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Ultrasound Technician Salary

Your 2016 Guide for Sonographer’s Salaries

Ultrasound technician salaries rank among some of the highest salaries of all medical technician fields. In fact, Monster.com named Diagnostic Medical Sonography as the second best paying job you can get with an associates degree, and U.S. News ranked it #5 in the best healthcare support jobs.  The median salary for Sonographers in May, 2015, was $68,530. The top 10% earned $97,930 and the bottom 10% earned $48,720, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  High earnings potential, combined with great employment outlook, makes sonography a popular choice.

What is the Starting Salary for an Ultrasound Tech?

The median starting salary for a Sonographer is $48,720.00, nation-wide.  The pay you earn is dependent on several factors. First of all, the more education and experience a sonographer has, generally the higher his or her income will be. Ultrasound technician pay also depends on the area the sonographer is specialized in, such as vascular or cardiac ultrasound. It is also dependent on the state in which they’re working. The following table compares salaries among the top-paying states, as of May, 2015.

States With Top Sonographer Salaries

State Median Salary
National Median $68,970
California $95,880
Washington D.C. $88,230
Oregon $86,390
Washington $85,120
Massachusetts $81,370
See our full list of states

Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015 Data

Footnotes:
(1) Estimates for detailed occupations do not sum to the totals because the totals include occupations not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.
(2) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by 2,080 hours; where an hourly mean wage is not published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.
(3) The relative standard error (RSE) is a measure of the reliability of a survey statistic. The smaller the relative standard error, the more precise the estimate.

How Does the Salary Compare to Similar Professions?

Below is a comparison between an ultrasound tech salary and the salaries of similar professions. As you will see, ultrasound technicians are paid, on average, a higher income than similar professions. The data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

Profession Lowest 10% Median Highest 10%
Ultrasound Technician/Diagnostic Medical Sonographer $48,720 $68,970 $97,390
Radiologic Technologists $38,110 $58,120 $81,660
Cardiovascular Tech $28,420 $54,880 $87,170
Medical Assistants $22,040 $30,590 $43,880
Surgical Technologists $31,410 $44,330 $63,410

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2015 Data.

Factors That Affect Ultrasound Tech Salary

Job Growth for Sonographers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the  job outlook for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers is very promising with a projection of 39% more positions available by the year 2022. The BLS adds that the median ultrasound technician salary in May 2015 was $68,970 annually; the top 10% among the ultrasound job market made over $97,000 and the lowest 10% made less than $48,000. With ultrasound technician demand expected to grow, salaries in turn should reflect the growing value placed on sonography within the medical world.

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Already a Sonographer?  Here’s How to Increase Your Salary

In general, the higher and more specialized level of education, the higher the ultrasound technician salary. For example, if you specialize in Obstetrics/Gynecology, and become certified through the ARDMS (American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography) you will receive a higher ultrasound tech pay than if you practice General Sonography. Also a Bachelor or even a Master Degree in Ultrasound opens up the doors for higher paying positions, such as in consulting, management or education.

What type of employer pays the highest ultrasound salary?  According to the BLS, medical and diagnostic laboratories pay the highest  salary, with a median annual pay of $66,830 for May 2015.

Recently the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) surveyed its membership to compile information on average salaries and benefits for each area of sonography, such as cardiac, obstetrics, vascular, neuro-ultrasound and general. The report is now available to all SDMS members.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2015 Data: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm#29-0000
*Career One Stop, http://www.careerinfonet.org/Occ_Intro.asp?id=1&nodeid=1
*BLS: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292032.htm