Imaging technologists enjoy continuing income growth

August 9, 2007

The boom years for big raises may be over, but registered radiologic technologists continue to see steady income growth.

The boom years for big raises may be over, but registered radiologic technologists continue to see steady income growth.

A survey by American Society of Radiologic Technologists has found that radiologic technologist salaries rose an average of 12.8% from 2005 to 2007. The increase was smaller than the average 19% growth recorded from 2002 to 2004 when the imaging industry was mired in a technologist shortage.

The results were based on 9905 responses from 28,895 mail-in surveys distributed in February to registered radiologic technologists. Another 1451 technologists replied online to an invitation posted on the society's website.

Respondents included radiographers, radiation therapists, nuclear medicine, CT, MR, and cardiovascular-interventional technologists, mammographers, sonographers, bone densitometrists, and other specialists registered with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. The survey had a 1% margin of error at the 95% confidence level.

California and Massachusetts are the only states where registered imaging technologists are earning on average more than $70,000. The average salaries in the two states are $75,873 and $71,574, respectively. Other high-income locales include Washington, DC ($68,585), Connecticut ($66,471), and Oregon ($66,152).

The nation's bottom five states are North Dakota, with an average annual compensation of $50,601, Arkansas at $50,244, Alabama at $49,131, South Dakota at $48,902, and West Virginia at $45,627.

The trend toward slower wage growth reflects a closer balance between supply and demand for technologists, according to Richard Harris, Ph.D, the ASRT's director of research. The vacancy rate for radiographers in 2006 was about 5%, compared with 8% when the ASRT conducted its last wage and radiology staffing surveys in 2004. A 20% vacancy rate across all technologist specialties was reported by the American Hospital Association in 2000.

"Obviously, a terribly acute shortage put more pressure on salaries. We were somewhat concerned that, as the gap closed, salaries might stagnate. But that does not seem to be the case," he said.

Still, the survey found that 18% of radiologic technologists do not have employer-sponsored healthcare insurance coverage. About seven of 10 technologists receive life and dental insurance.

More than 80% of techs had joined a retirement program,and nearly 59% had financial aid for continuing education. More than 75% reported additional pay for overtime, and 44% of respondents said they were paid for being on call. The average on-call rates were estimated at $38.28 per hour or $74.26 per session.

For more information from the Diagnostic Imaging archives:

Radiologists salaries rise, despite cooler employment market

CT credentialing efforts fail to catch up with demand

Test addresses need for both RT and IT expertise

Demand for temp techs hints at growing turf battle