Radiology vs Anesthesiology: Programs, Schools, Cost, Salary, Job Outlook

Choosing a career in the medical field is always quite confusing especially when all the careers have to do with helping and saving lives. This brings about comparison in the different medical fields. For example, Radiology vs Anesthesiology. Therefore, it will be best to show the differences between Radiology and Anesthesiology. In a bit that in the end you will get to make the right choice of career path to follow.

These two careers are also involved in a range of other medical procedures. For this reason, we will be showing the difference between Radiology and Anesthesiology, their job description. As well as their programs and the possible salary you will earn when you are done with the program.

The table of content below is a good guide for you. It will help you navigate this article easily by highlighting the topics treated here.

Radiology vs Anesthesiology

There is a big line between Radiology and Anesthesiology. But if you are wondering which of the career path to take, this article will give a clear view of Radiology vs Anesthesiology.

Firstly, we will start by giving a proper definition of Radiology and Anesthesiology.

What is Radiology?

Radiology is a branch of medicine that deals with radiant energy in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. This area can be divided into two main areas: diagnostic radiology and interventional radiology. A doctor who specializes in radiology is called a radiologist.

Also, radiology is a medical specialty that uses imaging techniques such as X-rays, ultrasound, computed tomography, positron emission tomography (PET), and magnetic resonance imaging.

What is Anesthesiology?

The American Society of Anesthesiologists defines anesthesiology as: “The practice of medicine dedicated to pain relief and comprehensive care of the surgical patient before, during, and after surgery.”

Radiologist vs Anesthesiologist Job Description and Outlook

The job description of an anesthesiologist and radiologist is a vital role in making sure their patients are ready for surgery. There is a lot to say about the job outlook of radiology and anesthesiology.

What Does an Anesthesiologists do?

Basically, anesthesiologists administer anesthetics to patients to put them in a temporary state of unconsciousness for the performance of a medical procedure.

An anesthesiologist is a doctor who gives the patient medications so that they do not feel pain during surgery.

However, these medical specialists play a much broader role than simply putting people to sleep for surgery.

They are also involved in a variety of other medical procedures, including conducting evaluations in intensive care units, treating emergency situations and advising on pain management.

Anesthesiologists are involved in approximately 90% of the more than 40 million surgeries performed under anesthesia in the United States.

This involvement may include direct patient care or supervision by Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) or Licensed Anesthetists, who also play a key role in the field.

In 2016, more than 30,000 anesthesiologists were employed in the United States, and many more were self-employed.

However, their job description includes:

  • Carrying out thorough interviews with patients before their surgery to determine the right anesthesia and pain management plan for them
  • Possessing a deep understanding of the side effects and dangers that certain pain-killers and anesthesia can cause in patients with pre-existing medical conditions
  • Managing the health and recovery of patients during surgery and post-operation
  • Administering pain relief in many different situations – whether it is to women giving birth or cancer patients undergoing surgery
  • Monitoring outpatient conditions, such as regulating pain and overseeing surgery outcomes.

Where Do Anesthesiologist Work?

The Anesthesiologists’ work environment is anywhere surgical procedures will take place and hence require the administration of pain relief to the patients.

Therefore, you’ll find anesthesiologists at:

  • Offices of Physicians
  • General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
  • Outpatient Care Centers
  • Offices of Other Health Practitioners like Dentists
  • Specialty Hospitals (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse)
  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Military

What Does a Radiologist do?

Radiologists are doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating injuries and diseases using medical imaging (radiology) procedures (exams/tests). Such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear medicine, CT positron emission (PET), and ultrasound.

Radiologists complete at least 13 years of training, including medical school, and a four-year residency. And, more frequently, additional scholarships of one or two years of highly specialized training, such as radiation oncology, pediatric radiology, or interventional radiology.

They are certified by the American Board of Radiology and have strict requirements for continuing medical education throughout their practice.

Where Do Radiologists Work?

Radiologists can work in clinical offices, hospitals, or universities. The work of radiologists varies according to their specialty.

All radiologists work with medical imaging methods, including:

  • computed tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic resonance
  • positron emission tomography (PET)
  • X-rays
  • ultrasound
  • nuclear medicine
  • fusion images

Most of these techniques involve the use of radiation. Radiologists are highly qualified to protect people from the harmful effects of radiation.

These professionals can help other doctors decide the correct imaging method to use and understand what the results mean for treatment. They can also help interpret different images and other test results to make a diagnosis or check if current treatments are working.

Certain types of radiologists, including interventional radiologists, are more actively involved in the treatment process. Others, such as diagnostic radiologists, can provide support to other health professionals.

Some radiologists rarely work with patients and prefer to work in laboratories for research. For example, some clinical studies may include a radiologist to assist in the analysis of medical images.

Radiology vs Anesthesiology Programs

Radiology programs prepare students for fulfilling careers with room for professional growth. While Anesthesiology programs prepare students for the medical field.

Radiology Programs

Radiologists are doctors, so they follow a similar path to those who work in other specialties.

All radiologists need a medical degree, which involves 4 years of training and education from a medical school.

Most medical schools require students to have a college degree and to take an admission exam at Medical College before entering.

After completing medical school, radiologists undergo one year of clinical training. They may spend a preliminary year focusing on one area of ​​medicine, such as internal medicine, or a transition year involving multiple rotations in different specialties.

After the clinical year, radiologists generally carry out 4 years of paid residency. The residency is a combination of continuing medical education and on-the-job training in different areas of radiology.

After a residency, most radiologists do a scholarship. A fellowship is one or two additional years of training in a specialized area of ​​radiology, such as nuclear radiology. Interventional radiologists must complete a 2-year fellowship.

What are the Best Radiology Residency Programs?

Here is a list of Top Radiology Schools in the World:

  • Harvard Medical School – Boston, MA
  • Johns Hopkins School of Medicine – Baltimore, MD
  • Perelman School of Medicine – Philadelphia, PA
  • UW School of Medicine – Seattle, WA
  • David Geffen School of Medicine – Los Angeles, CA
  • Michigan Medical School – Ann Arbor, MI
  • UNC School of Medicine – Chapel Hill, NC
  • Pittsburgh School of Medicine – Pittsburgh, PA
  • Pritzker School of Medicine – Chicago, IL
  • Wash U School of Medicine in St. Louis – St. Louis, MO

Anesthesiology Programs

Anesthesiologists are doctors. Like other doctors, they start with a 4-year college degree, followed by 4 years of medicine.

After that, they must complete another 4 years in an anesthesiology residency program.

Finally, they may continue to pass an additional examination for certification by the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA).

If they want to specialize more, they will enroll in a scholarship program of one year or more to learn:

  • pain management
  • cardiac anesthesia
  • pediatric anesthesia
  • neuro anesthesia
  • obstetric anesthesia
  • critical care medicine
  • hospice and palliative medicine

What are the Best Anesthesiology Residency Programs

Here is a list of Top 10 Anesthesiology Schools in the World:

  • Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
  • Yale School of Medicine (Residency Training Program at Yale-New Haven Hospital)
  • University of Rochester
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Detroit Medical Center/Wayne State University
  • Riverside University Health System
  • Stony Brook Medicine/Renaissance School of Medicine
  • University of Mississippi Medical Center
  • Medical College of Georgia

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Radiologist Degree?

The highest cost to become a radiologist is the price of medical and university studies. Medical school can cost up to $50,000 a year, so a 4-year medical program can cost you around $200,000 in total.

Fortunately, residencies and scholarships are full-time jobs, so it will pay you for your work.

How Much Does it Cost to Get an Anesthesiologist Degree?

Education for anesthesiologists is quite long and as expensive as it is long. You will spend four years getting an undergraduate degree, four years for medical school, and three to four years for the anesthesiology residency program. At every stage of education, you’ll incur costs in tuition, student insurance, and living costs.

Hence, you’ll have the following breakdown:

  • Undergraduate Tuition – between $8,000 to $40,000, although some private schools will charge higher than this range.
  • Undergraduate Living Cost and Insurance – $8,000 to $12,000. Although, this will depend on your location.
  • Medical School tuition, fees, and health insurance – $12,000 to $85,000

Taking the average of these prices, we’ll have $24,000 for a four-year undergraduate education, $10,000 for undergraduate living cost and health insurance, and $48,500 for medical school. This gives a total cost of $82,500.

However, this is a yearly estimate. So, multiplying this by four years, you’ll get $330,000 for the duration of your degree.

Also, being an average cost figure, this should serve as the least amount you’ll pay to acquire an anesthesiologist degree.

How Many Years to Become a Radiologist vs Anesthesiology?

How Long Does It Take to Become a Radiologist?

The path to becoming a radiologist is long and difficult.

Radiologists must first get a bachelor’s degree from a four-year university. Thereafter, they must follow a 4-year medical program and earn their master’s degree in medicine, which includes 2 years of classroom instruction, then 2 years of clinical internships in different fields such as pediatrics, psychiatry, surgery, and Internal medicine.

After obtaining their medical degree, they must complete a radiology residency where they specialize in radiology.

Residents must rotate into specific radiology subareas and conduct their own research.

A radiology residency can take up to 4 to 5 years. Subsequently, many radiologists complete fellowships to specialize.

In addition, the emergence of new medical technologies requires that radiologists take continuing education courses and receive additional training to keep abreast of their knowledge.

Therefore, to become a radiologist, it can generally take up to 13 years. Despite the lengthy qualifications you will need to become a radiologist, the career itself offers many financial and personal benefits.

How Long Does It Take to Become an Anesthesiologist?

It takes 12-13 years to become an anesthesiologist. A bachelor’s degree takes four years, medical school takes four years, and then another four years are spent as a resident. Some physicians continue their residency on a fellowship (another year) to improve their skills in anesthesiology specialties such as pain management, pediatric anesthesiology, or obstetric anesthesiology.

This is how the level of education is classified. In the United States, anesthesiologists must have the following minimum training, followed by high school:

  • University degree/baccalaureate: 4 years
  • Medical degree (M.D. or D.O.): 4 years
  • Internship: 1 year
  • Residency in anesthesiology: 3 years.

Searching for anesthesiologist qualifications will give you the edge to move in the right direction to pursue your career in this profession.

Most anesthesiologists are 30 years of age or older before completing their training.

Radiologist vs Anesthesiologist Salary

What is the Radiologist Salary?

According to, the average salary for a radiologist in the United States is $414,890 as of May 28, 2020, but the range is between $360,690 and $479,890.

Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, qualifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

With more real-time and online compensation data than any other website, helps you determine your exact compensation goal.

Radiology keeps its place among the three highest-paid medical specialties, according to Medscape’s annual medical compensation report.

At the top of the list were orthopedists, cardiologists, radiologists, gastroenterologists, and urologists. A radiologist’s salary is even higher for those who choose a subspecialty like radiation oncology or ultrasound.

About 16% of radiologists earn $500,000 or more; about 8% earn $100,000 or less.

What is the Anesthesiologist Salary?

Anesthesiologists make good money for the great service they render. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Anesthesiologists earn $267,020 yearly. As of 2018, there were 31,060 anesthesiologists in the USA, and employment for this position will rise by 5.6% from 2018 to 2028.

Based on the industry they work, Anesthesiologists also earn:

  • Offices of Physicians – $276,990
  • General Medical and Surgical Hospitals – $209,260
  • Outpatient Care Centers – $273,080
  • Offices of Other Health Practitioners – $195,350
  • Specialty Hospitals – $280,400

Meanwhile, Anesthesiologists’ salaries will vary by location. Anesthesiologists in some states earn better than their counterparts in other states. Also, some states employ more Anesthesiologists than others.

Careers in Radiology vs Anesthesiology

Careers in Radiology

Note: The following majors do not require completion of medical school.

Radiology Technologist: A radiology technologist creates images for radiologists to read and analyze.

Radiology Technician: A radiology technician performs functions similar to a technologist’s, but the range of procedures you can perform is limited.

Medical Sonographer / Technician Diagnosis: This type of technician uses ultrasound technology for a variety of soft tissue procedures.

MRI Technician: MRI technicians monitor the data produced by the MRI scanners and transfer the data to the radiologists for analysis.

CT Scan Technologist: Computed tomography technicians perform scans that will be analyzed by radiologists.

If you are interested in a career as a radiologist or technician, check out the schools listed above for more information and feel free to also check out our available positions on our careers page.

Careers in Anesthesiology

In the United States of America, anesthesiologists are doctors (M.D. or D.O.) who have chosen to specialize in anesthesiology. In the United States, most anesthesiologists have earned a four-year undergraduate college degree, including prerequisites for medicine.

Assistant Anesthesiologist

Anesthesiologist Assistants (AA) are highly qualified health professionals who work under the direction of licensed anesthesiologists to implement anesthesia care plans.

AA works exclusively in the anesthesia care team setting as described by the American Society of Anesthesiologists. An AA cannot practice outside the field of anesthesia or outside the supervision of an anesthesiologist.

AA specific job descriptions and functions may differ depending on local practice. State law, regulations, or medical board directives can better define AA job descriptions. Regardless of local regulations, the constant ingredient is that AA always practices under the medical guidance of a qualified anesthesiologist.

Anesthesia Technician

An anesthesia technician (AT) is not a doctor or nurse. The role of the AT is to support the work done by professional anesthesia personnel. ATs handle the management of anesthesia equipment and its proper maintenance.

Depending on individual experience and training, the role of the AT, Certified Anesthesia Technician (Cer.AT), and Certified Anesthesia Technician (Cer.ATT) may include maintaining and maintaining equipment such as cleaning, sterilization, assembly , calibration and testing, troubleshooting, request and record of inspections and maintenance.

They can use a variety of mechanical, pneumatic, and electronic equipment to monitor, evaluate, and manage the patient under anesthesia.

Certified Anesthesia Technician

The Certified Anesthesia Technician (Cer.A.T.) is a technician who has passed the examination requirements established by ASATT. Cer.A.T. is an allied healthcare professional who is an essential member of the anesthesia care team, as observed by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), and the ‘Association of Registered Perioperative Nurses ( AORN). Cer.A.T. performs its duties under the supervision of licensed anesthesia care providers.

Certified Anesthesia Technologist

A Certified Anesthesia Technologist (Cer.A.T.T.) is a technician who has passed the Certified Anesthesia Technician and Technologist exams under the requirements established by ASATT. The Cer.A.T.T. differs from Cer.A.T. through additional levels of training and experience.

The official recognition of anesthesia technologists is national certification from the American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians (ASATT). Currently, no state requires this certification, but some employers require it before or within two years of hiring.

Radiologist vs Anesthesiologist FAQs

What is Radiology?

Radiology is a branch of medicine that deals with radiant energy in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. This area can be divided into two main areas: diagnostic radiology and interventional radiology. A doctor who specializes in radiology is called a radiologist.

What is anesthesiology?

The American Society of Anesthesiologists defines anesthesiology as: “The practice of medicine dedicated to pain relief and comprehensive care of the surgical patient before, during, and after surgery.”

Is it difficult becoming a radiologist?

Being a radiologist is a difficult discipline that requires one to have a firm grasp of the intricacies of biology, physics, chemistry, and medicine. Radiologists need to know a lot about physics so they can understand how their imaging techniques work and how physics and biology intersect.

In Conclusion

Radiology pays much better (third-highest median income), while anesthesiology has many much higher insurance premiums (you keep people alive), and hours are comparable. There are lot to about radiology vs anesthesiology. It’s all stated above.


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