Salary ranges in radiology vary depending on a variety of factors, including geographical location, educational background and place of employment. The earning power of a radiologist also changes with experience, especially for those who maintain their base practice, rather than moving on to management or educational positions.
Experience plays an important role in the type and amount of salary earned by radiologists. According to PayScale.com, those with less than a year of experience can expect an average national salary of $49,132. Earnings go up consistently over the next few years, until the five-year mark, where the jump is a lot more significant, with professionals claiming a median salary of $194,030 per year. A good reason for this jump is that by this time, many radiologists tend to move on to other positions, including management, sales or research, so those who remain can command much higher earnings.
Radiologists earn different salaries based on the type of educational background they have. There are basically three ways to become a radiologist: complete a hospital training program (usually nine to 12 months), earn an Associate Degree in Radiology (two years) or complete a Bachelor's Degree in Radiologic Sciences (four years). The higher the degree, the more chances for advancement and the higher the salaries that can be earned, especially after experience becomes relevant. For example, graduates from a hospital program can expect to earn under $50,000, while those with a Bachelor's will more likely earn over $70,000.
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates the hourly rate for a radiologist to start at about $14. Certain cities, like Orlando and Houston, pay in that range, as do entry-level positions for recent graduates. The hourly rate goes up as experience increases or depending on location. Radiologists in Ohio earns an average of $24.57 an hour, while those with more than five years of experience can expect rates as high as $30.97 an hour.
Radiologists' earnings vary significantly from one state to the next. Surprisingly, salaries for radiologists do not seem to correspond with the cost of living of a specific state. For example, in New York State, where medical professionals tend to have higher salaries, radiologists earn a median salary of $80,000 a year. Californian radiologists, on the other hand, earn an average of $204,257. The lower salaries are in some of the Southern states, such as Texas, where the median annual salary for a radiologist is $48,696.
Most radiologists work in a hospital or clinical settings, often as a salaried employee but sometimes as a freelancer. Of all the work settings, hospitals pay the lowest salaries for radiologists, averaging $78,671. State and local government work opportunities and non-profit organizations come next, with median earnings of just over $85,000. The better salaries come from private organizations or educational facilities, such as teaching colleges and universities, where salaries average $225,000 a year.