By Keri Forsythe-Stephens 

Before I begin my diatribe, I want to wish everyone a healthy and prosperous New Year. I’m still in disbelief that it’s 2020 (Will this decade be referred to as the “Roaring 20s 2.0?”), but I’m excited about what lies ahead for the year. Especially for 24×7.

To kick off the year, we are publishing the results of our 2019 compensation and job satisfaction survey. But instead of running the same article online and in print, we’ve decided to change it up this year. (After all, new decade, new approach.) The print version of 24×7 will run exclusive salary charts and survey statistics while the online version of the article, available here, will offer more commentary from survey respondents about the state of HTM. I encourage you to read it.

Speaking of the state of the industry, AAMI’s vice president of HTM, Danielle McGeary, gives her thoughts on the subject in January’s Soapbox column. One of McGeary’s main points is the need to spread awareness about the HTM profession—something she calls “everyone’s responsibility.” “With 62% of the HTM population being over 52 years old, the field is going to have a mass exodus of staff in the next 10 to 15 years,” McGeary adds. “It is essential that we get ahead of this now before the HTM personnel pipeline challenge gets exponentially worse than it already is.”

In the comments section, Daryl Anderson—an HTM professional who plans to retire later this year—presents one theory about the lack of new blood coming to the field. Put simply, Anderson says, “The pay is less than other technical fields and the stress higher, due to having to be on call and deal with [other] medical staff.”

Maybe so, but salaries in the HTM field do appear to be improving. One of the most promising statistics gleaned in 24×7’s 2019 compensation and job satisfaction survey was the fact that salaries in all major job categories, with the exception of BMET 1s, increased from 2018. (Salary growth for BMET 1s was flat in 2019.)

Radiology equipment specialists saw the biggest improvements in 2019, with their salaries surging from $85,300 to $91,900, year-over-year. Another notable hike? Clinical engineers witnessed 5.1%, year-over-year, salary growth in 2019—with their salaries rising from $86,400 to $90,800. So while major challenges certainly remain in the HTM field—particularly the staffing crisis—newcomers may be incentivized by better wages. 

Keri Forsythe-Stephens is chief editor of 24×7 Magazine. Questions and comments can be directed to editor@24x7mag.com.