Mammography jobs provide allied health professionals with top-paying positions and an in-demand career path. Mammography technicians often take permanent positions in hospitals, imaging clinics and doctors’ offices. However, pursuing travel mammography tech work could be an ideal alternative if you’re looking for a job with more flexibility, an even better salary and the opportunity to see the country. These short-term contracts can take you to various locations across the nation, providing new challenges, opportunities to meet and work with new people and a regular change of scenery.
What Does a Mammography Tech Do?
Mammography technicians capture X-ray images to screen for and diagnose breast cancer and other conditions. Then, they evaluate the image quality to verify that the contrast, resolution and dynamic range are appropriate for diagnostics. Techs work closely with patients to prep for procedures, explain the process, maintain safety standards and adjust positioning to create an accurate scan.
What Is Travel Mammography?
Travel mammography techs provide the same services on a contract basis in healthcare facilities around the United States. They often work in settings with staffing shortages or remote hospitals with limited resources. Travel contracts are temporary, usually lasting for 13 weeks but can be longer or shorter.
Benefits of Travel Mammography Jobs
Travel mammography offers more freedom than a traditional technician position. Since travel jobs are temporary, you can explore many new places each year while maintaining a stable income. Plus, you generally make more money as a traveling mammography technician.
Vivian’s healthcare salary data indicates permanent mammography technicians make about $30 per hour. In contrast, the average travel mammography tech salary is about $2,500 per week — more than $60 per hour during a 40-hour week. Plus, part of your travel salary package may include tax-free stipends that lower your income tax bill.
Travel mammography tech jobs offer short-term and long-term benefits for your career. Each contract exposes you to new patients, health conditions and equipment, providing a broad range of experience in a short period. The constant change forces you to adapt, making you a more confident and capable technician.
Travel contracts take you from small, rural clinics to expansive urban hospitals, making it a great way to discover the healthcare setting that suits you best. Every job adds more nurses, physicians and administrators to your professional network, which can lead to exciting opportunities over the long term.
For many techs, the beauty of travel mammography jobs is their flexibility. After a contract ends, you can start a new one or take a few weeks off without jeopardizing your career.
What Is the Job Outlook for Mammography Techs?
The job outlook for mammography technicians is positive. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates jobs for radiologic and MRI technologists to increase by 6% between 2021 and 2031. The BLS also projects about 16,600 job openings each year during this timeframe. The increased demand for these specialists brings the potential for a higher salary, especially if you know where to look for top-paying travel jobs.
After a few years as a mammography tech, you may want to change jobs. Your experience, education and certification can be a jumping-off point for other high-paying allied health specialties, including interventional radiology technology.
8 Tips for Finding the Best Travel Mammography Jobs
Travel mammography tech jobs may be the right choice if you’re interested in flexibility and financial stability. While searching for the best mammography jobs, you’ll find plenty of options with impressive salaries in exciting locations. To find the right fit, identify your must-have criteria to filter jobs and compare salaries, then use these tips to find top-paying options that meet your needs.
1. Create a Vivian Candidate Profile
Streamline your job search with the Vivian Universal Profile. Add information about your specialty, licenses, certifications, education and job preferences and let Vivian compare your profile to 1,000s of available jobs and show you positions for which you’re qualified.
Your profile also becomes part of the Vivian candidate database, so it’s visible to healthcare facilities and staffing agencies. If you meet an employer’s requirements, they may contact you directly about open jobs.
2. Search in High-Demand Areas
When a healthcare facility can’t meet staffing requirements, it often turns to travel agencies. To find high-paying travel mammography positions, concentrate your search in locations where the BLS projects the highest radiology technician employment levels, such as California, Texas, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania. If you’re interested in specific cities, consider New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
The facility type can also affect demand. Hospitals are the biggest employers, followed by individual doctor’s offices. Other high-demand practice settings include laboratories and outpatient care centers.
3. Be Strategic in Your Search
The right travel mammography jobs are an opportunity to become a more well-rounded technician. To get the most from the experience, select jobs strategically. If you’ve spent your career in large hospitals, look for a position in a small, remote town. These settings teach you how to work efficiently with older equipment and fewer resources. If you want to refine your technique and learn from seasoned professionals, take a position in an imaging clinic.
You might not have a specific direction when you’re new to the mammography tech profession. Think of it as an opportunity to be open to jobs, locations and facilities you wouldn’t typically consider. This strategy opens up a larger pool of jobs and exposes you to unexpected experiences.
4. Network with Other Professionals
Your professional network can be a valuable source for travel mammography job leads. To build awareness, let contacts know you’re looking for a travel contract by sending an email, posting on social media or making phone calls. That way, they know to mention your name or send a job posting when an opportunity arises.
If your contacts are primarily local, expand your network. Attend healthcare job fairs and chat with representatives from travel staffing agencies. Professional associations, such as the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, often host in-person networking events and online job boards. These interactions enable you to build relationships, establish name recognition and create a positive reputation.
5. Read Employer Reviews
Every employer strives to put their best foot forward in the recruiting process, but if you want to find out what it’s really like to work at a facility, read employer reviews written by former or current employees. Keep an eye out for patterns. If 10 people have the same complaint, there’s probably some truth to it. Take overly positive or negative reviews with a grain of salt and focus on balanced reports with specific details.
If possible, speak to employees in person. Use your network to make connections, and come prepared with questions about management, culture and working conditions. Bear in mind that travel techs may have different experiences than permanent employees. Talking to people who worked for the same hospital or staffing agency on a temporary contract can be illuminating.
Patient reviews can provide another perspective. In addition to review sites, look for patient experiences on online forums and discussion boards.
6. Find a Recruiter
Mammography techs can often save time by working with a recruiter. They match your skills, education and experience to open jobs, so you don’t waste time searching. To get the most out of the experience, be clear about your job preferences, salary requirements and ideal locations from the beginning. Recruiters often work quickly, so only turn to them when you’re ready to move into travel work.
7. Compare Salaries
Once you have a list of job openings, filter these positions by salary. Compensation packages can be complicated for travel mammography techs. You must factor in stipends, bonuses and benefits. If the pay structure includes tax-free housing stipends, consider how they could reduce your taxable income, tax rate and tax liability. Travel techs usually receive housing stipends when the contract is away from their tax home.
Vivian helps streamline salary comparisons because each posting includes transparent expectations, salary and bonus information. This information allows you to evaluate opportunities quickly.
8. Evaluate the Location
When you’re considering travel mammography tech jobs in unfamiliar cities, take time to research the area. Look into activities, weather and available services to determine the quality of life. Research public transportation and parking options to determine whether you need a car and have somewhere to park if you do.
Part of the fun of travel jobs is the ability to explore in your free time. Check out local attractions in the area. You can also search for hiking, biking or social groups that help you make friends while you get to know the area.
Education and Licensing Requirements for Travel Mammography Technicians
Travel mammography technician positions typically require you to have an associate’s degree from an accredited radiologic technology program. Many employers also require mammography certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (M (ARRT) certification) and current ARRT registration.
Before you become ARRT-certified in mammography, you must first earn your radiology certification. Once you have your radiology and mammography credentials, you can pursue ARRT certification in breast sonography to help advance your career and potentially increase your salary.
Healthcare facilities may require additional credentials, including:
- Basic Life Support from the American Heart Association
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification
In most states, you need a license from the medical board or Department of Health before you can work as a mammography technician. Many states consider your ARRT certification and registration status in the application process, but others have separate accreditation exams.
State licensing laws apply to everyone, including travel mammography techs. Getting a license in another state takes time, so consider the rules, fees and exam requirements before you select a job. Employers and staffing agencies often provide resources and assistance to help you expedite the process.