The Upstate Medical University defines a radiologist as a technician who is trained in doing specialized x-ray procedures for diagnostic purposes and reading the results of those procedures. Radiologists mostly work in the healthcare field (some operate radiology equipment in other settings, such as research facilities or security-screening operations). Radiologists may work in a variety of different settings within the healthcare industry. Their average salaries vary depending on where they work, the specific jobs they do, the level of training they have, and their experience levels.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage for a radiologist in May 2008 was $25.59. The average annual earnings for an individual in that position as of May 2008 was $53,230. Those figures do not take into account other benefits, such as employer-provided medical insurance, employer-matched retirement funding, and educational benefits.
The low-end hourly wage for a radiologist is $16.87, or $35,400 a year. The high-end hourly wage for a radiologist is $36.04, or an annual salary of $74,970. Approximately 25 percent of radiologists fall under the low-end wage classification and 25 percent fall under the high-end wage classification at, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Division of Occupational Employment Statistics published in 2008.
Salary by Industry
Radiologists are employed in many industries that span the medical and scientific vocations. The five industries with the most employed radiologists are general medical and surgical hospitals; physician offices; medical and diagnostic laboratories; outpatient care centers, and federal government jobs. The average hourly wage for each of those industries above, as of May 2008, was almost $26 per hour. The average annual earnings as of May 2008 for radiologists in all of those industries was about $53,800, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Division of Occupational Employment Statistics published in 2008.
The BLS also lists the top five industries that employ radiologists with the highest wages: scientific research and development services; employment services; office administrative services; colleges, universities and professional schools; and specialty hospitals (not including substance abuse or psychiatric facilities). In May 2008, the average hourly wage for radiologist working in those specific industries ranged from $30.57 to $27.17. The average annual salary for them ranged from $63,580 to $56,500.
Salary by State
The top five states in May 2008 that employed the most radiologists were West Virginia, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The average hourly wage in those states ranged from $20.03 in West Virginia to $23.26 in Tennessee. The average annual earnings ranged from $41,660 in West Virginia to $48,380 in Tennessee.
The states that offered the highest wages to radiologists were Massachusetts, Nevada, Maryland, New Jersey, and California. The average hourly wage for those states ranged from $32.33 in Massachusetts to $29.70 in California. The average annual salary for those states ranged from $62,240 in Massachusetts to $61,780 in California, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Open positions for radiologists will increase approximately 15 percent from 2006 to 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Radiologists who have many years of experience, are accredited in more than one area of the field, and are willing to relocate will be the most attractive to employers. Most radiologists will continue to work in hospitals, but more openings are expected in physician offices and diagnostic centers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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