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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 due to the more technical aspects of the job. 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  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

10. Connecticut - $77,950

10. Connecticut - $77,950 10. Connecticut - $77,950 Explore 10.  Connecticut - $77,950

If you’re interested in pursuing your degree at an ultrasound technician school in Connecticut, you will be combining a quality education with a strong economic outlook. Not only is employment in the medical imaging industry strong, but the state overall is expecting growth that will outpace the rest of the nation.

9. Hawaii - $78,170

9. Hawaii - $78,170 9. Hawaii - $78,170 Explore 9.  Hawaii - $78,170

Sonographers in the beautiful state of Hawaii earn a median annual salary of $78,170. There is a shortage of qualified healthcare workers. and job growth for sonographers is expected to be 35%.

8. Arizona - $78,760

8. Arizona - $78,760 8. Arizona - $78,760 Explore 8.  Arizona - $78,760

Becoming a diagnostic medical sonographer in Arizona is a wise career goal. The median annual salary in 2013 was $78,760, which is significantly higher than the national average of $66,410. The rate of expected job growth is 56%.

7. Wisconsin - $79,280

7. Wisconsin - $79,280 7. Wisconsin - $79,280 Explore 7.  Wisconsin - $79,280

Wisconsin's median annual salary of $79,280 is well above the national median of $66,410. Salaries are drawn from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013.

6. Rhode Island - $79,990

6. Rhode Island - $79,990 6. Rhode Island - $79,990 Explore 6. Rhode Island - $79,990

Rhode Island is the 6th highest paying state in the nation for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, and is expecting job growth of 30% over the next decade.

5. Massachusetts - $80,510

5. Massachusetts - $80,510 5. Massachusetts - $80,510 Explore 5.  Massachusetts - $80,510

The annual median salary for diagnostic medical sonographers in Massachusetts was $80,510 in 2013. Above average growth is expected in the industry in the decade spanning 2010 through 2020, with a forecasted increase in employment of 41%.

4. Washington - $81,180

4. Washington - $81,180 4. Washington - $81,180 Explore 4. Washington - $81,180

Are you researching ultrasound technician schools in the state of Washington? Ultrasonography, medical imaging, and many of the related careers are in demand, and pursuing your education in Washington is a great way to get started. Washington has a strong and expanding economy and is expecting job growth for ultrasound technician of 23% over the next decade.

3. Alaska - $82,420

3. Alaska - $82,420 3. Alaska - $82,420 Explore 3. Alaska - $82,420

Diagnostic medical sonographers earn significantly more per year in Alaska than those in the rest of the country, on average. In 2013, the median annual salary was $82,420, while ultrasound techs around the country averaged $66,410 per year.

2. Oregon - $84,780

2. Oregon - $84,780 2. Oregon - $84,780 Explore 2. Oregon - $84,780

Interested in attending ultrasound technician school in Oregon? It is the 2nd highest paying state for ultrasonographers, with an annual median salary of $84,780, which is considerably higher than the national median of $66,410.

1. California - $86,010

1. California - $86,010 1. California - $86,010 Explore 1. California - $86,010

California employs more ultrasound technicians than any other state in the nation. It is also the highest paying state in terms of annual wages for ultrasound techs, with a median annual salary of $86,010 per year as of May, 2013.

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 $45,840 $66,410 $92,070
Radiologic Technologists $37,570 $55,200 $78,440
Cardiovascular Tech $27,810 $53,210 $82,920
Medical Assistants $21,280 $29,610 $41,910
Surgical Technologists $30,450 $42,720 $61,300

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2013 Data.

Factors That Affect Ultrasound Tech Salary

Employment Outlook for Ultrasound Technicians

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the  job outlook for diagnostic medical sonographers, commonly referred to as ultrasound technicians, 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 2014 was $67,530 annually; the top 10% among the ultrasound job market made over $93,000 and the lowest 10% made less than $46,000. 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, colleges, universities and professional schools pay the highest ultrasound salary, with an average annual pay of $74,940 for May 2012. For that same year, on average, Outpatient Care Centers paid $72,200, Physician Offices paid $66,900, Hospitals paid $66,390 and Medical and Diagnostic Labs paid $64,340.

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, 2012 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