X-Ray Technician Average Salary
Do x-rays fascinate you? You can earn good money as an x-ray technician, and this job provides plenty of room to advance your career to make even more money in the future. Although x-ray technicians primarily are hired by hospitals, they also can work in other environments such as doctors’ offices, radiology clinics, dental offices, and convalescent homes. Each environment provides new opportunities and a variety of salaries as well.
No matter the environment, x-ray technician salaries are about the same nationwide, but they increase as your career builds. This job is the low end of the x-ray career totem pole, however, so you may not make as much as the next step up, which is a radiographer. You can become an x-ray technician with an associate’s degree, but in order to advance to another level in your career, it will require a more advanced degree.
For instance, salaries for x-ray technicians who have been on the job for one year usually range about $26.88 per hour, whereas an x-ray technician who has been on the job for twenty years or more, and perhaps has become a radiation technician can make around $37.29 per hour. So experience definitely plays a role in your salary as you progress, but without a higher degree, there won’t be much room for growth.
In comparison, the mean hourly wage for a radiographer is $27.29, and 90 percent of radiographers make a mean hourly wage of $37.31. The difference in jobs and wages may mean just a year or two more in college or extra certification. As an x-ray technician, you often are limited to the technologies you can operate, such as an x-ray machine; however, with further education, on-the-job skills training and certifications, you can learn how to operate other diagnostic equipment as well, such as CT or MRI equipment. While your pay and job description may be limited if you start out as an x-ray technician, the door is wide open to advance your career and your pay-scale even as you work.
Other careers may be open to you as well as an x-ray technician. You can work in a dentist’s office or with a veterinarian. According to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT), chief technicians can expect to earn $44,500 at an entry-level position while senior technicians can make $65,000-$85,000. Learning your skill so that you become an expert is one option, whereas learning business, diagnostic and technical skills is another option. As you can see, you have many options within many salary ranges.
What you make is also dependent on where you work. The highest paying states for the radiologic profession as of May 2013 according to the BLS were:
- District of Columbia
- Rhode Island
In fact, California is way ahead on this list. The top eight cities with the highest mean salary are in California, including areas such as Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Modesto. Likewise, the mountain ranges of northern California tops the list of highest mean salary for a non-metropolitan area.
Increases in salaries over the next decade will depend mainly upon advances in technologies and the ability of an x-ray technician to keep up with those advances. Often, continuing education is a necessity to advance into a new field or even to maintain a current career. Fortunately, x-ray technicians often are the first to learn about new x-ray technologies and, if working for an environment that wants to keep up with the latest and best equipment, will often obtain the needed skills through work or through continuing education offered through employers.
Another option available to advance your skills and your pay is to study at home or through online courses. You can accomplish this goal while you work. This means that you also can accomplish the goal of acquiring hands-on technical experience, which is a requirement for many certifications. The flexibility of online programs means that students no longer have to sacrifice their career or family life in order to continue their education. You can study on your own time and earn a degree while you continue to work.