The average radiologist salary is $419,000, according to Medscape’s 2019 Compensation Report.
Radiologists are amongst the highest-paid medical specialists. Your salary as a radiologist can vary based on your education, where you live, and the industry in which you work.
Top-Paying Industries for Radiologists
The highest-paying industries for physicians in the category that includes radiologists (BLS)—and their relative average salaries—are below:
- Offices of Dentists – $267,830
- Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing – $258,920
- Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories – $253,610
- Employment Services – $248,910
- Residential Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Facilities – $239,190
Top Employers for Radiologists
If you’re a physician who falls into this designation, you’re most likely to find employment in the following industries, according to the BLS:
- Offices of Physicians
- General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
- Federal Executive Branch
- Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools
- Outpatient Care Centers
According to the Medscape Compensation Report, the top employers of radiologists (by a wide margin) are hospitals. It breaks down the top industries in which radiologists work by percentage:
- Hospital – 55%
- Office-Based Single-Specialty Group Practice – 15%
- Academic (nonhospital), Research, Military, Government – 8%
- Healthcare Organization – 7%
- Office-Based Solo Practice – 3%
- Outpatient Clinic – 2%
Top-Paying States for Radiologists
The states that pay physicians in the OES category that includes radiologists are below, along with their respective average physician salaries:
- New Hampshire – $275,840
- North Dakota – $266,510
- Maine – $257,550
- Montana – $247,260
- Minnesota – $245,040
Self-Employed vs. Employed Radiologists
As with other medical specialties, radiologists have the option to work for themselves or work as an employee. Similar to most other medical specialties, self-employed radiologists earn higher salaries, on average:
- Self-Employed Average Radiologist Salary: $451,000
- Employed Average Radiologist Salary: $391,000
Medscape found that self-employed radiologists were older on average than employed radiologists. Because these older physicians have had more time to establish themselves in their careers, their overall higher age may account in part for their higher average salary.
Self-employed radiologists include radiologists who own and operate solo practices, as well as those who own group practices, and those who are partners or co-owners.
Self-Employed Radiologist Overhead Costs
As a self-employed radiologist, you’re tasked with the responsibilities of a business owner, as well as those of a physician. One of those responsibilities is paying overhead costs, like rent and supplies, which can eat into your personal salary:
- Radiologists who owned their own solo practice reported that 32% of their revenue went towards overhead expenses (not included in salary).
- Those who owned group practices reported overhead expenses that accounted for 27% of their revenue.
- Partners (co-owners) reported that 15% of their total revenue went towards overhead expenses.
However, the costs of operating a practice still allow for a higher average salary than that of an employed radiologist.
Average Radiologist Salary vs. Radiology Tech Salary
If you want to go into radiology, you have two choices: become a radiologist or become a radiology tech. While the two may sound similar, they actually require very different education and result in vastly different salaries.
While the average radiologist salary is well into six figures, the BLS reports an average radiologic technologist salary of $61,540. This salary is still above the national average salary for all occupations ($51,960), but it’s well below what their radiologist counterparts can expect to earn.
Radiologic Technologist Duties and Education
If you’ve ever required medical imaging, the person you interacted with was probably a radiologic technologist. Radiologic techs are trained to operate medical imaging machines, including x-ray, MRI, and CT.
As a radiologic technologist, you would take patient histories and administer any necessary pre-treatments. You would then conduct the ordered scans, making sure the images came out perfectly.
To become a radiologic technologist, you need the following education and experience:
- Earn an associate’s degree.
- Earn a passing score on state certification exams.
- Optionally, go on to earn a bachelor’s degree to specialize in specific imaging technologies (like MRI).
Radiologist Duties and Education
After the radiologic technologist interacts with the patient and captures the required images, a radiologist steps in to examine the data and prescribe next steps.
Radiologists have the training and education necessary to interpret the complex images provided by the radiologic tech.
As a radiologist, you would also diagnose the patient and recommend possible modes of treatment based on the imaging results.
To become a radiologist (and to get paid as one of the highest-earning medical specialists in the field), you must complete the following education and training:
- Earn your undergraduate degree.
- Enter medical school.
- Obtain your medical degree.
- Complete a four-year residency in radiology.
- Optionally, specialize in specific medical imaging technologies or specific body systems, like the brain.
- Become board certified.
Average Radiologist Salary vs. Other Medical Specialties
A useful tool for understanding the average radiologist salary is comparing it to different medical specialty salaries. We can also look at specialists’ average net worth to gain insight into who is best able to overcome medical school debt to earn more significant take-home pay.
Richest Medical Specialists: Average Annual Salaries
Specialist physicians, including radiologists, earn higher salaries than primary care physicians. The average specialist physician salary is $284,000, according to Medscape’s Physician Compensation Report 2019. The average primary physician salary is $195,000.
Some specialists earn more than others. Radiology came in sixth place out of the 29 specialties Below is a detailed look at how the average radiologist salary stacks up to other specialist salaries:
- Orthopedics – $482,000
- Plastic Surgery – $471, 000
- Otolaryngology – $461,000
- Cardiology – $430,000
- Dermatology – $419,000
- Radiology – $419,000
- Gastroenterology – $417,000
- Urology – $408,000
- Anesthesiology – $392,000
- Ophthalmology – $366,000
- Surgery, General – $362,000
- Oncology – $359,000
- Emergency Medicine – $353,000
- Critical Care – $349,000
- Pulmonary Medicine – $331,000
Richest Medical Specialists: Highest and Lowest Specialist Net Worths
Radiologists are amongst the highest-earning physicians in the United States. This reflected in the average radiologist salary discussed above, as well as in the self-reported net worth of radiologists nation-wide.
In its Wealth and Debt Report for 2019, Medscape reports the percentage of physicians in each field whose net worths were over $5 million and those whose net worths were under $500,000. Again, radiologists came in near the top of the list.
Radiologists were also the least likely have net worths under $500,000, with only 10% of radiologists stating their net worth as lower than half a million.
Medical Specialist Net Worth
Net worth over $5 million – 20% | Net worth under $500K -16%
Net worth over $5 million – 19% | Net worth under $500K – 28%
- Plastic Surgery
Net worth over $5 million – 18% | Net worth under $500K – 21%
Net worth over $5 million – 18% | Net worth under $500K – 18%
Net worth over $5 million – 17% | Net worth under $500K – 26%
Net worth over $5 million – 16% | Net worth under $500K – 16%
Net worth over $5 million – 14% | Net worth under $500K – 20%
Net worth over $5 million – 13% | Net worth under $500K -18%
Net worth over $5 million – 11% | Net worth under $500K – 25%
- Allergy & Immunology
Net worth over $5 million – 10% | Net worth under $500K – 25%
Net worth over $5 million – 10% | Net worth under $500K – 25%
Net worth over $5 million – 10% | Net worth under $500K – 22%
Net worth over $5 million – 10% | Net worth under $500K – 26%
Net worth over $5 million – 10% | Net worth under $500K – 25%
- Surgery, General
Net worth over $5 million – 8% | Net worth under $500K – 24%
Radiologist Career Satisfaction
A high salary is a critical deciding factor for physicians who are choosing a specialty. But it’s essential to weigh your earning potential against your career satisfaction in the specialty you choose. Luckily for radiologists, the two appear to go hand-in-hand.
For the Medscape Compensation Report, radiologists were asked about how many hours they worked each week, how much time they spent with patients vs. doing paperwork, and what they found most rewarding or challenging about their careers.
Overall, radiologists were highly satisfied with their choice of career: 74% responded that they would choose medicine as a career if they had the decision to make over again, and 92% said they would choose the same specialty again.
Of all 30 specialties covered in the report, radiologists tied for third place (alongside dermatology and pathology) for the providers who most answered “yes” when asked if they felt fairly compensated for their work.
- Radiologist Job Challenges
The highest percentage of radiologists (25%) responded that the most challenging part of their job was “having so many rules and regulations.”
Tied for second place (both with 20% of responses) were “having to work long hours” and “worrying about being sued.”
- Radiologist Job Rewards
The highest percentage of radiologists (49%) answered that the most rewarding part of their job was “being very good at what I do/finding answers, diagnoses.”
In second place (with 20% of responses) was “making good money at a job that I like.”
Is the Average Radiologist Salary Worth the Medical School Debt?
One of the biggest obstacles to becoming a radiologist is the prospect of paying for college and taking on a significant amount of medical school debt.
The average medical school debt is in the hundreds of thousands, which can deter even those who plan to enter a high-paying specialty like radiology.
The good news is, radiologist are amongst the specialists who can pay off their debt more quickly.
Of Medscape respondents for the 2019 Wealth and Debt Report, just 19% stated that they were still paying down their student debt from medical school.
Compare this to the 33% of emergency physicians who were still paying their debt.
The specialty with the lowest percentage of respondents still working on med school debt was gastroenterology at 14%.
As mentioned above, radiologists had one of the highest percentages of respondents whose net worths were over $5 million and the lowest percentage of respondents whose net worths were under $500,000.
Because net worth accounts for assets minus debts, this speaks to the relative ease with which radiologists pay back their medical school debt compared to other medical specialties.
Radiologist Career Outlook
The medical career as a whole is projected to grow steadily over the coming years, due to the aging Baby Boomer population.
The BLS estimates a job growth of 13% for physicians and surgeons, which is faster than the average growth for all occupations. Between 2016 and 2026, the BLS estimates an increase of about 91,400 new jobs for physicians and surgeons in the U.S.
The average radiologist salary has also increased in recent years, and it is expected to continue to do so. In just the past year, the average radiologist salary has increased from $401,000 to $419,000, according to Medscape data.
Average Radiologist Salary Bottom Line
If you’re interested in a tech-centered career in healthcare that offers one of the highest salaries available, radiology is one of your best options.
While you’re required to invest significantly—both financially and in terms of your time—the rewarding field of radiology is one of the specialties that can offer the best return on your investment.
Average Lawyer Salary
Average Dentist Salary
Average Veterinarian Salary
Average CRNA Salary
Average Physical Therapist Salary
Average Accountant Salary
Average Doctor Salary
Average Architect Salary
Average Pharmacist Salary
Average Engineer Salary
Average Chiropractor Salary
Average Orthodontist Salary
Average Dental Hygienist Salary
Compare the Best Student Loan Refinance Rates
Here are our top student loan refinance picks for 2019
Sort By :
Student Debt Relief Loan Refinancing Advertiser Disclosure
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply. (1)College Ave Refi Education loans are not currently available to residents of Maine. (2)The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as the borrower or cosigner, if applicable, enrolls in auto-pay and authorizes our loan servicer to automatically deduct your monthly payments from a valid bank account via Automated Clearing House (“ACH”). The rate reduction applies for as long as the monthly payment amount is successfully deducted from the designated bank account and is suspended during periods of forbearance and certain deferments. Variable rates may increase after consummation. (3)$5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees. Information advertised valid as of 9/24/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. (4)This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. Information advertised valid as of 9/24/2020. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
ELFI: Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply. To qualify for refinancing or student loans consolidation through ELFI, you must have at least $15,000 in student loan debt and must have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from an approved post-secondary institution.
LendKey: Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
CommonBond: Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate.
Splash Financial: Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval.com
Earnest: To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest’s fixed-rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with autopay) to 7.89% APR (with autopay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.50% APR (with autopay) to 7.27% APR (with autopay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms of 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 0.26% and 5.03% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 23, 2019 and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay Discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/23/19. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice.
Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 303 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, e-mail us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.