radiologists the highest salaries?
The salary of a radiologist can vary significantly, depending on the state in which they live. Radiologists who live in New York can earn up to $258,041 per year. California is another high-paying state for radiologists, with an average salary that totals $254,249 per year. Radiologists in nearby Washington can also earn up to $201,123 per year. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the link(s) provided.
What factors other than salary are important to consider when deciding on a radiology career?
When choosing a career in radiology, there are a few important factors to consider. The type of patients you want to work with and the type of medical imaging that interests you may affect the career you choose. Consider volunteering with a radiological specialist or participating in a job shadowing opportunity to learn more about the field before making a career choice.
Explore more articles
- Careers: What Are the Different Types of Electricians?
- 12 Common Jobs for Stay-at-Home Parents
- Electrical Technology vs. Electrical Engineering: Definitions and Differences
- 12 of the Most Fun Jobs in the World
- How To Become an Art Therapist in 7 Steps (With Salary)
- 20 Agricultural Science Jobs
- 15 Careers You Can Pursue With a Corrections Degree
- 12 Business Health Care Jobs (Plus Duties and Salaries)
- 16 Jobs Working for Local, State or Federal Government
- 35 Businesses Hiring Teachers
- What Is a Chief Commercial Officer (CCO)? (Plus Job Duties)
- Important Pros and Cons of Being a Journalist To Consider