Becoming a radiologist requires a lot of work and years of intensive schooling.
Many people enter the radiological profession due to the prospect of a high salary.
Physician salaries are usually on the higher end of the spectrum, and radiology is no exception.
Of course, you may be wondering, exactly how much does a radiologist make in a year? Per hour? Which states have the best salaries for radiologists?
Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the salary reporting websites, we have compiled this guide to answer all your questions about radiologist salaries.
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How Much Do Radiologists Make a Year?
Radiologists are among some of the highest-paid physicians, up there with orthopedic and plastic surgeons. According to data from Glassdoor, the average annual salary for radiologists in 2018 was $335,435. The highest-earning 10% of radiologists earned up to $460,00 and the lowest 10% earned as little as $166,000. The additional cash compensation for radiologists was $22,741.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have data on radiology as a specific profession, but according to their pages, the average annual physician/surgeon salary in 2018 was over $208,000, which includes salaries of radiologists.
How Much Do Radiologists Make an Hour?
Based on average annual salary, radiologists in the US made an average of $161.25/hr.
This figure was calculated assuming a 40 hr work week. In actuality, radiologists usually work more than 40 hrs a week and often work nights and weekends.
The number of hours worked per week depends heavily on the specific hospital, private practice, or research institutions the radiologist is employed with.
Again, the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have a specific page for radiologists, but according to data from their page of physicians/surgeons, the average per hour pay for radiologists in 2018 was over $100/hr.
Starting Salary for Radiologists
According to data from Glassdoor, the starting annual salary for radiologists hovers around $166,000/year. In general, the more accomplished and educated the physician is, the higher the salary.
For instance, radiology interns and residents usually make around $53,000-$61,000. The $166,000/year figure is for attending radiologists who have completed at least a 5-year residency.
Radiologist Salary by State
|State||Hourly median wage||Annual median wage|
|District of Columbia||$80||$167,090|
New York has the highest average salary rates for radiologists at $308,814, followed by Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maryland, and Hawaii ($306,582, $302,203, $290,184, $286,150). The states with the lowest average radiologist salaries are Mississippi, Florida, and North Carolina, at $240,797, $237,013, and $219,704. Thus, it seems that, in terms of annual salary, the best states to be a radiologist are in the Northeast and the worst areas are in the Southeast and Midwest.
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Best Industries for Radiologists
As with any medical field, radiologists become specialized and their salary is largely dependent on their specialization, As of 2019, the best subspecialties for radiologists are:
- Interventional radiology: $470,000-$600,000
- Diagnostic radiology: $400,000-$562,500
- Pediatric radiology: $320,000+
- Radiation oncologist: $270,000-$441,000
The average pay of radiology subspecialties varies greatly depending on years of experience, state, and the particular form of employment (hospital, research institution, private practice). As of now, however, it seems that interventional radiology is the highest paying subfield of radiology.
Radiologist Demand & Job Outlook
There is a growing demand for radiologists. While specific job growth figures on the specialty for the most recent year are not available, the 2019 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives found that radiology was among the top-5 requested physician search terms in 2018-2019, indicating a very large growth since 2012 when it was not even in the top-20 searches.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall number of physicians and surgeons, including radiologists, is expected to grow by 7% from 2018-2028. This growth will be spurred on by the fact that many current radiologists are close to retirement age.
In general, medical professionals, radiologists included have good job prospects as most physicians are paired with residencies after completing medical school. Prospects may be the best in more rural areas that may have a lack of specialized medical personnel.
Where Do Radiologists Work?
Most radiologists are employed in hospitals, private practices, or research institutions. In general, those employed in private practices have the highest salaries.
Some radiologists work for research institutions and universities, and other work for pharmaceutical companies or are affiliated with medical schools and teaching hospitals.
Many physicians, including radiologists, are working in group practices or organizations where they share patients with a large number of other doctors.
This group organization allows doctors more time off but affords less independence as you would be working with many other doctors.
Most radiologists work irregular hours and are frequently on call during nights, weekends, and holidays.
Radiologists may be required to respond to emergencies if they are on call. In some rare cases, a radiologist may make an emergency visit to a patient’s home.
How Can I Start Working as a Radiologist?
Becoming a radiologist requires many years of schooling and practice.
You must first complete at least 4 years of medical school and then 5-7 years of residency. As a resident, you will be a full-fledged doctor working with actual patients, but you will not be allowed to work without the supervision of an attending physician.
Once you complete your residency, you can practice as a radiologist autonomously. Overall, the process to become a radiologist takes 9-12 years after college.