An X-ray tech or radiologic technologist, as these professionals are also known, is responsible for performing diagnostic imaging. These professionals work with patients and help physicians identify both injuries and diseases.
The job of the X-ray technician is quite challenging because it involves standing up for a long period of time and interacting with multiple patients on a daily basis.
Types of X-Ray Technicians
There are several different types of radiologic careers to choose from. Among the many types we find: radiology technologist, radiology technician, ultrasound technician and sonographer, MRI technician, and CT Scan technologist.
It is also being reported that by the year 2024, we will see a nine per cent increase in the number of radiologic technologists we have in the United States.
The increase means an estimated 17,000 new jobs and more people seeking careers in this field including other medical professionals such as physical therapists, respiratory therapists, and nurses looking to work in the radiology field.
If you’re considering a job as a radiology technician or a position closely related, you’re probably wondering about salary information and career outlook. Keep on reading to find out how much X-ray technicians make.
The American Society of Radiologic Technologists estimated that the average annual salary of an X-ray technician back in 2010 was 53,953 dollars. The median salary for an X-ray tech that was reported came out to only 50,149 dollars. These numbers made the professionals in this field some of the lowest paid of all the radiologic specialties.
However, several factors come into play when determining the average annual salary of X-ray technicians. Some of these factors include the work setting, the location, and the amount of experience the person has in the field.
The pay can vary from state to state, and the difference could be significant. For example, also in 2010, it was reported that the average annual salary of an X-ray tech in California was above 75,000 dollars. While the same position in Alabama only yielded an average salary of 42,312 dollars. California was considered the highest paid and Alabama was considered the lowest during that particular year (2010).
Additionally, if you have two years of experience or less as a radiology tech, you may only see an average salary of around 44,000 dollars. However, after gaining thirty years of experience in the field, you may experience over 64,000 dollars per year. And again, this also depends on your location and the work setting.
So, let’s get a little further into x-ray technician salary as we move into the future. How much does an X-ray tech make?
How Much do X-Ray Technicians Make in the US?
The median annual X-ray technician salary in the United States is 41,906 dollars, PayScale reports. The most experienced and reputable professionals in the field can expect to make an average annual salary of up to 58,579 dollars.
When it comes to hourly payments, the median in the country is 18 dollars per hour. With more experience and the selection of the right employer, a radiology technician can make up to 27.19 dollars per hour for regular work and up to 41.27 dollars per hour for overtime work.
The national average is 40,000 dollars. Late-career X-ray technicians can expect to make 30 per cent more than the average. Professionals that are just getting started with their career will usually make nine per cent less than the national average.
Salaries also vary by location. The highest paying states for radiology technicians are Massachusetts (30.83 dollars per hour), New Jersey (28.74 dollars), New York (28.66 dollars), Maryland (28.51 dollars) and California (28.4 dollars). The worst-paid X-ray technicians work in West Virginia (19.29 dollars), Mississippi (19.99 dollars) and South Dakota (20.15 dollars).
How Much do X-Ray Technicians Make in Canada?
X-ray technicians in Canada are better paid than their counterparts in the US. The median annual salary is 53,621 Canadian dollars. Some of the most experienced technicians can make up to 83,760 Canadian dollars per year.
The median hourly payment is 29 Canadian dollars. With experience, the payment can go up to 40.36 dollars per hour for regular work and up to 57.89 dollars per hour for overtime work.
The national average salary in Canada is 60,000 dollars per year. Late-career X-ray technicians can expect to make 31 per cent more than the average. The ones that are just getting started make about five per cent less than the figure.
Just like in the case of the US, there are regional salary differences. According to 2015 information about the minimal hourly payments X-ray technicians earn, technologists in British Columbia earn 27.31 dollars per hour. In Alberta, the minimum payment is 33.32 dollars, in Saskatchewan – 33.54 dollars, Ontario – 30.04 dollars and Newfoundland & Labrador – 26.59 dollars per hour.
Occupation and Payment by Industry
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most X-ray technicians are employed by general medical and surgical hospitals – 113,840 professionals. Physician offices, diagnostic laboratories, and outpatient care centres are other popular employers.
The best-paid radiology technicians work in specialty hospitals. They earn a mean wage of 63,650 dollars per year. The ones employed by medical and diagnostic laboratories earn 58,030 dollars per year and those working in general medical and surgical hospitals earn 58,610 dollars per year.
In 2012, 229,300 X-ray technologists were working in the US. BLS predicts that the increase in demand for these professionals will reach 21 per cent by 2022, which is a much higher percentage than the national average for all career. The percentage increase will translate to 48,600 new work positions.
The job prospects for this occupation in Canada are also quite good. The average annual growth rate in demand for these professionals is 3.4 per cent. This means that in the period until 2017, medical facilities in Canada will open approximately 350 new workplaces for X-ray technicians. In comparison, the annual growth rate for all other occupations in the country is 0.8 per cent.
With many opportunities for advancement, especially for experienced X-ray technicians, these professionals have a lucrative career path in front of them. X-ray technicians that have experience in working with other diagnostic imaging equipment will enjoy even better opportunities.
In the years to come, many of the professionals that work in the field right now will retire. Growing demand for such medical services and an aging workforce will both contribute to the high demand for experienced professionals that are familiar with the latest equipment in the field of medical imaging.