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how much do sonographers make

Last Updated on March 4, 2021 by

Ultrasound technician salaries rank among some of the highest of all medical technician fields.

The median salary a sonographer makes is approximately $74,320, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) May 2019 salary survey*. Those at the high end of the spectrum earned $102,060 whereas those towards the bottom earned $52,770.

High earning potential combined with great employment outlook makes sonography a popular choice. In fact, U.S. News ranked Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) #5 in the best healthcare support jobs, and named it as the second best paying job available for an associates degree holder. Connect directly with colleges and universities. Click below for affiliate/sponsored program information and to speak with an individual school’s admissions representative. Sponsored Listings

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What is the Starting Salary for an Ultrasound Tech?

The average starting salary for a sonographer is around $52,770*. Many different factors influence the amount an ultrasound technologist can earn. Typically, sonographers earn more than similar healthcare professions, and additionally have the potential to increase their salary.

Factors That Affect Ultrasound Tech Salary

Level of education and amount of training

In general, the more education and experience a sonographer has, the higher their income can be. While an Associates Degree is the minimum amount of education required to become a sonographer, a Bachelor or even a Master Degree in Ultrasound opens up the doors for higher paying positions, such as consulting, management or education.

Specialization and certifications

Ultrasound technician pay also depends on the area of specialization. For example, if a person specializes in Obstetrics/Gynecology, and becomes certified through the ARDMS (American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography), they are more likely to receive higher ultrasound tech pay than if they practiced General Sonography.

When getting started, it’s not necessary to declare a specialization to begin a degree program, but there will be a lot of options to choose from when the time comes.

How Much Do Sonographer Jobs Pay per Hour?

National Average

$41,000 $81,029 /year $118,000 $39 /hour How Much Do Sonographer Jobs Pay per Hour? Comparison by Location Nationwide United States $81,029 Lagos, NG $81,029

As of Feb 25, 2021, the average hourly pay for a Sonographer in the United States is $38.96 an hour.

While ZipRecruiter is seeing hourly wages as high as $56.73 and as low as $19.71, the majority of Sonographer wages currently range between $30.05 (25th percentile) to $46.15 (75th percentile) across the United States. The average pay range for a Sonographer varies greatly (by as much as $16.11), which suggests there may be many opportunities for advancement and increased pay based on skill level, location and years of experience.

Based on recent job postings on ZipRecruiter, the Sonographer job market in both Lagos, NG and the surrounding area is very active. A Sonographer in your area makes on average $39 per hour, or the same as the national average hourly salary of $38.96. ranks number 1 out of 50 states nationwide for Sonographer salaries.

To estimate the most accurate hourly salary range for Sonographer jobs, ZipRecruiter continuously scans its database of millions of active jobs published locally throughout America.

Find your next high paying job as a Sonographer on ZipRecruiter today.

Top 10 Highest Paying Cities for Sonographer Jobs

We’ve identified 10 cities where the typical salary for a Sonographer job is above the national average. Topping the list is San Jose, CA, with Oakland, CA and Tanaina, AK close behind in the second and third positions. Tanaina, AK beats the national average by $15,747 (19.4%), and San Jose, CA furthers that trend with another $17,265 (21.3%) above the $81,029 average.

Importantly, San Jose, CA has a moderately active Sonographer job market with only a few companies currently hiring for this type of role.

With these 10 cities having average salaries higher than the national average, the opportunities for economic advancement by changing locations as a Sonographer appears to be exceedingly fruitful.

Finally, another factor to consider is the average salary for these top ten cities varies very little at 3% between San Jose, CA and Vallejo, CA, reinforcing the limited potential for much wage advancement. The possibility of a lower cost of living may be the best factor to use when considering location and salary for a Sonographer role.

CityAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
San Jose, CA$98,294$8,191$1,890$47.26
Oakland, CA$97,175$8,098$1,869$46.72
Tanaina, AK$96,777$8,065$1,861$46.53
Wasilla, AK$96,775$8,065$1,861$46.53
New York, NY$96,502$8,042$1,856$46.40
Hayward, CA$95,141$7,928$1,830$45.74
Jackson, WY$95,038$7,920$1,828$45.69
Norwalk, CT$94,789$7,899$1,823$45.57
Seattle, WA$94,485$7,874$1,817$45.43
Vallejo, CA$94,462$7,872$1,817$45.41

Top 5 Best Paying Related Sonographer Jobs in the U.S.

We found at least five jobs related to the Sonographer job category that pay more per year than a typical Sonographer salary. Top examples of these roles include: Maternal Fetal Medicine Sonographer, Cardiac Echo Tech, and Pediatric Echo Sonographer.

Importantly, all of these jobs are paid between $14,975 (18.5%) and $44,174 (54.5%) more than the average Sonographer salary of $81,029. If you’re qualified, getting hired for one of these related Sonographer jobs may help you make more money than that of the average Sonographer position.

Job TitleAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
Maternal Fetal Medicine Sonographer$125,203$10,434$2,408$60.19
Cardiac Echo Tech$99,821$8,318$1,920$47.99
Pediatric Echo Sonographer$97,071$8,089$1,867$46.67
Chief Sonographer$96,733$8,061$1,860$46.51
High Risk OB Sonographer$96,004$8,000$1,846$46.16

Facility of employment 

An ultrasound tech may work in a variety of locations, including hospitals, doctor’s offices, medical/diagnostic labs, outpatient centers and other healthcare facilities. Healthcare professionals will be compensated differently depending on the location they work in. For example, ultrasound technologists working in outpatient care centers earned a median annual pay of $93,060, which is more than those in other facilities earned, according to the BLS in 2019 (conditions in your area may vary).

Different work shifts

Sonographers may be required to work a variety of shifts at numerous times throughout the day. These shifts include:

  • 1st (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
  • 2sd (5 p.m. – 1 a.m.)
  • 3rd (12 a.m. – 8 a.m.)
  • On-call

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A healthcare professional will be compensated depending on the shift they work, especially when they work outside of the traditional Monday through Friday 9:00 – 5:00 schedule. For example, a day shift sonographer may earn a base wage of $32.00 an hour working typical business hours, whereas a night shift sonographer may earn a base wage of $35.00 an hour because they provide a medically necessary service during “off hours”.

In addition, once an on-call worker is called in to work, they may be compensated at their base wage and receive some type of additional incentive for being utilized during off hours (e.g., $5.00 an hour).

Geographic location (rural vs. urban; state)

Along with education and amount of experience within the field, location can be an important factor in determining how much money a sonographer will earn.  Income typically corresponds to the cost of living in a specific area.

Salary related factors influenced by location:

  • The number of medical facilities in an area
  • Access to affordable housing
  • Size and age of the population
  • Access to health insurance

How Much Does a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Make?

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers made a median salary of $74,320 in 2019. The best-paid 25 percent made $89,130 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made $61,830.

What Is the Average Sonographer Salary by State

StateAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
New York$96,502$8,042$1,856$46.40
New Hampshire$93,710$7,809$1,802$45.05
West Virginia$83,841$6,987$1,612$40.31
New Jersey$79,818$6,652$1,535$38.37
Rhode Island$77,767$6,481$1,496$37.39
North Dakota$76,568$6,381$1,472$36.81
South Dakota$74,332$6,194$1,429$35.74
New Mexico$73,007$6,084$1,404$35.10
South Carolina$71,205$5,934$1,369$34.23
North Carolina$60,677$5,056$1,167$29.17

Top 50 Highest Paying States for Sonographer Jobs in the U.S.

We’ve identified seven states where the typical salary for a Sonographer job is above the national average. Topping the list is New York, with New Hampshire and Wyoming close behind in second and third. Wyoming beats the national average by 6.2%, and New York furthers that trend with another $15,472 (19.1%) above the $81,029.

Significantly, New York has a very active Sonographer job market as there are several companies currently hiring for this type of role.

With only a handful of states paying above the national average, the opportunities for economic advancement by moving to a new locationas a Sonographer is a decision to make with some caution. Factoring in cost of living expenses should be considered as well.

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