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What's the Salary for a Graduate with a Medical Sonography Degree?

A medical sonographer operates equipment, which produces high-frequency sound waves to create images of organs and tissues, for diagnostic purposes. As demand increases and technology progresses, those with a medical sonography degree are likely to earn a lucrative average salary in this field. Read on to learn more about the factors that affect salaries for this career.

Salary Overview

According to PayScale.com, diagnostic medical sonographers with an Associate of Applied Science degree in diagnostic medical sonography earned an average wage of $57,000 in 2019. On the other hand, those with a bachelor's degree in diagnostic medical sonography earned $65,000 at the same time. However, most salaries for entry-level professionals at all degree levels ranged from $29,000-$68,000. Salaries can be affected by location, employer type and specialty.

Important Facts about Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

Job Outlook (2016-2026) 23% growth
Required Education Associate's degree or postsecondary education
Work Environment Hospitals, physician offices, medical laboratories, in dimly lit rooms, near patient bedsides, on their feet for long durations
Key Skills Physical stamina, detail oriented, hand-eye coordination, technical, interpersonal

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Location

Geographic location has a large impact on the average salary for this career. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported average salaries for diagnostic medical sonographers working in various states in May 2018 (www.bls.gov). California, Florida, New York, Texas and Illinois had high employment levels and paid average salaries ranging from $76,700-$92,660. California also was among the highest-paying states for this occupation and offered sonographers an average wage of $92,660.

Other states offering high average earnings were Hawaii ($94,350), Alaska ($93,740), District of Columbia ($90,860) and Washington ($87,960). Several states in the southern and southeastern parts of the country paid much lower average wages of $25,220-$65,790. These locations included West Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.

Employer Type

Most medical sonographers worked for hospitals, physicians' offices, laboratories and outpatient care centers in May 2018, according to the BLS. Out of these four employers, outpatient care centers paid the highest average wage of $88,820, while laboratories paid the lowest average wage of $69,670. Those working for general medical and surgical hospitals averaged $74,180, while those working for physicians' offices averaged $72,100. Besides outpatient care center, management of companies and enterprises paid the highest average wage of $82,550, although the BLS reported that there were only 90 diagnostic medical sonographers working for this employer in May 2018.

Specialties

Graduates will find that specializing in an area of medical sonography affects average salary figures. For instance, PayScale.com reported in 2019 that sonographers specializing in vascular skills earned a median wage of $31.21 an hour. On the other hand, a diagnostic medical sonographer specializing in obstetrics earned a median wage of $30.50 an hour.