AuntMinnie 2003: SalaryScan survey: Subspecialization pays off for radiology professionals

Am Logo Main 25 AnniversaryEditor's note: As part of the celebration of AuntMinnie.com's upcoming 25th anniversary, we're presenting 25 for 25 -- a series featuring our most popular content for each of the last 25 years. New articles will be published each Monday until our official anniversary at RSNA 2024. Our top article from 2003 shared results from our SalaryScan survey, one of AuntMinnie's most popular editorial features.

U.S. radiologic technologist salaries by subspecialization
Subspecialization Average base salary
No specialization $40,919
Nuclear medicine/PET $58,820
Ultrasound $53,668
MRI $51,919
Interventional radiology $49,766
CT $47,085
Mammography $44,839
Note: Salaries are for all U.S. regions.

Acquiring subspecialized expertise pays big dividends for radiology professionals, according to the latest data from a new compensation survey published by AuntMinnie.com and healthcare recruiting firm CompHealth. Adding a subspecialization to one's credentials can boost incomes by tens of thousands of dollars for some professions, according to the data.

AuntMinnie's CompHealth SalaryScan survey collected data from over 4,500 radiology professionals in a six-week period between December 2002 and January 2003. It covered 15 job categories and received participation from radiology professionals worldwide.

The survey found that U.S. radiologists with no specialization who responded to the survey earned an average base salary of $306,661 and a median salary of $280,000. Adding subspecialization training in MRI, however, boosted the average base salary by 7.4%, to $329,242. Subspecialty expertise in CT had less of an impact; however, the average base salary of a radiologist with CT subspecialty expertise was $311,796, an increase of just 1.7% over those who reported no subspecialization.

U.S. radiologist salaries by subspecialization
Subspecialization Average base salary
No specialization $306,661
Interventional radiology $341,358
MRI $329,242
Mammography $328,989
CT $311,796
Ultrasound $311,655
Nuclear medicine $289,735

Interventional radiologists saw the biggest growth in salary, thanks to added credentials and expertise. Their average base salary was $341,358, up 11.3% compared to U.S. radiologists without subspecialization, according to the SalaryScan results.

Regional differences

As in the 2002 SalaryScan, respondents to this year's survey indicated sharp differences in pay scales in different regions.

The U.S. region with the highest salaries was the U.S. East South Central region, encompassing the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama. Radiologists in this zone -- with and without subspecialization training -- made an average base salary of $327,520 and a median salary of $300,000, according to SalaryScan data.

At the low end of the radiologist salary spectrum was the U.S. New England region, including the states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. New England radiologists -- with and without subspecialization training -- reported an average base salary of $289,563 and a median salary of $257,000.

U.S. radiologist salaries by region
U.S. East South Central (KY, TN, MS, AL) $327,520
U.S. West South Central (TX, OK, AR, LA) $321,257
U.S. East North Central (WI, MI, IL, IN, OH) $320,586
U.S. Pacific (AK, WA, OR, CA, HI) $307,531
U.S. Middle Atlantic (NY, NJ, PA) $302,824
U.S. West North Central (ND, SD, KS, MN, IA, MO) $301,810
U.S. South Atlantic (DE, MD, WV, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL, Washington, DC) $301,373
U.S. Mountain (NV, ID, MT, WY, UT, CO, NM, AZ) $299,800
U.S. New England (ME, VT, NH, MA, RI, CT) $289,563

Note: Survey results include radiologists of all experience levels, with and without subspeciality training.

Sample SalaryScan results for radiologists from around the world include the following:

  • Canadian radiologists, average base salary of $209,167 (in U.S. dollars).
  • Australian and New Zealand radiologists, $153,763.
  • Western European radiologists, $125,326.
  • Northern European radiologists, $91,667.

Technologist results

Radiologic technologists without subspecialized expertise reported an average base salary of $40,919 and a median salary of $39,000. Adding subspecialization training in nuclear medicine/PET boosted the average base salary to $58,820, an increase of 43.7%. RTs with subspecialty training in MRI saw their average base salary grow 26.9%, to $51,919.

U.S. radiologic technologist (RT) salaries by subspecialization
Subspecialization Average base salary
No specialization $40,919
Nuclear medicine/PET $58,820
Ultrasound $53,668
MRI $51,919
Interventional radiology $49,766
CT $47,085
Mammography $44,839

As in last year's survey, the most lucrative regions for RTs were not the same as those for radiologists. RTs in the U.S. Pacific region (Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii) were the best compensated, with an average base salary of $55,944. RTs in the U.S. West North Central zone had the lowest average base salary, at $45,493.

U.S. radiologic technologist (RT) salaries by region
Region Average base salary
U.S. Pacific (AK, WA, OR, CA, HI) $55,944
U.S. New England (ME, VT, NH, MA, RI, CT) $51,125
U.S. Middle Atlantic (NY, NJ, PA) $49,950
U.S. Mountain (NV, ID, MT, WY, UT, CO, NM, AZ) $49,392
U.S. South Atlantic (DE, MD, WV, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL, Washington, DC) $48,459
U.S. East North Central (WI, MI, IL, IN, OH) $46,864
U.S. West South Central (TX, OK, AR, LA) $46,480
U.S. East South Central (KY, TN, MS, AL) $46,222
U.S. West North Central (ND, SD, KS, MN, IA, MO) $45,493

Note: Survey results include radiologist technologists of all experience levels, with and without subspecialty training.

Meanwhile, U.S. radiology administrators turned in an average base salary of $75,712. Professionals in the hotly watched PACS/RIS manager category reported an average base salary of $60,668.

AuntMinnie members can conduct searches on comparable salaries in their professions by going to the SalaryScan database query tool on AuntMinnie’s Career Center.

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