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Sonographer Ultrasound Technician Salary

What is a sonographer?

Sonographers may go by several names including diagnostic medical sonographers, cardiovascular technologists or technicians and vascular technologists. Regardless of the title, all these jobs perform the same basic function. They each use special equipment to create images or conduct tests that can assist physicians in diagnosing and treating patients.

Although similar to nuclear medicine technologists and radiologic and MRI technologists, sonographers are a separate occupation and may have different education and professional requirements than these other fields.

What is a sonographer's salary?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov), median sonographer salaries are higher than the median annual income for all occupations. Within the profession, diagnostic medical sonographers earned the highest median income in 2012.

As with other careers, sonographer salaries may be dependent on factors such as an individual's education, experience and professional credentials.

Job TitleBottom 10% Annual WageAnnual Median WageTop 10% Annual Wage
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers-U.S.$48,720$68,970$97,390
Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Is it difficult to find a job as a sonographer?

As the nation's population ages and imaging technology advances, bls.gov anticipates an increase in the demand for sonographers in the next decade. Overall, the career is expected to grow much faster than the overall growth rate for all occupations. Within the field, diagnostic medical sonographers are expected to see the greatest number of new job openings.

Job TitleProjected Job Growth Rate
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers-U.S.26.4%
Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Is there room for advancement as a sonographer?

The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) says there is plenty of room for advancement in the field. According to their website, individuals with 3-5 years as a sonographer may be able to work as the head of an ultrasound department or as a lead sonographer. In addition, consultant, sales or administrative work may be available to those with experience in the field.

Do sonographers need to be licensed or certified?

Bls.gov reports only a few states have licensure requirements for sonographers. Students should consult with their state's regulatory body to determine whether they will need a license to practice.

While states may not require a license, some employers may only hire individuals with professional certification. The ARDMS offers credentialing for a number of sonography specialties. These credentials typically require students to attend an approved education program and pass a certification exam. Each may also have continuing education requirements. The following are the professional credentials offered by the ARDMS.

  • Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
  • Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer
  • Registered Vascular Technologist
  • Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation
  • Registered in Musculoskeletal Sonography

Sources:
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians Including Vascular Technologists, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012,
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Diagnostic-medical-sonographers.htm

Overview of ARDMS,
http://www.ardms.org/about_ardms/overview_of_ardms

Ultrasound Technologist Schools