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Ultrasound Technician Salary

Your 2020 Guide for Sonographer’s Salaries

Ultrasound technician salaries rank among some of the highest of all medical technician fields.

The median salary for Sonographers is $74,320. Those at the top earned $102,060 and the bottom 10% earned $52,770, according to to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2019 salary survey*.

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

What is the Starting Salary for an Ultrasound Tech?

The average starting salary for a sonographer is $52,770*.  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 can 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

Where You Live Can Affect Your Salary

Along with your education and amount of experience on the job, where you live can be an important factor in how much money you’ll earn.  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, and access to affordable housing are all factors, influenced by your location, that can affect your salary.

Here are the top paying state for ultrasound technologists, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)*.

Highest Paying States for Ultrasound Techs

State Median Salary
National Median $74,320
Hawaii $102,140
California $100,960
Alaska $97,270
District of Columbia $95,290
Washington $90,130
See our full list of states

Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Does the Salary Compare to Similar Professions?

Below you can see how the salary for an ultrasound tech compares to 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 $52,770 $74,320 $12,060
Radiologic Technologists $41,480 $60,510 $89,760
Cardiovascular Tech $29,340 $56,850 $93,100
Medical Assistants $25,820 $34,800 $48,720
Surgical Technologists $32,870 $47,300 $69,170

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2018-2019 Data.

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.

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

As the population in the U.S. ages, the need for diagnostic imaging and other medical tests and treatment increases.  Sonographers play an important role in medicine, and the industry is expecting strong job growth.  According to the BLS, the job outlook for diagnostic medical sonographers is very promising with a projection of 19% more positions available by the year 2028.

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 $93,060*.

*Conditions in your area may vary
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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