Radiologists are medical practitioners who assist primary care doctors and other specialists to make accurate diagnoses for patients. They use a variety of radiologic techniques and images, such as MRI scans, X-rays, mammograms and CT scans. According to the American Board of Radiology, preparation for a career in radiology requires a minimum of 13 years of postsecondary education and training.
Average Pay Information
According to a salary survey conducted by medical industry website LocumTenens.com, radiologists earned an average of $348,863 per year as of summer 2013. Similarly, a survey conducted by industry website Medscape found that radiologists earned an average of $349,000 per year in 2012, with 51 percent of all radiologists practicing in the U.S. reporting annual salaries of between $300,000 and $500,000.
Group Practices Pay
According to Medscape's 2013 salary survey, radiologists employed by hospitals, outpatient centers and other health care organizations reported average salaries very close to the national average. Medscape found that the real differences in pay occurred among radiologists in private practice. While those in solo practices earned a lower average salary of $299,000, radiologists working in both single-specialty and multispecialty group practices made an average of $390,000 per year.
Southwestern Radiologists Lead the Pack
Radiologists working in the Southwest earned more than those in any other region as of 2012, at $407,000. The South Central states ranked second, with an average radiology salary of $383,000, followed by the Southeast at $374,000 and Great Lake states at $355,000. Other regions of the U.S. reported average radiology salaries below the national average, starting with the Western states of California, Alaska and Hawaii at $346,000; the Northwest at $336,000; the Mid-Atlantic states at $335,000; and the Northeast at $319,000. Radiologists working in the North Central states earned the least, averaging $313,000 per year.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for physicians is expected to increase between 2010 and 2020. This is especially true of radiologists, reports LocumTenens.com: health care reform embodied in the Affordable Care Act is expected to drive demand for the services of radiologists during the same decade that many are expected to retire, creating a situation in which the U.S. could see a severe shortage of radiology practitioners. While this may be bad news for patients, it's good news for newly trained radiologists seeking employment.
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