2006 PACS Administrator Salary Survey

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hiit040407.jpgA snapshot look at the numbers

There’s lots of good news for PACS administrators these days. Their position is solid, essential to the radiology departmen —and now even enterprise-wide image access—and salaries are growing. This year’s PACS administrator salary survey brought input from 771 respondents ( wow, we thought that was a lot too!) who have the title of PACS administrator. One-third of these folks earn between $60,000 and $75,000 and more have received vendor training than any other kind of specialized PACS-related education. The largest group of respondents work at a hospital with 100-300 beds and are responsible for PACS at one facility. The largest group work in the Midwest and received a raise of 1 to 3 percent in 2005. More than half are a member of the purchasing team that acquired the current PACS and more than half are extremely or very satisfied with their current PACS vendor. PACS administrators are most likely to have their position budgeted by the radiology department and report to the chief or director of radiology. Most have been employed as a PACS administrator for 1-3 years and are between 30-35 years old or 40-45 years old.

The fine print

Health Imaging & IT posted the online survey of 42 questions from Jan. 10th through Feb. 3rd on our website healthimaging.com and solicited participation from a group of 2595 select subscribers (by title) from our web address database. In all, 771 respondents completed the survey and emailed it to us for tabulation. That’s a response rate of 30 percent. Duplicate and incomplete surveys were eliminated from the result

Survey says…

Most PACS administrators are earning $60,000 to $65,000, which also was last year’s largest category. This category has increased by 0.8 percentage points. Higher salary ranges have also increased over last year’s survey: the $65,000 to $70,000 range grew 1.1 percentage points to 11.3%, the $70,000 to $75,000 range grew 2.5 percentage points to 10.3%; and the $75,000-$80,000 range grew .9 percentage points to 8.9%.

Your PACS Administrator Job Functions ranked by respondent priority
  • Day-to-day operation/maintenance of PACS
  • Maintain integrity of PACS security, training, trouble-shooting and problem follow-up
  • Plan, coordinate, implement upgrades of PACS (equipment and software)
  • Administer clinical operations of PACS, including user accounts, documentation of procedures, definition and implementation of failure recovery procedures, system enhancements and trouble calls
  • Coordinate installation of (new) PACS
  • Set up and supervise training on PACS (radiologists, technologists, technical support staff)
  • Coordinate special projects for PACS
  • Coordinate interactive/interface activities with vendors
  • Maintain productive, collaborative relationships with physicians, department managers and others in clinical leadership roles to achieve short- and long-term goals
  • Participate in the equipment buying team
  • Involved in purchase of PACS
  • Coordinate film digitizing and CD processing activities
  • Supervise PACS support personnel
  • Participate in coordinating, planning, training and implementing teleradiology system
  • Manage department operating budget (estimate future staff and equipment needs)
A more in-depth look at the state of the PACS administrator

This year’s PACS administrator survey results lined up fairly closely with last year’s numbers

This year, 48 percent of survey respondents says their title is PACS administrator, followed by another 13 percent whose title is RIS/PACS manager. More than three-quarters (78 percent) are in charge of PACS operations and 57 percent run the operation on their own. Eleven percent are responsible for one FTE, 7 percent for 2 FTEs, and 5 percent for three FTEs. The majority (90 percent) provide on-call services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but 60 percent say they are not the only person to cover on-call duties. And although almost half say there is less than one other FTE PACS administrator employed at their organization, 91 percent say there are no PACS administrator positions currently unfilled.

PACS is not new to most survey respondents. One-third are currently evaluating or installing the first generation PACS for their facility. But 40 percent are upgrading their existing PACS. More than one-third (35 percent) are very satisfied with their current PACS vendor. Only 5 percent are dissatisfied.

Most survey respondents received a salary increase during 2005 — 39 percent got a 1-3 percent raise and 37 percent