What Is the Average Salary of a Sonographer?

Are you interested in working with specialized technology in a health care setting and helping doctors diagnose patients? If you answered yes to these questions and want to know how much such a job would pay, read on for more information about medical sonographers. Schools offering Diagnostic Medical Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Sonographer Responsibilities

In this career, you'll use specialized technology to perform imaging procedures using sound waves on patients. The resulting images, which can aid doctors in patient diagnoses, may be videotaped, photographed and transmitted. Your duties will include selecting proper equipment and informing the patient about the procedure before performing it, and you may specialize in an area such as cardiac or obstetrics.

When you're not working with patients, you'll perform maintenance and record-keeping duties. It is your job to make sure the equipment is properly cared for and maintained. Additionally, depending on your position within your department, you may file and update patient records and oversee work schedules and equipment purchases.

Important Facts About Sonographers

Required Education Associate's degree; bachelor's degree preferred
Key Skills Reading comprehension, critical thinking, astute listener, proficient writing and oral communication, science background, time management, computer proficiency
Work Environment Physician's offices or medical and diagnostic laboratories
Similar Occupations Radiologic and MRI technologists, nuclear medicine technologists, medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians

Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that diagnostic medical sonographers earned a mean annual wage of $68,390, or $32.88 per hour, in May of 2014. Workers who were in the top 10% of wage estimates for this vocation at that time had yearly incomes of $93,850 or greater.

California paid its diagnostic medical sonographers the most of any state in 2014, according to BLS data, followed by Oregon, District of Columbia, Alaska and Washington. Each of these states offered average yearly wages of more than $82,000 per year for these professionals. As far as industries, the ones that paid the most in 2014 were specialty hospitals, outpatient care centers, post-secondary institutions and health practitioners, all of which topped the $71,000 mark with their mean annual wage offerings for diagnostic medical sonographers, the BLS states.

If you're looking to specialize in a particular area of sonography, you may be interested to know that PayScale.com indicated in September 2015 that most medical sonographers certified with vascular skills made $43,357-$93,635 annually. The site stated a salary range of $43,061-$82,693 for most cardiac sonographers at that time.

Job Outlook

Job opportunities in this career are expected to be favorable, according to the BLS. The rate of job growth between 2014 and 2024 is projected to be 26% for diagnostic medical sonographers, which is far faster than the average rate for jobs in the U.S. The BLS anticipates that you'll see the best prospects if you possess certification, and especially if you are certified in more than one area.

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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