Pediatric Radiologist: Career Profile & Occupational Outlook

Jun 15, 2021

Are you interested in a career as a pediatric radiologist? This field requires a lot of education and training. Read this article for more information about requirements, job duties, projected job growth in the field and salary information.

Essential Information

Pediatric radiologists are physicians trained in using imaging procedures to diagnose medical conditions in children. These professionals undergo years of postsecondary education and specialized training experiences before finding employment; this includes completing medical school, a residency and often a fellowship. They are also required to become licensed and may obtain certification in pediatric radiology.

Required Education Completion of undergraduate studies, followed by medical school
Other Requirements Residency, sometimes a fellowship
Licensure and Certification Physician's license required; voluntary certification in pediatric radiology
Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)* 4% for all physicians and surgeons
Median Salary (2019)* $208,000 for all physicians and surgeons

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Profile

Physicians known as pediatric radiologists care for patients from before birth to young adulthood. They work with private physician groups, at children's hospitals and in the pediatric section of large university hospitals. Some pediatric radiologists teach residents or conduct research. Many pediatric radiologists combine several of these tasks.

Job Description

Utilizing the results from computed tomography (CT) scans, ultrasounds, magnetic resonance imaging technology (MRI), radiography, nuclear medicine, radiography and fluoroscopy, a pediatric radiologist can monitor and diagnose illnesses and injuries in children. Because they deal with a specific population rather than only a few conditions, pediatric radiologists work with all types of diagnostic imaging equipment and anatomical areas. A pediatric radiologist must be familiar with all bodily systems and how they function, particularly as they relate to childhood development.

Educational Requirements

In order to become a pediatric radiologist, an individual must complete at least four years of undergraduate work, followed by four years of medical school. No specific undergraduate major is typically required for admission to medical school, but relevant programs in subjects like biology, the health sciences or pre-medical studies can satisfy medical and scientific coursework requirements. A few programs combine undergraduate work and medical school into 6- or 7-year programs. After graduating from medical school, the individual must pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination to become a physician.

A residency of several years can provide specialized training in radiology, although the field may also be open to individuals who specialized in pediatrics. A physician must first be certified in diagnostic radiology by the American Board of Radiology (ABR) before taking the test to become certified in pediatric radiology. An individual seeking certification as a pediatric radiologist through the ABR must first complete a properly accredited fellowship in the field to take the examination.

Occupational Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says employment opportunities for all physicians, including pediatric radiologists, should grow by 4% from 2019-2029, the same rate of growth as in other professions. An expanding population is one reason for this expected growth, according to the BLS.

The Society for Pediatric Radiology echoes this prediction of more job opportunities in the field. The society says the graduation rate for pediatric radiologists is not keeping up with the retirement rate in the field or the increased demand for services.

To become a pediatric radiologist, one must first complete medical school and then a residency, at least. An exam is necessary for licensure. Job growth in this field is the same as average.

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