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9 High-Paying Radiology Tech Jobs with a Bright Future

Medical imaging is a deeply impactful and personally satisfying field. Professionals enjoy a variety of compelling benefits, including the opportunity to work closely with patients and have a positive impact on their health and well-being. Beyond this, it's impossible to deny the appeal of a stable career path and excellent wages. Both should be well within your reach once you receive high-quality training and get a few years of experience under your belt.

If earning potential is your top concern, you will want to enter this profession feeling confident about your job prospects. Earnings can vary dramatically based on factors such as specialty, education, experience, and geographic location — but there is no denying that it's possible to earn a comfortable living when working in radiology.

Top Radiology and Medical Imaging Salaries

If you’re considering an exciting career in medical imaging, you should understand the potential return on investment (ROI) before you enter this field. Your forecasted salary will play a huge role in determining your niche's ROI, at least from the perspective of personal finances.

Below, we've highlighted a few of the specialties and positions that tend to deliver the best wages, but with an important caveat: even within these niches, there is quite a range in pay. Still, you can get some fundamental insight by examining average salaries and the factors that help determine them.

Data source: A combination of reports from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and online resources such as PayScale,, and Indeed.

1. Nuclear Medicine Technologist | $54,000 - $124,000

Nuclear medicine technologists prepare and administer radiopharmaceuticals (agents with small amounts of radioactive materials) to patients, position them for images, and operate specialized cameras and computers that produce diagnostic images.

These images help physicians diagnose and treat injuries and disease processes. Nuclear medicine technologists perform general, cardiac, and oncologic procedures in hospitals and clinical settings on adult and pediatric patients. Nuclear medicine technologists may also work in education, research, administration, and PET (positron emission tomography).

Nuclear medicine technologists work closely with patients, so they must have good patient care skills and be able to explain procedures to put patients at ease. In addition, they must have a detailed knowledge of radiation safety procedures and regulations, radiopharmacy and clinical procedures.

Nuclear medicine technologists work under the supervision of a licensed physician, most often a radiologist or cardiologist. Nuclear medicine technologists can be registered by the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB) or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists® (ARRT®) in nuclear medicine.

2. Interventional Radiological Technologist | $54,000 - $119,000

Centered on minimally invasive procedures, interventional radiology is a nuanced practice that may call for an extensive range of imaging assistance, including CT, ultrasounds and fluoroscopy. The role of the IR technologist is to assist in both diagnostic and minimally invasive procedures such as angioplasty, stent placement, embolization, abscess drainages and biopsies, helping patients to avoid more invasive and extensive surgeries. The IR technologist must employ "sterile" techniques like those used in the operating room. High pay reflects the broad scope of knowledge required, along with the need to obtain multiple credentials, continuing education, or degrees.

3. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (aka Ultrasound Technologist) | $52,000 - $104,000

Diagnostic medical sonographers use ultrasound imaging equipment, which directs sound waves that create images of the inside of the body. In many ways, the work of an ultrasound technologist echoes the role of diagnostic medical sonographer. Pay can be generous but depends on the chosen niche, with diagnostic neurosonographers or other specialties such as breast ultrasound and vascular ultrasound often commanding far higher wages. The setting is also influential; the highest wages are available at outpatient centers, while labs, hospitals, and small clinics may pay less per year.

4. Cardiovascular Technologist | $46,000 - $103,000

Cardiovascular technologists work in a cardiac cath lab assisting physicians in radiologic imaging of cardiac and vascular procedures. These employees command higher pay in outpatient centers and diagnostic labs, with wages typically a bit lower for jobs based within physician clinics or even most hospitals.

5. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologist | $50,000 - $94,000

MRI technologists work in an environment that challenges them with a wide variety of advanced imaging exams, including cardiac imaging, functional brain imaging, and breast imaging. MRI is a technique that uses varying magnetic fields and radio pulses to create detailed images of the organs and tissues of the body. A physician may order an MRI for detailed images of the spine, brain, breast, and soft tissues.

Technologists must have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the principles and physics of magnetic resonance imaging, cross-sectional anatomy, and IV contrast administration. Because they work closely with patients, MRI technologists must have strong communication skills, understand the safety standards and importance of the screening process, and follow MRI safety guidelines.

Read our blog about becoming an MRI Technologist!

6. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Technologist | $46,000 - $91,000

As a branch of nuclear medicine that provides insight into metabolic activity, positron emission tomography (PET) involves radioactive drugs known as tracers. These are administered by PET technologists, who provide actionable insight into how various tissues and organs function. The usually excellent pay for this position reflects the in-depth knowledge technologists must possess, especially as it relates to the absorption rates of different parts of the body.

7. Vascular Technologist | $49,000 - $89,000

As essential members of larger teams of physicians or surgeons that focus on vascular health, vascular technologists perform ultrasounds and other tests. Often, their main goal is to detect clots or blockages of the arteries and veins. Through targeted ultrasound testing, these technologists can also reveal narrowing vessels, reductions in blood flow, or tumors.

Given today's alarmingly high rates of heart disease — and the data-backed importance of early detection — it should come as no surprise that this job is in high demand. As such, salaries are often impressive and may continue to increase as vascular teams require more assistance from highly trained technologists.

8. Computed Tomography (CT) Technologist | $47,000 - $89,000

This specialty calls for an extensive understanding of anatomical structures plus the ability to properly position patients to produce high-quality images. The pay range for this specialty is driven not only by the extensive knowledge that technologists must possess but also by the urgency that sometimes accompanies these scans in emergency care situations.

Computed tomography (CT) scans are obtained by combining a series of X-ray images taken from multiple angles with sophisticated computer technology. The images produced from a CT scan are much more detailed than conventional radiographs and can be reconstructed into 3D images. Scans performed by a CT technologist can be done on all parts of the body to help diagnose acute injuries or disease.

CT technologists must have extensive knowledge of cross-sectional anatomy, contrast administration, and often assist physicians in biopsies and peripheral vascular examinations. Due to the emergent nature of CT examinations, CT technologists often work in fast-paced environments, must be able to take appropriate action when needed, and be “on call” to go to work on a moment’s notice, increasing their base pay significantly.

Read our blog about becoming a CT Technologist!

9. Mammography Technologist | $41,000 - $87,000

Mammography technologists work closely with patients, performing screening and diagnostic mammographic procedures, and must maintain a high degree of accuracy in positioning. Mammography is a unique modality in the field of radiology because it requires a high level of technical skill, interpersonal skill, and passion for mammography itself.

A screening mammogram is the only radiology examination for which a woman can self-refer. There is often a high level of patient anxiety due to the nature of the exam. It is up to the mammographer to put the patient at ease while achieving the best exam possible every time.

Mammography technologists must also have a thorough understanding of quality control and quality assurance requirements, the complexities of federal and state laws, and accreditation regulations. With additional training, they can assist physicians in mammography-guided breast biopsies often referred to as stereotactic breast biopsy. To practice mammography, individuals must meet appropriate educational and clinical requirements before performing mammography procedures. Working in the area of radiology that is often considered “women’s imaging”, mammographers may also enhance their skills and marketability by taking additional training and achieving certification in breast ultrasound and bone densitometry.

Read our blog about becoming a Mammography Technologist!

Other Factors in Technologist Pay

The following factors are especially influential:


Demand drives job outlook and wages — and in medical imaging, it tends to fluctuate in ways that are difficult to predict. So, while this is worth considering as you seek training, be mindful that it may shift by the time you enter the field — or even after you have been employed for years. Still, it's worth your while to take a close look at not only current median wages from sources like the BLS but also projections for job outlook.


Geographic location plays a significant role in determining pay across all specialties — regardless of experience or education. As you might expect, there are general trends that are easy to discern: radiology jobs in big cities tend to pay more than those in small towns, while positions in California or New York are naturally expected to offer higher wages than those in other regions.

Keep in mind that low wages are frequently offset by a similarly low cost of living. As such, it is important to compare potential wages to anticipated expenses, such as housing and transportation, before you make your final decision.


Within any given geographic region, you will find a variety of settings or types of facilities that employ imaging professionals. Clinics, labs, diagnostic centers, and hospitals are top candidates.

Pay varies between these locations, with hospitals and specialty diagnostic facilities typically providing the best compensation — and more opportunities for advancement. Even within a specific facility, pay may differ between departments, particularly if a position calls for extensive anatomical knowledge or certification for multiple procedures or modalities.


A strong academic background sets the stage for competitive pay. With radiology, targeted training is key to obtaining a job in the first place, but additional training or certifications can further boost your earning potential after you have found a great job. A bachelor’s degree is not always required but can lead to higher-level career opportunities. With or without a bachelor's , courses worth taking include:

These courses provide in-depth preparation so you can pass the rigorous exams required to achieve these credentials and certifications:

Additional Skills

Suppose you are already employed as a technologist but want to seek specialization in a new area. In that case, cross-training could equip you with vital skills to help you pursue specific areas of interest. The more skills you have, the more employable you will become.

It's also worth your while to seek further training in soft skills, which have previously been undervalued but are now seen as vital among health care professionals of all types. Strong communication can improve patient satisfaction — and soft skills like leadership could also increase the likelihood of scoring higher-level positions, particularly when you are trying to advance your career.

Increase Your Technologist Salary with Cross Training

If you are ready to level up your imaging career, look to MTMI for elite training. MTMI programs are taught by experts with national reputations in their fields and cover many modalities. Our cross-training courses — offered in the classroom as well as via live webinars — prepare you for registry exams that can take your career to the next level. Check out our full catalog of programs or contact us with questions today!


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