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Ultrasound Technician Salary Guide for 2024

Sonographers are highly trained medical professionals, and their salaries are reflective of the skill level required for the job.  They are among the highest paid of all medical technicians. High earning potential combined with great employment outlook makes sonography a popular choice.

How Much Will You Earn?

dollar signThe table below shows the national median annual salaries for sonographers across the earnings spectrum. Experience level, education, and credentials can affect how much you might earn. Conditions in your area may vary.

Bottom 10% National Median Top 10% Earners
$61,430 $81,350 $107,730
$29.54/hour $39.11/hour $51.70/hour

(Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, May 2022. Salary earned may vary depending on location, level of education, credentials earned, and employer. )

An Associate of Science degree in DMS in the minimum amount of education required to enter the job market. Graduates with a Bachelor’s degree in medical sonography and their RDMS credential may be able to ask for a higher starting salary. Dual concentrations in areas such as cardiac and vascular sonography may increase employment opportunities.

Sonographer’s Wages Across the Country

State Annual Mean Wage
Alabama $60,240
Alaska $87,770
Arizona $89,980
Arkansas $70,370
California $114,480
Colorado $92,610
Connecticut $94,930
Delaware $80,640
District of Columbia $94,800
Florida $74,110
Georgia $75,940
Hawaii $105,850
Idaho $82,910
Illinois $86,540
Indiana $75,510
Iowa $76,050
Kansas $82,920
Kentucky $69,580
Louisiana $64,860
Maine $80,110
Maryland $89,910
Massachusetts $95,310
Michigan $70,560
Minnesota $89,610
Mississippi $66,430
Missouri $81,210
Montana $85,810
Nebraska $78,400
Nevada $89,330
New Hampshire $82,990
New Jersey $87,010
New Mexico $79,780
New York $89,340
North Carolina $75,610
North Dakota $74,410
Ohio $77,250
Oklahoma $72,810
Oregon $101,850
Pennsylvania $75,500
Puerto Rico $26,760
Rhode Island $96,400
South Carolina $75,070
South Dakota $65,110
Tennessee $71,280
Texas $78,440
Utah $87,720
Vermont $89,840
Virginia $81,490
Washington $103,700
West Virginia $68,080
Wisconsin $92,450
Wyoming $71,840

Connect with Educational Programs near You

Which Areas of the Country Pay the Most?

Along with education and amount of experience within the field, where you work can be an important factor in determining how much money you will earn.  Income typically corresponds to the cost of living in a specific area.  Below you will find the top paying areas within the U.S.:

Highest Paying States

State Average Annual Salary
National Mean $84,410
California $114,480
Hawaii $105,850
Washington $103,700
Oregon $101,850
Rhode Island $96,400

Highest Paying Cities

Sonographers in California earn the highest salaries in the nation, so it’s not surprising that the top 10 metropolitan areas in the country are all in the state.

City Average Annual Salary
San Jose – Santa Clara, CA $139,090
Vallejo, CA $144,870
San Francisco-Oakland, CA $140,910
Sacramento-Roseville, CA $128,930
Santa Rosa, CA $127,710

Salary and Job Market in Medical Sonography

  • The average starting salary can be up to around $61,000 per year.
  • Experienced sonographers at the top of their pay scale can earn over $100,000 per year.
  • The number of jobs is expected to increase nationally by 14% between 2022 and 2032.
  • The field consistently ranks in the top 25 for best career choices available to Associate Degree holders.
  • Students that pursue dual concentrations during their degree program may also be more marketable.

Ask an Expert: How Do You Ask for the Salary You Deserve?

Samantha Callis, MHA, ACS, RDMS, RDCS, RVT

Author Samantha Callis, MHA, ACS, RDMS, RDCS, RVT

This is sometimes the trickiest part. You get the phone call or email you have been dreaming of… you got the job! Now it suddenly feels serious. Information about onboarding, pre-employee requirements, pay negotiation, designating a start date, orientation/onboarding scheduling, future work schedule, uniform information, and benefits information will be coming at you fast. This is where you need to discuss pay if you want to negotiate. You are your only advocate for pay.

Book titled "Diagnostic medical sonography - the definitive guide to planning your career"The pay rate you accept for your first job somewhat sets the pace for your pay in the future. Naturally, you want to start as high as possible. On the other hand, employers have budgets and initially offering a lower starting wage is one way to keep the budget intact. You don’t want to undersell your skills and talents.

Excerpt from Diagnostic Medical Sonography – The Definitive Guide to Planning Your Career, by Sonographer, Educator, and Trainer Samantha Callis, MHA, ACS,RDMS, RDCS, RVT. Learn more about salary negotiation in this straight-forward and relatable book for sonographers.

Which Facilities Pay Their Sonographers the Most?

An ultrasound tech may work in a variety of locations, including hospitals, doctor’s offices, medical/diagnostic labs, outpatient centers and other healthcare facilities. Where you work upon graduation has an impact on how much you might earn.  But the salary offer doesn’t necessarily give you all the information you need to make an informed decision.  You should also consider the benefit package the employer has, which includes not just healthcare, but Paid Time Off (PTO), and even the possibility of student loan forgiveness.

Below you will see the mean annual salaries by type of employer:

Outpatient Care Centers: $113,680
Management of Companies and Enterprises: $112,960
Colleges and Universities: $90,400
Offices of Physicians: $82,890
Specialty Hospitals: $92,130

What Other Factors Affect Your Salary?

What can you do to maximize your earnings potential? 

First and foremost, you need to be certified or registered with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).  While most states don’t require a sonographer be registered, almost every employer will.  If you attend a degree program that is accredited by the CAAHEP, then becoming certified by the (ARDMS) will likely be part of the program during your senior year, or shortly after graduation.

Level of education and amount of training

In general, the more education and experience a sonographer has, the higher their income can be. While an Associate Degree in DMS is the minimum amount of education required to become a sonographer, a Bachelor’s or even a Master Degree in Ultrasound opens up the doors for a variety of career paths where the earnings potential may be higher, such as consulting, management or education.

Specialization and certifications

Ultrasound technician pay also depends on the area of specialization. For example, if a person specializes in vascular sonography, and becomes certified through the ARDMS (American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography), they may receive higher pay than if they practiced General Sonography.

When getting started, it’s not necessary to declare a specialization to begin a degree program, but there will be a lot of options to choose from when the time comes.  Some programs are even able to offer dual concentrations to their students, which can make you a more marketable job candidate.

Different work shifts

Sonographers may be required to work a variety of shifts at numerous times throughout the day.  These shifts include:

  • 1st (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
  • 2sd (5 p.m. – 1 a.m.)
  • 3rd (12 a.m. – 8 a.m.)
  • On-call

A healthcare professional will be compensated depending on the shift they work, especially when they work outside of the traditional Monday through Friday 9:00 – 5:00 schedule. For example, a day shift sonographer may earn a base wage of $38.40 an hour working typical business hours, whereas a night shift sonographer may earn a base wage of $40.00 or $41.00 an hour because they provide a medically necessary service during “off hours”.

In addition, once an on-call worker is called in to work, they may be compensated at their base wage and receive some type of additional incentive for being utilized during off hours (e.g., $5.00 an hour).

What’s the experts say . . .

Dr. Traci Fox EdD, RT(R), RDMS, RVT

Traci Fox, EdD, RT(R), RDMS, RVT
“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.”

How Does a Sonographer’s Salary Compare to Similar Professions?

Below you can see how the salary for an ultrasound tech compares to other allied health professionals. The table reveals that in comparison to related jobs, ultrasound technicians are paid a higher income on average.

The data is provided by the BLS Division of Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics.  The most recent information provided is from the May, 2022 BLS update.

Profession Lowest 10% Median Highest 10%
Ultrasound Technician/Diagnostic Medical Sonographer $61,430 $81,350 $107,730
Radiologic Technologists $47,760 $65,140 $97,940
Cardiovascular Tech $33,950 $63,020 $102,000
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists $60,530 $80,090 $104,850
Nuclear Medicine Technologist $64,680 $85,300 $114,100
Surgical Technologists $38,860 $55,960 $78,560

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2022 Data.

Resources:
U.S. BLS – 29-2032 Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
U.S. BLS – 29-2035 Radiologic and MRI Technologists
U.S. BLS – 29-2031 Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians
Monster.com
CNBC.com
Salary and employment figures are based on a national average and may vary by location.

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