2007 PACS Administrator Salary Survey

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 This year’s PACS Administrator Salary Survey garnered feedback from 720 respondents. Most hold the title of “PACS administrator” (53 percent) and the majority are employed by a hospital with 101 to 300 beds (29 percent). Like the past two years, most PACS administrator’s salaries are in the $60,001 to $65,000 range (12 percent), followed closely by $65,001 to $70,000 (11 percent) and $70,000 to $75,000 (11 percent).

The vast majority of PACS administrators (70 percent) are male, have a bachelor’s degree (44 percent) and are between 36 and 40 years old. Most (44 percent) have been a PACS administrator for 1 to 3 years, but almost one-fifth (19 percent) have been on the job for less than one year. Most PACS administrators (57 percent) are very satisfied with their careers and only 20 percent plan to change jobs this year. That may be because 52 percent received a salary increase of 1 to 3 percent in 2006 and another 30 percent earned a 4 to 6 percent increase.

The largest category of respondents work for a hospital with 101 to 300 beds (29 percent), followed by a hospital with 301 to 500 beds (20 percent). The largest areas of concern for this year’s salary respondents are keeping up with IT skills (79 percent), compensation (61 percent) and keeping up with clinical understanding (48 percent).

A closer look at PACS administrators

$60,001-$65,000 is the salary range of the largest group of responders this year, as it was the last two years as well. But more than 8 percent make more than $100,001, an increase of 6 percentage points from last year. The number of respondents making more than $90,000 increased in each $5,000 interval, as did those making $75,000 and under. The two categories ranging from $75,000 to $85,000 both decreased from last year.

Those making six figures were most likely to be employed in California (19 percent), Illinois (10 percent), New York (10 percent) or Massachusetts (7 percent). They were most likely to work for a multi-hospital system (30 percent), followed by a hospital with 301 to 500 beds (18 percent) and a hospital with 101 to 300 beds (17 percent). These high earners were even more likely than all the respondents to be male (78 percent) and have earned a bachelor’s degree (48 percent), followed by a master’s degree (18 percent). They were most likely to have 4 to 6 years of experience (37 percent), followed by 1 to 3 years (28 percent). More than half (52 percent) received a salary increase over the past year of 1 to 3 percent, followed by the 32 percent who received an increase of 4 to 6 percent.

Despite their pay, those PACS administrators making at least $100,000 are more likely than the entire pool of respondents to change jobs in 2007 (27 percent compared with 20 percent). However, more of this group said they were very satisfied with their career (73 percent vs. 58 percent). Most (89 percent) are in charge of PACS operations, 92 percent are part of the PACS buying team, and 76 percent were part of the PACS acquisition team. 

Looking at all survey participants, there is wealth of experience, with 24 percent saying they have more than 20 years in radiology and/or cardiology and 46 percent having  between 1 and 6 years of experience in IS/IT. The largest category of locations for which PACS administrators are responsible was one (26 percent), and most (60 percent) are budgeted in the radiology department and report (36 percent) to the chief or director of radiology. The majority (55percent) do not have any FTEs reporting to them.

Most (87 percent) say there are no open PACS administrator positions at their place of employment. When it comes to the systems they work on, almost half (46 percent) are currently upgrading their existing PACS and 35 percent said they are very satisfied with their current PACS vendor. Respondents said that their facility performs 50,000 to 100,000 annual imaging procedures (23 percent), followed by both 100,000 to 150,000 and 150,000 to 200,000 at 16 percent each. The number of respondents who said that their facility is 91 to 100 percent filmless increased from 38 percent last year to 50 percent this year.

The fine print

Health Imaging & IT posted the online survey of 39 questions from March 8 to April 13 on healthimaging.com and solicited participation from our email address database. In all, 720 respondents completed the survey and emailed it to us for tabulation. Duplicate and incomplete surveys were eliminated from the results.

The PACS Administrator