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How Much Does a Radiologist Make

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Help Others and Secure a Solid Financial Future

If you love science, care about others, are a natural problem solver and thrive in academics, a career as a radiologist could be lucrative and rewarding. Radiology is one of the highest paid specialties in the field of medicine. You will spend your days working with medical imaging technology to monitor health for issues like cancer, broken bones and dental problems. Hours can be demanding and unpredictable, but a solid salary creates a positive financial future for you and your children.

Job Description

Radiologists are highly trained specialists that specialize in medical imagery techniques like x-rays, PET scans, CT scans, MRI scans, ultrasound, nuclear medicine and fusion imaging. They sometimes work especially with orthopedic patients, cancer patients, pregnant women, pediatric patients or other sub-specialty groups. Hours can sometimes be long or unpredictable, as they are for almost all physicians. Radiologists interpret imaging results to help medical teams make informed decisions about diagnosis and treatment. They sometimes meet with patients, while other times stay behind the scenes. There is a good amount of paperwork to go with recording findings and making chart notes, but working in clinical settings keeps them on their feet and moving around to help balance out the day.

Education Requirements

It takes many years and a lot of dedication to become a radiologist, but it could be worth it because most radiologists report they would choose to go into medicine if they had it to do over again. You will need to earn your bachelor's degree and then go on to complete four years of medical school. After medical school, you will sit for your medical licensing exam and then commit to a four-year radiology residency. Some radiologists complete an additional one or two-year fellowship in order to become board certified in a radiology sub-specialty.

The median salary for radiologists is $294,969, which means that half of radiologists earn more than this, while the other half earns less. The lowest 10 percent earns around $100,000 per year, while the highest 10 percent earns nearly $460,000 per year.

About the Industry

Radiologists most often work in hospital settings in rural, small town or urban environments. Other times, they are on staff at medical clinics. Sometimes, radiology specialty clinics employ multiple radiologists in one setting. Cancer clinics often have radiologists on staff to help with overall diagnosis and treatment planning.

Years of Experience

Radiologists start out making an impressive income that only grows with time and experience. Spending 12 to 14 years preparing for your career could be worth it if you know this kind of income will provide future financial stability for your children. Here is a peek at what you could have to look forward to:

  • Early Career:

    $97,887 - $383,347
    * Mid-Career:

    $132,095 - $474,734
    * Experienced: 

    $154,716 - $510,595
    * Late-Career: 

    $169,677 - $490,570

Job Growth Trend

Like all physicians, radiologists are more in demand than ever and jobs are expected to grow much faster than other industries over the next decade. With the aging baby-boomer population, the need for all medical care is increasing. Cancer, aging bones and dental issues all create an added demand for radiologists in hospital and clinic settings