Diagnostic related technologists and technicians
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Radiologic Technologists
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Overview
Radiologic technologists, also known as radiographers, perform diagnostic imaging examinations, such as x rays, on patients. MRI technologists operate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to create diagnostic images.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for radiologic technologists are expected to grow by 12%, and should have about 13,600 job openings a year.
Workforce size
Radiologic technologists, with 205,200 workers, form a larger workforce than 80% of careers.
Education
Only 31% of diagnostic related technologists and technicians have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by diagnostic related technologists and technicians
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
This is near the middle of all careeers' percentages of bachelor's holders.
Salaries
The median (middle) salary for radiologic technologists is higher than 67% of all other jobs' middle salaries. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most radiologic technologists .
This job's median $60KAll jobs' median $39K$60K$38K20142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 68% of diagnostic related technologists and technicians -- that's a larger percentage than 82% of other jobs.
Gender of diagnostic related technologists and technicians
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For diagnostic related technologists and technicians, the median men's salary was 13% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 18% of diagnostic related technologists and technicians are minority, and 12% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of diagnostic related technologists and technicians
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (12%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Radiologic Technologists per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 62% of diagnostic related technologists and technicians, and 70% have company-sponsored health insurance (19% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for diagnostic related technologists and technicians
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
The downside
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of radiologic technologists who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections (94%)
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People (82%)
  • Exposed to Radiation (76%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (73%)
  • Time Pressure (64%)
  • Consequence of Error (47%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (42%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions (35%)
  • Exposed to Contaminants (32%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do diagnostic related technologists and technicians earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. In particular, the ACS data is reported for the larger career group diagnostic related technologists and technicians, which combines the data for 5 careers, including radiologic technologists . Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data is classified by SOC specialty, and excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for radiologic technologists , and then we show how the middle (median) salary for radiologic technologists compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for radiologic technologists (BLS Salary Data)
$60K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$60K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. Additionally, we only have ACS survey data for the larger career category and not for the specialty level. We first show the full salary distribution for all diagnostic related technologists and technicians, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for diagnostic related technologists and technicians compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for diagnostic related technologists and technicians (ACS Salary Data)
$57K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$57K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where radiologic technologists work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Diagnostic related technologists and technicians (ACS)
Private for-profit (63.4%)
Private not-for-profit (28.2%)
Local government (2.2%)
State government (2.3%)
Federal government (2.9%)
Self-employed incorporated (0.6%)
Self-employed not incorporated (0.4%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of diagnostic related technologists and technicians by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses. These salaries were reported for the larger career group of diagnostic related technologists and technicians, which combines the 5 specialties for this career.
$57K$54K$61K$61K$59K$60K$51K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000$120,000Self-employed not incorporatedFederal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of radiologic technologists by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS. Remember that the BLS salaries are for the specialty radiologic technologists , and may differ signficantly from the ACS salary estimates which combine several career specialties.
$60K$65K$58K$59K$62K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for diagnostic related technologists and technicians

The biggest take-away from the following two charts is the relationship between salary and experience that we can infer from age. Does this job seem to attract especially younger or older workers? Does it reward experience?

Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working in this career changes. We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$58K$64K$61K$52K$64K$64K$46K$64K$31K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
010K20K30K40K50KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Diagnostic related technologists and technicians and gender

With 68% women, this occupation has a higher percentage of women than 82% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
68%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Diagnostic related technologists and technicians
Men (32%)
Women (68%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 20%. The situation is a little better for diagnostic related technologists and technicians, with the median salary for men 13% higher than the median salary for women. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$55K$62K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

Nationwide there are twenty careers for which men do not have a higher median (middle) salary than women. The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary, for most jobs. Diagnostic related technologists and technicians have one of the middle percentage increases for men's salary, with the increase for the men's median salary over the women's median salary in this job higher than that for 35% of other jobs.

13%0%20%40%60%80%100%

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of diagnostic related technologists and technicians

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. The percentage of minority diagnostic related technologists and technicians falls in about the middle of all careers' percentages. The percentage of foreign-born workers in this career is near the middle of all careers.

Race/origin of diagnostic related technologists and technicians
White (79% )
Black (8% )
Asian (6% )
Other (3% )
Multiracial (2% )
Hispanic (1% )
American Indian (0% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
18%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
12%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for diagnostic related technologists and technicians by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$50K$52K$54K$55K$57K$57K$63K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KHispanicBlackOtherAmerican IndianWhiteMultiracialAsian
Distribution: Salaries for diagnostic related technologists and technicians by nativity
$56K$62K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KAll native citizensAll foreign-born

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by radiologic technologists

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), radiologic technologists typically hold a associate's degree.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as diagnostic related technologists and technicians as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for diagnostic related technologists and technicians.

Education attained by diagnostic related technologists and technicians
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Details: Education and training recommended for radiologic technologists

An associate’s degree is the most common educational requirement for radiologic and MRI technologists. There also are postsecondary education programs that lead to graduate certificates or bachelor’s degrees. Education programs typically include both classroom study and clinical work. Coursework includes anatomy, pathology, patient care, radiation physics and protection, and image evaluation.

The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) accredits programs in radiography and the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT) accredits MRI programs. Completing an accredited program is required for licensure in some states.

High school students who are interested in radiologic or MRI technology should take courses that focus on math and science, such as anatomy, biology, chemistry, physiology, and physics.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for radiologic technologists

Radiologic technologists must be licensed or certified in most states. Few states license MRI technologists. Requirements vary by state.

To become licensed, technologists must usually graduate from an accredited program, and pass a certification exam from the state or obtain a certification from a certifying body. Certifications for radiologic technologists are available from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Certifications for MRI technologists are available from the ARRT and from the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT). For specific licensure requirements for radiologic technologists and MRI technologists, contact the state’s health board.

Employers typically require or prefer prospective technologists to be certified even if the state does not require it.

Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for diagnostic related technologists and technicians? Below we see the distribution of diagnostic related technologists and technicians salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as diagnostic related technologists and technicians, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$51K$50K$54K$57K$60K$63K$67K$83K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KNone (1%)High School (7%)Some College (19%)Associate's Degree (43%)Bachelor's Degree (26%)Master's Degree (4%)Professional Deg/Doct (1%)Doctorate (0%)
Bachelor's degree pathways
College majors held by diagnostic related technologists and technicians

This table shows the college majors held by people working as diagnostic related technologists and technicians. Select any degree to see detailed information. We are able to connect careers to degrees using the American Community Survey (ACS), and their degrees are defined a little differently from our programs, which are based on standard CIP classifications. Therefore, selecting some degrees will lead to a selection of CIP-level programs from which to choose.

If you see "**" before the name of a degree/program, that means this field is one that the Department of Education believes is preparatory for this career. However, you can see from this list that those recommendations are far from your only path to this job!

Degree
Select any title to learn more about that degree
Percentage of Diagnostic related technologists and technicians with this degree
Salary for all majors
Salary distribution (across jobs). Showing 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
Final education level of all people with this major
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Gender of people this bachelor's degree
Men
Women
The link between degrees and careers
The link between degrees and careers

With the following "sankey" diagram, you can follow the top ten bachelor's degrees held by people working as diagnostic related technologists and technicians, and then, in turn, you can see the 10 occupations that hire the most of each degree's graduates. This visualization links fields of studies and careers, suggesting both similar careers and options for degrees. The full list of bachelor's degrees held by diagnostic related technologists and technicians given in the previous section reminds us that there are many paths to these careers beyond what we can summarize here.

Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for diagnostic related technologists and technicians

What jobs will most diagnostic related technologists and technicians hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of diagnostic related technologists and technicians reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Diagnostic related technologists and techniciansClinical laboratory technologists and techniciansRegistered nursesPhysicians and surgeonsMedical and health services managersMedical assistants
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for diagnostic related technologists and technicians

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 5 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as diagnostic related technologists and technicians as well as 1% of respondents after working as diagnostic related technologists and technicians. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for diagnostic related technologists and technicians: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as diagnostic related technologists and technicians? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of diagnostic related technologists and technicians surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Read about radiologic technologists
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities

Radiologic and MRI technologists typically do the following:

  • Adjust and maintain imaging equipment
  • Precisely follow orders from physicians on what areas of the body to image
  • Prepare patients for procedures, including taking a medical history and answering questions about the procedure
  • Protect the patient by shielding exposed areas that do not need to be imaged
  • Position the patient and the equipment in order to get the correct image
  • Operate the computerized equipment to take the images
  • Work with physicians to evaluate the images and to determine whether additional images need to be taken
  • Keep detailed patient records

Healthcare professionals use many types of equipment to diagnose patients. Radiologic technologists specialize in x-ray and computed tomography (CT) imaging. Some radiologic technologists prepare a mixture for the patient to drink that allows soft tissue to be viewed on the images that the radiologist reviews.

Radiologic technologists might also specialize in mammography. Mammographers use low-dose x-ray systems to produce images of the breast. Technologists may be certified in multiple specialties.

MRI technologists specialize in magnetic resonance imaging scanners. They inject patients with contrast dyes so that the images will show up on the scanner. The scanners use magnetic fields in combination with the contrast agent to produce images that a physician can use to diagnose medical problems.

Healthcare professionals who specialize in other diagnostic equipment include nuclear medicine technologists and diagnostic medical sonographers, and cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including vascular technologists.

Personality and skills
Personality and skills

Can you see yourself in the ranks of radiologic technologists ? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.

Detail oriented
Radiologic and MRI technologists must follow exact instructions to get the images needed for diagnoses.
Interpersonal skills
Radiologic and MRI technologists work closely with patients who may be in extreme pain or mentally stressed. They must put the patient at ease to get usable images.
Math skills
Radiologic and MRI technologists may need to calculate and mix the right doses of chemicals used in imaging procedures.
Physical stamina
Radiologic and MRI technologists often work on their feet for long periods during their shift and they must lift and move patients who need assistance.
Technical skills
Radiologic and MRI technologists must understand how to operate complex machinery.
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for radiologic technologists
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) salary for radiologic technologists was higher than 67% of all other jobs' middle salaries. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $60KAll jobs' median $39K$57K$38K200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for radiologic technologists are anticipated to grow by 12% over the next decade; only 19% of jobs are predicted to grow more.

The projected employment for radiologic technologists is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

20002010202020300100,000200,000300,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most radiologic technologists ? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as radiologic technologists . You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

One important factor in the differences between ACS and BLS data is that the ACS numbers are for all diagnostic related technologists and technicians, comprised of all specialities listed in the menu bar, and you can choose to view the BLS at the specialty or full career level.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Number of Radiologic Technologists per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
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0.00.51.01.52.02.5
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where radiologic technologists earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for diagnostic related technologists and technicians compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for diagnostic related technologists and technicians.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information. The ACS salaries are for all diagnostic related technologists and technicians, which combines the specialities from which you can choose at the top of the page.

Choose the metric to review
In-state comparisions
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Median salary ratio: Radiologic Technologists to all workers (BLS for this specialty)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which radiologic technologists earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
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0.00.51.01.52.0
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Diagnostic related technologists and technicians (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
Choose the similarity measure to compare careers
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Knowledge
Physical Abilities
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