Ideally you are considering a career in medical imaging because you are passionate about patient care and intrigued with how the human body functions as well as contributing to diagnoses and working with a team of healthcare professionals. But it is completely realistic for you to want to pursue a profession that also offers a competitive salary.
According to a March, 2016 article by Insider Monkey entitled “11 Best Paying Jobs for Community College Graduates”, Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, MRI Technologists, Dental Technicians, and Nuclear Medicine Technologists are all among the top ten salaries of careers obtainable with an Associate’s Degree.
Intrigued? Consider recent salary data from both the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) to find out more about top paying medical imaging professions.
Top 5 Paying Jobs in Medical Imaging
The BLS lists at least six occupations that have a medical imaging component or focus. Of these, the top five careers based on national median salary are:
1. Radiologic Technologists: $59,260
2. Nuclear Medicine Technologists: $75,960
3. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers: $71,750
4. Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists: $69,240
5. Cardiovascular technologists and technicians: $57,100
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2016: https://www.bls.gov/bls/blswage.htm
SDMS’ “Sonographer and Educator Salary and Benefits Report” (2012)
While the entire “Sonographer and Educator Salary and Benefits Report” is only available to SDMS members, the Society’s January 2013 issue of News Wave presented some of the highlights from its 2012 survey of sonographers and sonography educators.
One such gem of information was median yearly incomes based on credentials (related to ultrasound) held by earners. The data is several years old, but it gives you an idea of the credentialing available and the salary benefits that go along with it. The top five certifications according to those surveyed by the SDMS are:
1. RCCS (Registered Congenital Cardiac Sonographer from CCI): $89,856
2. RDCS (Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer from ARDMS): $85,644
3. RVT (Registered Vascular Technologist from ARDMS): $80,509
4. RVS (Registered Vascular Specialist from CCI): $80,399
5. RPhS (Registered Phlebology Sonographer from CCI): $80,000
Note that pre-requisites for some of the above credentials may require more extensive professional experience and/or CMEs than others in the list (and than those that did not make the top five).
Of course, income for medical imaging careers depends on numerous factors, such as geographic location, employer or type of workplace and level of experience. It’s important to research career opportunities in your prospective local area to get a better financial picture.
- 11 Best Paying Jobs for Community College Graduates, by Gabriela Vatu, for Insider Monkey. March, 2016. http://www.insidermonkey.com/blog/11-best-paying-jobs-for-community-college-graduates-439818/
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2016-17 Data: https://www.bls.gov/bls/blswage.htm
- “2012 SDMS Sonographer and Educator Salary and Benefits Report – An Exclusive SDMS Member Benefit,” News Wave (January 2013) http://www.sdms.org/members/news/NewsWave/NW-January-2013.pdf