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Increasing Your Radiology Tech Salary with Education and Experience

By Leah DiPlacido, Feb 01 '11

A radiologic technologist performs a variety of tasks, one of which may be taking and developing x-rays. While radiologic technicians generally stick to taking x-rays, radiologic technologists often specialize in a specific sub-field of radiology such as magnetic resonance, computed tomography, and/or mammography. Because of the lack of specialization, the radiologic technician salary tends to be on average lower than that of the radiologic technologist. However, this career is highly rewarding and still offers a number of benefits, financially and otherwise.

Average Radiology Tech Salary

In 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics conducted a comprehensive survey to determine the average radiology tech salary and reported the following data:

  • The mean hourly wage was $26.05/ hour.
  • The mean yearly salary was $54,180/year.
  • Top earners made about $36 per hour, or $75,440 per year.

Because radiologic technologists tend to be more specialized that radiology technicians, earning additional training to become a radiology technologist can increase salaries even more.

The Link Between Radiology Tech Salary and Education

The most common way to become a radiology tech is to complete a two-year associate's degree program. Alternatively, completing a hospital certificate program, which takes about two years, or a bachelor's degree program, which takes four years, can also prepare a person for a radiology tech career. An additional voluntary certification may be earned from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), and many states require an ARRT-administered exam that must be passed to earn a license to practice.

The American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) conducts regular salary surveys to keep track of the radiographer salary, the most recent of which was in 2007. The link between education and salary can be seen in the numbers:

  • Radiology techs with a certificate earned an average of $57,703/year.
  • Those with an associate's degree earned an average salary of $55,684/year.
  • Those with a bachelor's degree earned about $62,457/year.

Radiology Tech Salary: Watch it Grow With Experience

Gaining on-the-job experience is another way to enhance the salary of a radiology tech. ASRT also analyzed how experience affected the average salary of respondents:

  • Less than 2 years of experience: $44,346/year.
  • Between 3 and 5 years of experience: $47,637/year.
  • 6 to 10 years of experience: $56,762/year.
  • Over 10 years of experience: $60,000/year.

This data indicates that a career as a radiology technologist can be very financially rewarding, and furthermore, those who have extensive experience and advanced education are often the highest earners.

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