Radiologist Salary

Radiologist’s Salary Information

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Radiologist, Med Group—Offutt Air Force Base (Flickr.com)

Radiologists utilize imaging technologies to diagnose – and sometimes treat – a variety of illnesses. Radiologists use x-rays, ultrasound, electromagnetic radiation, radionuclides, ionizing radiation, and image-guided intervention to diagnose disease in their patients and to provide therapeutic solutions. Practicing radiologists specialize in interventional or diagnostic radiology or radiation oncology, though they can choose to receive training in a number of subspecialties, including neuroradiology, nuclear radiology, pediatric radiology, and interventional radiology.

The Skinny on Salaries

A Radiologist MD can make anywhere from $150,000 to nearly $500,000 annually, and rank as some of the most highly paid medical doctors on record. The demand for radiology services has increased, however the supply of newly certified radiologists has not kept pace to meet that demand. Thus, simple supply and demand economics all but guarantees a high salary for radiologists even at entry level positions.

Radiologists must devote upward of ten years to studying and preparing for their chosen profession. So while high salaries do pose a very attractive option for med students, the commitment of time and finances required for education does limit the number of radiologists who are certified each year.

Determining Factors

More than nearly any other factor, a radiologist’s subspecialty will have a large impact on their expected salary. A general radiologist MD has completed their radiology residency and focuses on the broad field of reading and interpreting image studies. They will oversee radiology technicians who actually operate the machinery and imaging systems like x-ray machines, MRI machines, PET and CT scanners, and ultrasound machines. They may also guide some image-based biopsies or procedures. A general radiologist’s salary typically ranges between $300,000 to $400,000 annually.

A subspecialist, on the other hand, will focus their skills in a particular area of expertise. They may focus on using particular imaging modalities, specific procedures that require image guidance in the intervention, or even on specific radiation based therapies. Each specialty or subspecialty does have an impact on the salary a radiologist receives, as the various practices like nuclear radiology, neuroradiology or even pediatric radiology require a unique skill and approach.

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Radiation oncology, for example, deals specifically with the study and treatment of malignant tumors and cancers. Radiologists in this specialty will use therapeutic applications of radiant energy in their treatment of disease. A radiation oncologist can go into a further subspecialty to work in hospice and palliative medicine, which involves working with terminally ill patients to prevent and relieve their suffering. The annual salary for a radiation oncologist can range from $245,000 to well over $500,000.

Interestingly, while most medical fields are unaffected by economic fluctuations, radiology does seem to be impacted by significant economic downturns. While salaries remain high, overall increases in compensation may be stymied.

Industry Breakdown

A radiologist’s chosen place of employment will certainly also have an impact on his paycheck. More and more medical groups are consolidating, offering a greater variety of services under one roof. This certainly provides a better experience for the patient and improves physician efficiency, but it also is a way to bring in greater revenue for all doctors involved. Radiologists with solo practices are currently ranking high on the pay scale; however, that may change as the economy fluctuates and practices fight to stay competitive in their given markets. As you’ll see below, group practices typically provide some of the highest salaries.

INDUSTRY

AVERAGE HOURLY

AVERAGE ANNUAL

Hospitals

$166.49

$321,000

Healthcare Organizations

$172.19

$332,000

Multispecialty Group Practices

$166.49

$321,000

Single-Specialty Group Practices

$193.46

$373,000

Solo Practices

$171.68

$331,000

Outpatient Clinics

$150.41

$290,000

Academic Organizations

$93.36

$180,000

Geographic Breakdown

Of course, geographic location makes a large impact on salaries in just about every field – medical and otherwise – and radiology is no exception. While average annual salaries all hit well above the $200k mark, you’ll see significant differences from one state and metropolitan area to the next. You might note, however, that average salaries typically reflect cost of living in each geographic location.

STATE

AVERAGE HOURLY

AVERAGE ANNUAL

Alabama

$181.11

$349,200

Alaska

$150.31

$289,800

Arizona

$147.45

$284,300

Arkansas

$156.68

$302,100

California

$165.71

$319,500

Colorado

$125.47

$241,900

Connecticut

$180.18

$347,400

Delaware

$109.79

$311,700

District of Colombia

$109.48

$311,100

Florida

$133.71

$257,800

Georgia

$182.31

$351,500

Hawaii

$137.91

$265,900

Idaho

$142.73

$275,200

Illinois

$176.03

$339,400

Indiana

$168.71

$325,300

Iowa

$166.80

$321,600

Kansas

$122.66

$236,500

Kentucky

$170.17

$328,100

Louisiana

$121.98

$235,200

Maine

$130.54

$251,700

Maryland

$113.38

$281,600

Massachusetts

$189.26

$364,900

Michigan

$176.03

$339,400

Minnesota

$153.26

$295,500

Mississippi

$173.96

$335,800

Missouri

$175.46

$338,300

Montana

$160.36

$309,200

Nebraska

$154.14

$297,200

Nevada

$159.07

$306,700

New Hampshire

$153.99

$296,900

New Jersey

$179.51

$346,100

New Mexico

$176.13

$339,600

New York

$163.59

$315,400

North Carolina

$125.47

$241,900

Ohio

$162.24

$312,800

Oklahoma

$147.40­

$284,200

Oregon

$167.79

$323,500

Pennsylvania

$157.30

$303,300

Rhode Island

$136.46

$263,100

South Carolina

$119.11

$229,700

South Dakota

$156.94

$302,600

Tennessee

$170.33

$328,400

Texas

$168.09

$324,100

Utah

$136.04

$262,300

Vermont

$166.33

$320,700

Virginia

$179.25

$345,600

Washington

$148.44

$286,200

West Virginia

$169.39

$326,600

Wisconsin

$131.84

$254,200

Wyoming

$148.70

$286,700

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3 Responses to Radiologist Salary

  1. Susan on November 26, 2012 at 12:45 am

    Hi. I think you’re making a mistake, I think you’ve set the expected salary way too high. On other sites I’ve seen the expected salary of a Radiologist to be less than a third of what you’re quoting. Sorry.

    • Bob Rapp on November 28, 2012 at 12:06 am

      Thank you for your question, Susan. I stick to my numbers. There is a difference between a Radiologist MD and a Radiologist Technician. In this article we are talking about a Radiologist MD. Perhaps the other sites that you mention are talking about Radiologist Technicians.

      I will share with you that I have a list of professions about which I want to write next, and Radiologist Technicians are on that list. I just have to find the time to do it, that’s all.

  2. Smith on March 10, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Wow! I am surprised to see such data and up to date information according to different regions. I am currently looking to shift to the region with the highest paid salary. Also, from before, I wasn’t very much aware of such details about radiologist salary, but now I hope that it will help me to grow my career.