Hospitals, imaging labs and outpatient centers depend on traveling radiologic technologists to service a growing number of patients who require X-rays, CAT scans and other diagnostic procedures. These technologists position patients for procedures, take images of them and enable radiologists and physicians to diagnose injuries or abnormalities. If you want to become a traveling radiologic technologist, you need at least an associate's degree or certificate from a college or university. You can expect to earn an average annual salary of around $70,000.
Salary and Qualifications
The average annual salary of a traveling radiologic technologist was $78,000 as of 2013, according to the job site Indeed. Traveling radiologic technologists can make up to 50 percent more than permanent staffers who work in one location, according to staffing company American Traveler. To get a job in this field, you need the minimum of an associate's degree in radiography. Another viable option is obtaining a certificate in radiography, which takes six months to a year to complete. All radiologic technologists must get licensed by passing an exam through The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, or ARRT. Other important requirements you'll need are stamina and attention to detail and communication, science and math skills.
Average salaries for traveling radiologic technologists varied the most within the West region in 2013, according to Indeed, where they earned the least in Hawaii and most in California -- $50,000 and $84,000, respectively. Those in the South made $67,000 to $93,000 in Louisiana and Washington, D.C., respectively. If you worked as a traveling radiologic technologist in the Northeast, you'd earn $67,000 or $94,000 in Maine or New York, respectively - the lowest and highest earnings in that region. In the Midwest, you'd make $58,000 to $86,000 per year, with the lowest salary in Nebraska and South Dakota and highest in Illinois.
A traveling radiologic technologist can earn a higher salary working for a specific type of employer or medical establishment. For example, radiologic technologists' salaries were highest in colleges and universities, according to May 2012 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics -- $66,810 versus the industry average of $56,450 for all radiologic technologists. Traveling radiologic technologists may travel to these educational institutions to instruct students in classrooms or laboratories. Radiologic technologists also earned considerably high salaries at specialty hospitals -- cardiac, cancer or children's hospitals -- $61,410 per year. You may also earn more in this field by working for a larger hospital or medical staffing firm.
The BLS forecasts a 28 percent increase in employment for radiologic technologists, including those who travel, through 2020 -- an above-average growth rate. Population increases among aging baby boomers and seniors, who typically need diagnostic procedures more frequently, should increase job opportunities for traveling radiologic technologists. Although employment is still highest in hospitals, your staffing or medical services company may assign you to work in physicians' offices, imaging and outpatient centers -- mainly because of technological advances at these medical facilities.