An X-ray technician -- also known as a radiologic technician or technologist -- operates diagnostic imaging equipment that uses electromagnetic radiation. This machinery produces images of the internal structures of the human body, which physicians and surgeons use to diagnose illness and injury. X-ray technicians consult the patient on the process, and conduct the procedure ensuring risk to the patient is minimized. X-ray technicians work under the supervision of radiology physicians and earn salary levels that reflect their status in the hierarchy of the radiology profession and the specific skills needed to perform procedures safely.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average annual salary for radiologic technicians is $54,180, equivalent to a monthly income of $4,515. It also reports that the median salary -- earned by the middle 50 percent of practitioners -- is $53,240. This tallies roughly with figures published by salary comparison website MySalary.com, which places the median salary for radiologic technologists at $48,348, or $4,029 a month. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the annual average for the top 10 percent of earners as $75,440 and the rate for the bottom 10 percent as $35,700. MySalary.com lists less of a gap, with equivalent figures of $57,138 and $40,562.
Salary by Industry
The Bureau of Labor Statistics also published average salaries for radiologic technicians working in different sectors of the health-care industry. Scientific research and development services topped the table with average wages of $64,800. Specialty hospitals (excluding psychiatric and substance abuse) were listed at an average of $58,320 while medical and diagnostic laboratories offered $57,250. Federal government agencies offered annual pay of $56,140 while general medical and surgical hospitals were listed at $54,770, slightly more than at the offices of physicians -- $50,860.
Salary by City
Wage comparison website SalaryExpert.com conducted a survey of X-ray technician salaries across all industry sectors in some of the major cities in the United States. Among the most lucrative metropolitan locales for an X-ray technician to work were found to be New York, New York state, paying $62,068; Dallas, Texas at $58,282; and Chicago, Illinois at $57,618. Houston, Texas and Charlotte, North Carolina were listed with similar levels of pay -- $54,870 and $54,632 respectively -- while Orlando in Florida was listed as offering X-ray technicians an average salary of just $43,302.
Salary levels for X-ray technicians should remain very competitive in the years from 2008 to 2018. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects to see the job market for radiologic practitioners grow by approximately 17 percent over that time. This growth will be caused primarily by increased demand for radiologic imaging by a growing, aging population. Radiologic imaging will also be increasingly used to monitor treatments as technological advances and research discoveries will cause more medical treatments to be successful.