What Is the Average Annual Income for a Radiologist?

Radiologists use x-rays and other imaging procedures to examine and diagnose patients. Learn the average salary of a radiologist as well as the education and licensure requirements. Schools offering Biomedical Engineering Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What do Radiologists Do?

A radiologist is a doctor who specializes in imaging technology used to diagnose, treat and prevent diseases. Radiologists interpret x-rays, CT and CAT scans, ultrasounds and mammograms. They identify foreign growths, bone breakage and other ailments beneath human soft tissues. Radiologists also perform minor invasive procedures such as arthrograms (an x-ray of a patient's joint using a contrasting material like water or dye) and hystrosalpingograms (a specialized x-ray of the female reproductive organs).

What Kind of Training Do I Need?

Like all doctors, radiologists need to complete a minimum of four years of medical school. This means you need a doctor of medicine degree (M.D.) that includes 3-4 years residency or internship experience before you can qualify for a license in radiology. During your residency program you will have a chance to work side-by-side with acclaimed diagnostic and clinical radiologists.

If you want to specialize in a particular area such as pediatric, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal radiology, you need to complete additional internships or courses that prepare you for you the intended field. Radiology specialists who complete additional years of training typically earn higher salaries than general diagnosis radiologists.

What Kind of License Do I Need?

All doctors need a medical license to practice. The American Board of Radiology (ABR) certifies new radiologists. Radiologists progress though the certification process during their residency years. General radiologists usually have a certificate in diagnostic radiology. A general radiology includes a variety of diagnostic and image-guided therapeutic techniques such as ultrasounds, mammograms, CAT scans, and other computed tomography methods. If you wish to specialize in a subfield of radiology, ABR offers certificates in fields that include pediatric, vascular and interventional, nuclear radiology and neuroradiology.

How Much Will I Make?

Between 2008-2018, job growth for radiologists was expected to be much faster than the average for all occupations, reported the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, (www.bls.gov). Salary information for radiologists can vary depending on experience and field of specialty. General or diagnostic radiologists typically earn less than specialists in the field. Due to the wide spectrum of educational requirements between general radiologists and specialized radiologists, the gap in wages can be very wide. According to PayScale.com, in June 2011, most radiologists, the 10th to 90th percentiles, earned between $36,346-$304,943 a year.

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