An X-ray technician is a qualified operator of X-ray machinery within a medical environment. Her professional title is "radiologic technician" or "radiology technologist." She works alongside a radiologist, usually in a hospital or private practice, and the images she creates are often central to diagnoses. Her salary reflects her level of skill.
In the Occupational Outlook Handbook for 2010-2011, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics published the annual average salary for a radiologic technician in the United States as $52,210. Some practitioners will earn less while others will earn considerably more. An individual's actual remuneration depends upon several factors.
Salary by Experience
As a general rule, the more experience an individual gains in her chosen profession, the better her pay. The survey conducted by PayScale.com in December 2010 found that while average salaries for newly qualified technicians was between $29,833 and $49,791, for those with between 10 and 19 years of experience the figures rose to between $75,987 and $90,000.
Salary by Employer
The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists different average salaries for different types of employers. The highest average for an X-ray medical technician is for those working in diagnostic and medical laboratories -- $55,210 -- while the lowest average was for those working in physician offices -- $48,530.
Salary by Location
Where she chooses to practice her profession will influence an X-ray technician's salary level. California, according to PayScale.com, has the largest range of salary level - $35,000 to $75,000. By contrast, the average in Florida extends from $29,163 to $45,781.
To achieve the starting salary as an X-ray technician an individual must complete a training course, either at a university or at a hospital. Typically lasting 21 to 24 months, these courses qualify the practitioner to use X-ray machinery; other imaging technologies tend to be trained for after securing employment.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that between 2008 and 2018 demand for qualified X-ray technicians will rise by 17 percent. Individuals can best take advantage of this fecund job market by learning other imaging techniques -- such as mammography and CT scanning -- to enhance their employability.