Pediatric radiologists are doctors that specialize in the diagnosis of injuries, illnesses and disease in children. Though they have an education in providing radiological imaging services for individuals of all ages, pediatric radiologists narrow their areas of expertise to serve children and adolescents with knowledge and experience that other radiologists may lack. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there are too few pediatric radiologists to fill the current job market, which will experience growth and higher demand in the coming years.
Pediatric radiology is a specialty field that demands a higher salary than general physicians practicing primary care. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, physicians working in specialty fields earned an average of $339,738 in 2008, though a higher demand can drive the pay scale upwards.
According to The Society for Pediatric Radiology, less than 35 pediatric radiologists complete their fellowships and enter the field each year. In fact, there are fewer than 1,000 North American members in The Society for Pediatric Radiology. On the other hand, there are many job openings for pediatric radiologists across North America at any given time, and the jobs are available in all regions and geographical areas. Pediatric radiologists need not settle for a job, but instead have negotiating power to secure a position with optimal salary and benefits.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, future job growth for radiologists will outpace the average for all other occupations. Between 2008 and 2018, the field will see an employment growth rate of approximately 22 percent—with emphasis on areas with large low-income populations or rural areas without access to the health services available in urban locations.
There are several fellowship programs available to help new pediatric radiologists work in their field of study under the supervision of experienced professionals. Fellowships typically last for one to two years, and pay less than the standard pediatric radiologist salary. For example, the pediatric radiology fellowship program at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia pays a salary support supplement of $1,000 per month, but also includes money for professional society dues and business travel, as well as four weeks of vacation time and insurance benefits.