What are the highest and lowest x ray tech salaries that I could earn?
Location plays a large role in determining x ray tech pay. For example, if you work in a very large city with a high cost of living, such as New York City, then your average radiology salary will be about $66,000. However, in a smaller city with a lower cost of living like Atlanta, the radiology salaries average about $58,000. This $8,000 gap may seem like a lot, but remember that a low cost of living may offset the difference considerably.
The size of the organization that employs you will also affect your x ray tech salary. Larger organizations usually have access to greater funds and are able to compensate you more. In addition, since for-profit hospitals tend to be smaller than their nonprofit counterparts, the BLS has found that the average wage is higher at nonprofit hospitals.
As with most jobs, when you gain more experience, you earn a higher wage. You may earn less than average right after getting your online associates degree in radiology, but within a few years you should see an increase in your x ray technician salary.
In addition to my x ray tech salary, will I earn benefits?
In addition to your radiology pay, you will most likely earn some sort of benefits package. Most positions offer health benefits like medical, dental and vision insurance. More specifically, according to Payscale.com, 75% of x ray techs received medical benefits, 52% received dental benefits, 36% received vision benefits and only 25% of positions did not receive any type of health benefits.
You can also expect to receive additional compensation such as retirement accounts like a 401(k) or IRA with matching contributions from your employer, paid holidays, paid vacation time and the opportunity to work overtime and earn a higher wage. If you work for a private lab, you may also be able to work more flexible hours with no night shifts.
When you begin your career, there is a possibility that your first job will not offer you any type of benefits. This is especially true if you work for a small organization or private office. While this is not an ideal situation, you can use this opportunity to gain experience if you are having trouble finding work elsewhere. With a couple of years added to your resume, you will be much more marketable to employers at larger organizations that offer better benefits packages and higher x ray technician salaries.
Will I always earn a salary in my x ray tech job?
As is the case with many healthcare positions, you will receive a salary for x ray tech jobs in the sense that you are paid a consistent amount of money for working at least 40 hours a week, but you will not be paid based on the actual number of hours worked.
Most people prefer to earn a salary, but earning a wage in this situation can be to your advantage. If you work more than 40 hours a week, the U.S. Department of Labor states that you are entitled to overtime pay at a rate of 1 and a half times your regular wage. So, if you regularly earn $26 an hour, which is the average for x ray techs, your hourly wage during overtime would be $39. Many salaried positions do not have this opportunity and are paid regardless of how much time they spend in the office.
Salaried positions are not necessarily any more prestigious than wage positions either. These 2 forms of compensation simply incentivize different types of work. Typically, in salaried positions like a financial manager, you are paid for the result of your work, which cannot be measured in hours. As an x ray tech, however, the amount of hours worked is directly related to the number of patients you see, so paying you an hourly wage makes more sense.