10 Important Things You Need to Know About Careers in Radiology


There are plenty of things that you could do with a bachelor’s degree in radiology, and deciding among them can be a challenge. If you’re interested in exploring careers in radiology and learning more about the field itself, then read on.

This article will investigate what you need to know about radiology, including the potential salaries for different positions and the expected education levels for those roles.

We’ll also examine what it’s like working in radiology to help you decide if a career in radiology might be right for you. Without further ado, let’s get started!

1. Radiology is a Growing Field

Radiology is fast-growing field, making it an attractive option for those seeking a solid long-term career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for radiologic technologists is 9% between 2018 and 2028.

Practiced physicians with a radiology background are expected to experience a position increase of about 7% between 2018 and 2028. Both of these potentials are greater than the average job outlook of about 5%. 

Careers with high job outlooks tend to pose less risk than those with low outlooks. While employment may still be relatively competitive, it’s unlikely that someone with a background in radiology could be unemployed for very long.

2. Technologists Can Earn Competitive Pay

Radiologists earn excellent annual pay. Radiologic technicians with only two years of professional schooling can earn $60,000 annually. That’s about $10,000 more than the average college graduate earns during their first year after graduation. 

If you’re looking to transition into a new and profitable career quickly, radiology may pay off. And while you’re earning your associate’s degree, you can begin to think about specializing in radiology with a bachelor’s degree.

3. Specialization is Crucial

Most radiologists specialize in a particular medical subfield. For example, some radiologists work with children and become pediatric radiographers. Others focus on cardiovascular issues and are known as cardiovascular technologists.

Your interests and preferences can help you determine which specialization is right for you. It might also be helpful to take a moment and consider the type of radiology career you have in mind.

4. Radiologists Are Detectives

Radiologists have a wide range of potential duties and responsibilities. While many of these tasks relate to taking and analyzing x-rays. In this way, radiologists are very similar to detectives.

They help physicians diagnose illnesses and injuries using their specific technical expertise. Without this knowledge, medical staff may incorrectly diagnose a patient, resulting in injury or death.

Radiologists are fantastically important and their determinations greatly influence a patient’s final diagnosis and treatment plan.

5. Radiologists Constantly Educate Themselves

Even after gaining professional certification and experience, radiologists are required to take continuing education (CE) courses. While this might seem like an impractical and unpleasant requirement, it has a well-thought purpose.

The healthcare and medical communities are in a constant state of change and improvement. New information regarding treatments and techniques is published every day.

If healthcare professionals, including radiologists, failed to continue educating themselves on this updated information, they may quickly find themselves falling behind current practices.

Fortunately, radiology continuing education is available in many different forms, including online courses.

6. Nurses Can Also Be Radiologists

Radiologists don’t do just one thing. They can fulfill multiple positions and roles, depending on their education. You can be a radiologist and be a technician, a nurse, a physician, or an administrator. 

Contrary to popular perception, radiologists aren’t simply stuck behind an x-ray machine all day. If you’re interested in radiology, you can curate your career to match your personal needs and preferences.

So, if the sight of blood makes you faint, you might want to stick to the technical or administrative work. But if you’re ready to get hands-on with patients, you may want to consider furthering your education and becoming either a nurse or physician. 

7. Radiologists Can Be High Earners

Radiologists that hold doctorate degrees can earn $200,000 or more each year. That’s nearly four times the amount that the average American adult earns annually.

While it is true that a good portion of those funds might go to paying back student loans, at least initially, the long-term prospects with that type of pay are excellent.

If you’re interested in starting a career that leads to financial security, radiology could be the ideal choice. Of course, you’ll need to get an education first.

8. Begin With an Associate’s Degree

You don’t necessarily need a bachelor’s degree or a doctorate to practice radiology. Radiologic technicians typically only have a two-year associate’s degree. If you’re interested in dipping your toes into the radiology field, this option might work.

However, if you’re ready to make the commitment and the plunge, you may want to consider medical school. While you could practice basic radiology with an associate’s degree, many radiologists choose to pursue higher education.

9. Many Radiologists Attend Medical School

If you’re looking to earn more than $60,000 per year and get your doctorate, then you may want to consider pursuing a career as a radiologist physician. This requires medical school and several additional years of higher education.

But, the reward is significant. Radiologists that complete medical school and go on to earn their doctorate can earn a significant pay raise without sacrificing job security. If you choose this route, you’ll also be able to say that you survived medical school.

10. Radiologists Are Healthcare Workers

One of the most amazing things about working in radiology is the chance to positively impact the lives of others. At their core, radiologists are healthcare workers. They are as essential as nurses and physicians, and they’re just as helpful.

Working in radiology can be an emotionally rewarding experience. Depending on your preferences, you can choose to limit your physical interaction with patients or go all-in and perform nursing duties alongside your radiology responsibilities.

No matter which radiology pathway you choose, it’s bound to lead to a place where you’re helping people.

Start a New Career in Radiology

There are several reasons to start a new career in radiology. The job outlook for radiology is excellent and the starting technician pay is competitive. Careers in radiology also allow you to give back to the community and provide healthcare.

You can get started with a bachelor’s degree, but medical school is required for higher-level and higher-paying positions. Still, you can adapt your education to your preferences and needs, allowing you to practice radiology in many different roles.

There’s never been a better time to invest in a worthwhile career. If you’ve been looking to integrate yourself into the healthcare field, radiology may be right for you.

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