Radiologists have it pretty good, at least if you go by a new survey published January 9 by CNN of the best jobs in the U.S. "Radiologist" landed at No. 45 on CNN's list of the top 100 careers in the country.
What's more, with an average salary listed at $316,000, the radiologist position was the second highest-paid career on the list, exceeded only by that of anesthesiologist, which had an average annual salary of $335,000 and occupied the No. 100 spot on the list.
The top pay for radiologists was listed as $492,000, and the profession's projected job growth over the next 10 years was listed as 15%.
What's so great about being a radiologist? The career scored "A" grades in three of the four categories CNN used to rate careers: personal satisfaction, benefit to society, and telecommuting. It scored a "B" grade under the "low stress" category.
Intriguingly, the radiologist profession did not appear on the top 100 jobs survey at all in 2015, the last time CNN published the list. Nor did it make the list in 2013.
CNN said the factors that figured into the survey included how meaningful a profession is, as well as its stress level and how difficult it is to get started in the profession. It also took into consideration the likelihood of promotion and the ability to telecommute.
"We sought professions that not only offer opportunity for advancement, but ones that are satisfying as well," CNN stated in a web page describing the survey's methodology. "Other important factors: pay (how strong it is now, and how fast it's growing) and the overall availability of jobs."
CNN produced the rankings in collaboration with compensation experts at PayScale.com. They started with a list of 450 job titles and focused on the ones that required at least a bachelor's degree, where more than 95% of employment is in the private sector, and other factors.
The list has generated discussion in a thread in AuntMinnie.com's Forums, where responses have ranged from critical to self-affirming.
"I love the fact that it's rated as relatively 'low stress,' " wrote one pundit. "I'd love them to come spend a day with a radiologist and then tell me it's 'low stress.' "
But others opined that stress is relative, and compared with some jobs (such as hostage negotiator and bomb disposal personnel), being a radiologist might be considered to involve less stress.
"There are no jobs on that list I'd rather do than being a radiologist ... other than maybe Dean of Students and Landman, and that's only because I have no idea what those two do exactly (and Landman sounds cool, like one of the X-Men)," wrote another.