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Ultrasound Technician Salary

Your 2020 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 (DMS) 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 is $72,510. Those at the top earned $100,480 and the bottom 10% earned $51,430, according to to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics salary survey.

High earnings potential, combined with great employment outlook, makes sonography a popular choice.

What is the Starting Salary for an Ultrasound Tech?

The national median starting salary for a sonographer is $51,430.  The pay you will earn depends on several factors.

In general, the more education and experience a sonographer has, the higher his or her income will be. Ultrasound technician pay also depends on the area of specialization, such as vascular, musculoskeletal, cardiac, or OB/GYN ultrasound.  For those of you who are just getting started, you don’t need to declare a specialization to begin a degree program.  You’ll find an exciting focus as you progress in your field!

Ultrasound Interviews Dr. Traci Fox“Don’t do it because you heard it pays well, don’t do it because somebody told you that there’s a lot of jobs in it…It has to be something where you’ve done the research, you know what the field involves and you say “Yeah I can see me doing that. If you want to get into the profession, know about it. If somebody asks you, “What does a Sonographer do?” have an answer.” – Traci Fox, EdD, RT(R), RDMS, RVT

How Can Location Affect Your Salary?

Along with your education, and number of years experience on the job, location can be a very important factor when researching starting pay for diagnostic medical sonographers.  As with many professions, your salary is dependent on the state and city in which you’re working.  Income typically corresponds to the cost of living in your specific area.  The number of medical facilities in your area, size and age of the population, access to health insurance, access to affordable housing are all factors, influenced by your location, that can affect your salary.


The following table compares ultrasound tech salaries among the top-paying states, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Highest Paying States for Ultrasound Techs

State Median Salary
National Median $72,510
Hawaii $94,350
Alaska $93,740
California $92,660
District of Columbia $90,860
Washington $87,960
See our full list of states

Bureau of Labor Statistics

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 a higher income than similar professions on average. The data is provided by the BLS:

Profession Lowest 10% Median Highest 10%
Ultrasound Technician/Diagnostic Medical Sonographer $51,430 $72,510 $100,480
Radiologic Technologists $50,220 $71,670 $99,180
Cardiovascular Tech $29,340 $56,850 $93,100
Medical Assistants $24,790 $33,610 $47,250
Surgical Technologists $32,870 $47,300 $69,170

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2018 Data.

Factors That Affect Ultrasound Tech Salary

  • Level of education and amount of training
  • Specialization and certifications
  • Geographic location (rural vs. urban; state)
  • Facility of employment (hospital, physician’s office, diagnostic imaging facility, etc)

Job Growth for Sonographers

According to the BLS, the job outlook for diagnostic medical sonographers (DMS) is very promising with a projection of 17% more positions available by the year 2026.

The BLS adds that the median ultrasound technician salary in May 2017 was $71,410 annually; the top 10% among the ultrasound job market made over $99,000 and the lowest 10% made less than $51,000.

With ultrasound technician demand expected to grow, salaries in turn should reflect the growing value placed on sonography within the medical world.

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 are more likely to receive 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, outpatient care centers pay the highest  salary, with a median annual pay of $84,890.

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: https://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: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292032.htm

Does the Gender Pay Gap still exist?  In our series of articles on Women in Medical Imaging, we explore the issue of the gender pay gap, and whether or not it is as prevalent in healthcare as it is in other industries.

(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.

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