What Is the Average Salary for Ultrasound Technicians?

Ultrasound technicians, also known as diagnostic medical sonographers, use specialized imaging equipment to create images of the body's internal organs in order to diagnose disease, track the development of a pregnancy, and more. Read on to learn about how average salaries for ultrasound technicians depending on factors including employer, experience and location. Schools offering Diagnostic Medical Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Outlook and Salary Overview

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealed that from 2014-2024, diagnostic medical sonography positions were predicted to grow 22%, which is much faster than the growth for other occupations (www.bls.gov). These professionals earned a mean wage of $68,390 in May 2014, reported the BLS. The BLS also reported that diagnostic medical sonographers in the 10th-90th percentile earned between $46,930 and $93,850 per year as of May 2014. Your specific salary can vary according to your employer, experience level or location.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Required Education Associate's degree or postsecondary certificate
Training Related work experience and on-the-job training; hands-on experience during degree program
Certification Greatly preferred by most employers
Similar Occupations Radiologic and MRI Technicians, Cardiovascular Technologists, Medical Laboratory Technicians, Nuclear Medicine Technologists, Registered Nurses

Salaries by Employer

According to the BLS, specialty hospitals (other than psychiatric or substance abuse hospitals) paid the highest wage to diagnostic sonographers, with them earning an average salary of $75,550 per year as of May 2014. According to payscale.com, most ultrasound technicians employed in the obstetrics and gynecology industry earned between $32,335 and $74,986 as of September 2015.

The BLS also reported that, other than specialty hospitals, outpatient care centers and colleges, universities and professional schools paid the second and third highest average wages of $72,930 and $72,270 a year, respectively, as of May 2014. Another high-paying employer is health practitioners' offices, which paid on average $71,980 a year.

Salaries by Experience Level

Salary.com figures from 2015 showed that salaries can also vary depending on how long you've worked in the field. Salary.com lists the salary range for all ultrasound technicians in the 10th-90th salary percentile was between $59,345 and $83,902 annually with a median salary of $70,814. According to salary.com, most entry-level technicians earned between $66,423 and $69,918 a year whereas those with 3-4 years of experience earned between $69,022 and $72,552a year, and those with 10-14 years of experience in the field earned on average between $70,814 and $74,699.

Salaries by State

The BLS reported that the states offering the highest average salaries for diagnostic medical sonographers in May 2014 were California ($89,870), Oregon ($85,970), the District of Columbia ($85,140), Alaska ($82,740) and Washington ($82,550). The lowest mean wages of $24,320 to $60,690 were found in states that included South Dakota, Arkansas, Michigan, West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Florida.

The BLS claimed that the states employing the greatest number of sonographers were New York, California, Florida, Texas, and Ohio. These states offered mean annual salaries that ranged from $60,080 (Florida) to $89,870 (California).

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