A radiology tech salary can vary depending on the level of experience and education of the professional. However, the earning potential for all technicians is very good, making it an appealing field for those looking to enter a career in the allied health arena.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for techs is around $54,000 per year. The highest paid technologists earned more than $76,000 per year.
Getting to the Top Salary Tier
While even the starting radiology tech salary is more than enough to make a living, getting off to the right start can help you climb the payment ladder.
The first step, or course, is choosing the right school. When researching a potential school there are a few things you’ll want to be on the lookout for.
- Qualified Instructors
When it comes to accreditation, there are both national and state-level accrediting agencies that are recognized by hospitals and clinics. The most recognized national agency is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs. The 15 member board of directors is responsible for denying or approving accreditation of any school based on strict guidelines of criteria.
Scheduling is another important aspect to consider when applying to a school. If you need to attend certain classes in the evening or online, make sure your school of choice offers those options.
You’ll also want to tour the campus you are considering attending to get a feel for things. Be sure to play close attention to the facilities. Is the classroom technology up to date? While you’re there, see of you can also get stats about job placement rates and how many graduates find a job within six months.
The quality of instructors at your potential school is also important. Not only will you want to make sure your instructors have years of experience, but the professor-to-student ratio is equally important. As a student, you’ll want to have access to your professors, and the opportunity to work side-by-side with industry leaders.
The Next Step Toward a Higher Radiology Tech Salary
Most students enter an 18-month degree program and earn an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree. This course of study will prepare students to enter the field as a certified technologist. After a coupe years in the field, you may choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree, which paves the way for a higher radiology tech salary.
This is a popular career path because many students are looking to enter the profession quickly and may not want to invest four years of schooling all at once. Earning an A.A.S. first allows the opportunity to get a job right out of school so graduates can make a better living and start paying down those student loans.
Once the loan debt is reduced and you have a year or two of experience knocked down, you may want to pursue a bachelor’s degree. This will pave the way toward a higher salary and more opportunities for promotion.
To earn more money as a beginning tech, consider working an overnight shift. While it can be hard to adjust to working overnights, most hospitals offer a pay differential, which means you can earn a higher salary for dealing with the inconvenience o working throughout the night.
Salaries by Specialty Area
Radiologic Mammography Tech: $62,0000
General Radiology Tech: $44,000
Average for All Techs: $51,000
Where These Jobs are Headed
While most x ray professionals will work in hospitals, more opportunities are becoming available in other areas, such as outpatient clinics and imaging centers. Outpatient care is encouraged by healthcare providers because it reduces costs and allows more procedures to be performed outside of hospitals in a more comfortable setting for patients.