X-ray imaging is only a small subset of the diagnostic and interventional tools used by radiography technologists. They also rely on computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound to help radiologists diagnose and treat disease. As expected, those in managerial positions earn more than those on staff. But radiologic managers can improve their earnings even further by specializing in a branch of radiography.
In 2012, radiologic technologists earned an average of $56,450 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 10 percent of earners made more than $77,160, while the bottom 10 percent earned less than $37,060 annually. While assumptions can be made about what a manager earned, these figures fail to break out the pay by position in the department.
A survey by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists provides a clearer picture of earnings by role. As of 2010, radiography managers earned an average of $64,673 a year. Staff technologists made $49,633, while senior techs made $54,197 annually. Chief technologists earned close to the salaries of managers, at an average of $60,270 a year.
As with any medical career, radiography technologists can specialize in a branch of radiography. Those who manage specialized departments tend to earn a different scale than “traditional” radiography managers. The 2010 ASRT survey found that computed tomography managers earned $70,992 a year, whereas those in charge of cardiovascular-interventional radiography earned $76,221 a year. In mammography departments, managers averaged $71,023 annually. Those in charge of magnetic resonance image, or MRIs, earned $75,234.
The BLS expects employment for radiologic technologists to grow by 28 percent through 2020. This is twice as fast as the average for all U.S. occupations, an estimated 14 percent. In this relatively large field, the 28 percent equates to the creation of roughly 61,000 new jobs. Technologists with professional certifications, such as vascular-interventional radiography, cardiac-interventional radiography or computed tomography, should see the greatest prospects.
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