Radiology Technician
Allied Health

How to Find Top-Paying Radiology Technician Jobs

Healthcare providers rely on imaging technology to diagnose patients and create treatment plans. The demand for diagnostic imaging creates an ongoing need for radiology technicians to work in hospitals and medical facilities throughout the country. Learn about this rewarding allied health career and ways to tap into permanent and travel opportunities. We’ll compare data from recent job postings to see where you can find the best radiology technician salary in the United States. 

Radiology Technician vs. Radiology Technologist

Radiology utilizes imaging technology to see tissues, bones and organs inside the body, allowing doctors to diagnose and treat injuries and illnesses. This technology includes X-ray, MRI, CT, fluoroscopy, nuclear medicine and ultrasound.

The field of diagnostic imaging offers career paths for radiology technicians and radiology technologists. Some organizations use these titles interchangeably, often causing some confusion, but they refer to distinct roles. As defined by Herzing University:

  • A radiology technologist has a higher level of education than a technician and is trained to take on more responsibilities. Technologists usually have an associate or bachelor’s degree with relevant education in anatomy, physiology and the effects of radiation. They’re also certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. A technologist can operate imaging equipment and perform various tests, including high-dose exams such as CT scans and fluoroscopy.
  • A radiology technician has less formal training and, as a result, a more limited scope of practice. Each state sets a radiology technician’s responsibilities. In some states, such as California and New York, radiology technicians can pursue further training to perform basic X-rays.

Both roles are also different from that of a radiologist, the medical doctor who leads the radiology department and interprets diagnostic images.

The responsibilities of a radiology technician vary by state and employer. Before pursuing a career as a radiology technician, check with your state health board for education, professional certification and licensing requirements.

Job Outlook for Radiology Technicians

Radiology technicians can look forward to stable employment prospects, according to May 2021 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). From 2021 to 2031, the BLS expects radiology technician jobs to grow by 6%, fueled by demand on the healthcare system by a significantly older demographic.

By 2030, all of the country’s baby-boom generation — estimated at 73 million people — will be over age 65, based on U.S. Census data. As their healthcare requirements increase, medical imaging may be needed to help diagnose and treat illnesses, chronic conditions and injuries from falls.

Where to Find Radiology Technician Jobs

Radiology technician

Radiology technician jobs are available in a variety of healthcare settings. The BLS reported that as of May 2021, nearly 60% of radiological technologists and technicians worked in general medical and surgical hospitals. Doctor’s offices employed another 20%, 7% had jobs in diagnostic labs and another 7% worked in medical care centers.

Radiology techs are needed nationwide, although demand is higher in some states. California employs the most radiology technologists and technicians, with 18,290 jobs in this allied health field in May 2021. Texas was the second-largest employer by state, with 16,870 jobs, followed by New York and Florida. Coinciding with statewide demand, the metropolitan areas with the most radiology technician jobs included one in New York, one in California and two in Texas.

Radiology Technician Salary Comparisons

On average, permanent radiology technicians earned $28.95 per hour, based on Vivian’s salary information in early December 2022. Individual radiology tech salaries depend on your experience and certifications, the type of hiring facility and geographic location.

Hiring Facility Salaries

May 2021 BLS data reveals a range of average wages paid to radiology technicians and technologists based on their workplace. The hourly rates, based on setting, included:

  • Outpatient care centers: $37.30 
  • General medical and surgical hospitals: $32.41 
  • Medical and diagnostic laboratories: $31.91 
  • Physician offices: $28.51 

Salary Comparisons by Location

Comparing geographic locations, radiology technicians in the District of Columbia were among the highest paid in the country, earning an average of $37 per hour based on our salary data on December 8, 2022. The following table offers a sampling of rates in other states for the same period. 

State(s) Average Hourly Staff Rate
California $35
Alaska, Oregon $34
New York, Rhode Island $33
Washington, Nevada $32
Texas $28
Florida $27
Oklahoma $25

Consider a Career-Boosting Travel Position

Radiology technicians

A full-time job isn’t your only option as a radiology technician. In early December 2022, Vivian’s job board had about three times as many travel radiology tech jobs as permanent jobs. If you’re willing to accept temporary contracts in various locations, you can explore the country while earning a paycheck.

Travel radiology technician jobs usually last 13 weeks, enabling you to work in several destinations each year. Tackle your bucket list and spend your days off seeing Broadway shows in New York, surfing in California or visiting Disney World in Florida.

While you might choose a travel career for the promise of adventure, it also offers significant opportunities for professional growth. A permanent position comes with a set job description and daily tasks. By comparison, a travel career regularly exposes you to new environments where your responsibilities may change with each assignment. You’ll get a chance to enhance your skills, work with different patient populations and learn from diverse colleagues. This exposure helps you add experience to your resume more quickly and demonstrate your adaptability to future employers.

Travel Radiology Tech Salaries

Depending on your circumstances, you may not want to uproot yourself and move permanently to earn a higher radiology technician salary. A travel allied health career is an excellent way to increase earnings, regardless of where you live.

Healthcare facilities pay travel professionals more than permanent staff as an enticement to fill open positions and cover leaves and vacations. It allows them to access a talent pool nationwide. Recruiters may add benefits such as health insurance and a housing allowance to make a travel allied health career an attractive option. 

Radiology technicians earned an average travel salary of $2,752 per week, according to Vivian’s information on December 8, 2022. This weekly rate is equivalent to $68.80 per hour during a 40-hour workweek, significantly higher than the $28.95 average hourly rate earned by radiology technicians in permanent roles.

If you’re seeking higher salaries in travel positions, consider a top-paying state such as Massachusetts, where the average travel radiology technician salary was $3,768 per week or $94.20 per hour. Our December salary data also showed lucrative average weekly travel salaries of $3,599 in Georgia, $3,244 in California and $2,802 in Texas.

Even those states paying below the national average offer attractive salaries compared to a permanent position. Radiology technicians in Florida earned an average of $2,040 per week for travel assignments. This rate translates to about $51 per hour during a 40-hour workweek. An appealing amount when combined with the chance to bask in the sun for a few months.

Travel radiology techs must meet the education and licensing requirements of their destination state before working on a temporary assignment. Check with the state health board in your desired destination, or work with an experienced recruiter to ensure you meet the appropriate requirements.

Advancing Your Career as a Radiology Technician

There are a few ways to tap into rewarding professional opportunities, whether starting your career or looking for a change from your current radiology technician job. Consider these tips for advancing your allied health career:

  • Research industry standards for salary. As mentioned earlier, a radiology tech salary depends on your experience, facility type and geographic region, among others. Use Vivian’s salary tool to see current rates in specific locations to help determine whether a potential job offers a fair salary. You can also potentially use this information to negotiate wages.
  • Look at the big picture. While it might be tempting to head to one of the states paying a high radiology technician salary, remember that it’s quite likely the cost of living in that area is also high. Do some budgeting before making a decision. For example, Oklahoma paid an average of $25.41 per hour for a radiology technician on December 8, 2022. While this is lower than the national average, Oklahoma City was ranked the second most affordable city with a population over 500,000 in the nation, according to the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. You’ll pay much less out of pocket for housing, groceries and other expenses. Run the numbers to see where you come out ahead when comparing salaries.
  • Make use of industry-specific job marketplaces. While there are many online job boards with healthcare postings, you can save time using a job marketplace specializing in nursing and allied health careers like Vivian. By creating a Universal Candidate Profile on Vivian, you eliminate the need to keep an eye on multiple platforms or fill out numerous applications on each one. We help you easily apply for several radiology technician jobs with a single application and quickly connect you with recruiters to snap up top-paying jobs. 
  • Be flexible. Consider accepting a last-minute per diem contract, taking on overnight shifts or working as a travel radiology technician during the holidays. You’ll likely be well-compensated simply for being available when and where you’re needed most.
  • Upgrade your skills. Radiology technicians can access higher-paying allied health careers by pursuing additional education. Work toward certification as a Radiology Registered Technologist through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. You can then pursue subspecialties in radiation therapybreast sonography, nuclear medicine technology, mammography or bone densitometry. The American Board of Medical Physics also offers certification in MRI physics for radiation therapy.

A positive job outlook and good salary make a radiology technician career an excellent choice if you’re interested in this allied health field. Check out certification and educational programs in your state, and read our facility reviews to help make informed decisions about future employers.

Vivian Health

Vivian Health is the leading jobs marketplace built to serve healthcare professionals first. Our transparent job information not only helps nurses and allied health professionals find their next opportunity but empowers them to grow their careers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular on Community Hub