A radiologist is a physician who specializes in imaging techniques to diagnose and treat patients. The average radiologist salary is $384,000 per year and many radiologists earn a starting salary of about $260,000 per year. Among the many specialty areas that physicians can focus their studies in, radiology is expected to grow through 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Growth is expected due to the increase of baby-boomers retiring and requiring more medical diagnostic testing and therapies. A radiologist salary is generally higher than many other physician salaries, because it requires additional education to enter this field of medicine.
Although this field of medicine is highly competitive, those who strive to pursue excellence during their education can be accepted into a residency program. To start a career as a radiologist, requires at least three years of college studies in a discipline related to health care, but most aspiring radiologists obtain at least a bachelor’s degree to increase their chances of being admitted into an accredited medical school. Admission into medical school requires good scores on the Medical College Admission Test, submission of transcripts, as well as personal and professional letters of recommendation.
After completing medical school, radiologists undergo a one-year internship. The internship allows medical students to learn more about the radiology practice. Successfully completing a radiology internship proceeds to four years of residency. Residency programs provide hands-on experience to successfully diagnose and treat patients under the supervision of experience radiologists and learn the skills of the specialty area. Radiologists typically become certified by the American Board of Radiology and start the extensive exam process during their second year of residency. The test consists of several multiple choice exams and an oral exam. The written exams are completed first and the oral exam is typically completed shortly before completing residency training. To ensure they receive the appropriate skills to successfully become a radiologist, many enter fellowship training for approximately two years. The starting radiologist pay often reflects this extensive training.
Radiologists can also become certified by other boards that oversee the education and professional practice of physicians. The American Board of Radiology suggests certification from the American Board of Medical Specialties. Certification is also available from the American Osteopathic Board of Radiology. All board require continuing education and recertification over time. The starting salary of a radiologist can increase with multiple certifications, because recognize the commitment to the radiology practice when all certifications are successfully gained. Along with certifications, all physicians are required to obtain a state-administered license to practice professionally.
Radiologists starting in this career often relocate for their first job. Some employers prefer graduates from specific educational institutions. A radiologist salary increases with experience and tenure. Radiologists recognized in their field are often sought after by prestigious hospitals and medical facilities. The field of radiology is competitive, but job opportunities should be plentiful in this highly specialized field. Radiologists skilled with advancing radiological technology should see excellent job prospects. Radiology is one of several medical specialties that combines patient care and technology to be successful.
Other factors can affect the salary of a radiologist. Some metropolitan areas may have fewer radiologists, requiring employers to increase salaries to attract these professionals. Advances in technology continue to allow radiologists to open private practices and provide diagnostic testing for patients and clients, such as hospitals that don’t have the technology to perform diagnostic testing internally. The success of a private practice is critical for radiologists to increase their income who often partner with other physicians, hospitals and other medical service providers to offer these services. A successful private practices can be extremely lucrative.
Among the survey from Salary.com, experienced radiologists earned salaries ranging from $442,000 to $495,000 per year. A radiologist’s average salary of $384,000 is double the amount of average salaries for all physicians and surgeons, which is estimated at $180,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For the education, training and certification required to be a radiologist, this is a substantial increase compared to general physicians in those practicing in other specialty areas. A medical career in this specialty area can be very lucrative.