What Are the Highest-Paying Career Options for Sonogram Technicians?

Earning credentials in the field of sonographic technology opens up to a graduate a variety of different positions with varying salaries. There are many factors that may result in higher pay for a sonogram technician, including type of degree taken, location, experience, certifications, and specialties studied. Schools offering Diagnostic Medical Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Salary Overview

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), sonogram technicians working for colleges, universities, and professional schools earned the highest median income of the diagnostic sonography field at an annual salary of $74,940. However, only 590 such positions were reported by the BLS in May 2012. By contrast, the next-highest paying career option in outpatient care centers -with a median salary of $72,200 - provides positions for about 1,310 sonogram technicians. General medical and surgical hospitals employ the most diagnostic sonographers, with employment published as 34,290 in May 2012 by the BLS; the same year, the average salary earned by technicians working in hospitals was $66,390 a year.

Education and Experience

Sonogram technicians' salaries vary depending upon their experience and level of education. While some sonogram technicians gain employment through on-the-job experience or vocational programs, those with associate's or bachelor's degrees may typically earn higher salaries. Sonogram technicians that specialize in difficult or highly specialized procedures - i.e. neurosonography or vascular sonography - could demand higher pay than those with generalized skills.

Salaries may also vary depending on location and type of work. As with many industries, sonogram technicians who independently contract may earn the highest salaries, but may experience inconsistent cashflow. Other positions that may pay higher wages include on-call, evening shifts, or working for a mobile unit.

Certification and Specialties

There are no licensing requirements for sonogram technicians in the U.S., but there are voluntary certification exams that may give sonographers an edge in landing jobs with the highest salaries. The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) offers students the opportunity to confirm their skills through examination and earn the Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) credential. Continuing education is required for the RDMS, which gives sonogram technicians the opportunity to learn about current technologies that could further increase their marketability.

Career Advancement

Sonogram technicians interested in earning more may apply their skills to other related areas. For example, they may find their skills useful in the sales and support of sonographic equipment. Sonogram technicians may also earn additional credentials in order to gain positions as educators or teachers for sonography programs. A sonographer may chose to apply their earned credits towards further education in other medical fields, such as nursing or physician assistance.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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