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Ultrasonographer Salary: How Much Do Ultrasound Techs Make?

Charles M. Carlsen

Published April 23, 2024
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If you are considering a career in ultrasonography, you should know that the future job outlook for ultrasonographers is bright. That’s because the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 10% employment growth for diagnostic medical sonographers between 2022 and 2032, a faster rate than the average for all other occupations.(1)
Knowing that you are more likely to find a job in this field than any other is reassuring. But how much do ultrasound techs make?
According to the salary survey data by salary.com, the mean hourly wage for ultrasound technicians is $42, while the annual average is $87,623 as of December 2023.(2) These figures can change depending on several factors discussed later.
This article has all the details you need to know about an ultrasonographer’s salary. We answer your questions about how much money do ultrasound techs make, how to become an ultrasound sonographer, and how long does it take to become an ultrasound tech.
But let's begin with a quick ultrasound sonographer job description.

What Does an Ultrasonographer Do?

Ultrasonographers are medical support technicians who use ultrasound equipment to produce images of patients' internal organs, used as a diagnostic aid by physicians and other doctors.
The non-invasive procedure by an ultrasound technician detects abnormalities and other medical conditions using high-frequency sound waves.
Ultrasonographers are in high demand, thanks to a rise in an aging population that needs greater medical attention. Besides, there’s a general shift toward non-invasive diagnostic imaging procedures in medical practice.
As allied healthcare practitioners, ultrasound techs play a crucial role in the initial disease management by producing images that help doctors narrow their diagnostic range. This leads to prompt medical attention and timely treatment.

Why it’s Important to Know How Much an Ultrasound Tech Makes

A monthly salary is what most people rely on for their basic daily needs and other life expenses. As such, having a well-paying job is key to a comfortable life. Besides, experts confirm that a high income positively correlates with daily and overall life satisfaction.(3)
Since everyone desires a career that can cater to their life needs, knowing how much ultrasound techs make will help you determine if it is the career for you.
With that in mind, we can now proceed to the details of the ultrasound technician's salary.

Why it’s Important to Know How Much an Ultrasound Tech Makes

A monthly salary is what most people rely on for their basic daily needs and other life expenses. As such, having a well-paying job is key to a comfortable life. Besides, experts confirm that a high income positively correlates with daily and overall life satisfaction.(3)
Since everyone desires a career that can cater to their life needs, knowing how much ultrasound techs make will help you determine if it is the career for you.
With that in mind, we can now proceed to the details of the ultrasound technician's salary.

How Much Do Ultrasound Techs Make?

On average, ultrasound technicians make $35-$50 per hour, which translates to an annual wage of $71,817 for low-wage earners and $103,839 for high-wage earners.(2)
The chart below answers the questions: how much do ultrasound techs make an hour, how much do ultrasound techs make a month, and how much do ultrasound techs make a year?
Percentile Wage Salary Estimates for Ultrasonographers
NB: Percentile is the value under which the indicated percentage of workers falls.
Despite these figures, ultrasonographer salaries can vary due to the several factors discussed in the next section.

Factors Affecting Ultrasound Technician Salary

An ultrasonographer’s salary can go up or down from the predicted mean estimates due to particular factors. Below are some of the most significant ones.

Education Level

Ultrasound technicians require a two to three-year Associate’s Degree or postsecondary certificate as basic work entry qualifications. However, ultrasonographers can also pursue a Bachelor’s Degree, which takes four years.
Ultrasonographers with a Bachelor’s degree earn more than those with an Associate degree. Specifically, an ultrasound tech with a Bachelor’s degree will earn $86,388 a year compared to $85,771 for one with an associate degree. The figure can go up to $87,005 if the ultrasound technician has a Master’s degree.(2)
Bear in mind that ultrasonographer salary estimates can change minimally or significantly each year.

Years of Experience

Ultrasonographers with more years of experience have become experts at their job and outdo in performance their unseasoned counterparts who are just starting their careers.
Since employers value experience and expertise better in any job, ultrasound techs with more experience have higher salaries.
For example, an ultrasonographer with 10-14 years will earn $89,776 annual salary compared to $86,141 for one with 1-2 years of experience.(2)

Specialization

During their training, ultrasound sonographers can decide to specialize in one of the following areas:
  • Abdomen
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN)
  • Pediatric sonography
  • Breast
  • Neuro sonography
  • Cardiac
  • Vascular
  • Musculoskeletal
Training for these specializations can be less or more complex, and so can the skill required to perform and interpret the ultrasounds from each category.
As such ultrasonographers in more complex diagnostic imaging categories will earn more than those in less complex ones.
For example, going by data from salary.com at the time of writing, OB/GYN ultrasound technicians will earn $74,137 per year, Cardiac sonographers $67,230, and Vascular ultrasonographers will earn $70,317. These rates can change with other factors, such as geographical location.

Industry/Employer

Ultrasound technicians work in a range of industries with different employers. Their work context can be more or less busy depending on the number of patients needing diagnostic imaging.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), ultrasound technicians working in outpatient care centers have the highest average hourly and annual wage as of 2022.(4)
The table below shows how these sonographers compare with those from other industries.
As such ultrasonographers in more complex diagnostic imaging categories will earn more than those in less complex ones.
Percentile Wage Salary Estimates for Ultrasonographers

Geographical Location

Ultrasonographer salaries can vary depending on the geographical location. For example, if you are wondering how ultrasonographer salary US compares to ultrasonographer salary UK, you should know that the first has better rates.
Specifically, while an ultrasound technician in the US will earn between $71,817 and $103,839 annual wage, one in the UK earns between $55,792 (£44000) and $63,400 (£50,000), according to the UK National Careers Service.(5)
But ultrasound tech salaries can also vary in the same country, depending on the geographical location. For example, you will often encounter the question, how much do ultrasound techs make in California because the state is known for being the best remunerator of ultrasound technicians.
In fact, California has the top 9 spots for the best-paying metropolitan areas for sonographers in the US. The annual wage range for ultrasound sonographers for the 9 areas in California ranges between $144,870 for the highest (Vallejo-Fairfield) and $114,640 for the lowest (San Diego-Carlsbad). The 10th spot goes to Danbury, Connecticut, with an annual average of $111,830.
Compared to the other States with high employment rates for sonographers, like Texas and Florida, California still tops the list of highest-paying states for ultrasound technicians. TX and FL have an annual average wage of $78,440 and $74,110, respectively.(4)
Before you celebrate too much about the ultrasonographer's salary, it is important to know that it does not come easy. You’ll need professional preparation before you can become an ultrasound technician, which takes time.
But how much time exactly? See the next section for the answer.

How Long Does It Take to Become an Ultrasound Tech?

Becoming an ultrasound tech can take 1-4 years, depending on your chosen education option.

Certificate in Sonography

Acquiring a certificate in sonography can take 1-2.5 years of coursework and practicum, depending on the type of certificate. Usually, two categories of candidates go for this option:
  • Those who want a quick entry to a medical support career after the high school diploma or the General Education Development (GED) certificate. Those in this category will require some prerequisite courses like physiology, anatomy, physics, and mathematics.(6)
  • Graduates who already have a medical degree but want to specialize in sonography, especially in one of the specialties like cardiac or musculoskeletal sonography.
Note that electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG) technicians with a high school diploma may get direct entry to the job market for entry-level ultrasound tech jobs.(6)

Associate Degree in Sonography

An Associate Degree takes 2 years of coursework and practicum. It is the most common path taken by those considering a career as an ultrasound technician.
Be sure to take your Associate Degree in an institution accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
An Associate Degree in ultrasound technology prepares candidates for entry-level certification and jobs. Once completed, graduates will know how to effectively image patients’ organs, among other skills like monitoring pregnancies.
You must have a high school diploma or GED certificate to gain admission to the Associate Degree program. You are also required to pass an entry SAT or ACT.

Bachelor’s Degree in Sonography

A Bachelor’s Degree in sonography takes 4 years to complete and has a practicum requirement of 1680 clinical practice hours and 1,200 sonography exams to conduct.
While it is not a compulsory requirement for ultrasound technicians, it can give you a better footing when looking for a job and ensure higher salary opportunities.
In addition, A Bachelor’s Degree in ultrasonography can also create opportunities for managerial and leadership roles in hospitals and other sonography departments.
Once done with their degree, ultrasound technicians possess the skills to create quality diagnostic images, conduct ECG/EKG tests, and interpret and report ultrasonogram images.
Whichever of the three options you take, certification is a key requirement for better employment and higher salary opportunities. Besides, some employers will not hire you if you are not certified.
You can seek certification with institutions such as the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) or the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).
Certification entails passing the required exams: the Sonography Principles & Instrumentation (SPI) and a specialization exam (breast, abdomen, OB/GYN, etc.).
Completing these certification requirements takes additional time above the period required to complete your selected education option.

Concluding Summary

How much do ultrasound technicians make?
As of the time of this write-up, ultrasound technicians make an average wage of $87,623.
This amount can go up or down depending on factors such as education level, years of experience, and geographical location.
Besides, how much ultrasonographer technicians make a year is bound to change minimally or significantly each year.
Regardless, the salary range for ultrasound tech in the US is quite high compared to other countries like the UK.

REFERENCES

1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook: Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians.

2. Salary.com. Ultrasound Technologists II.

3. Killingsworth MA. Experienced well-being rises with income, even above $75,000 per year. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Jan 26;118(4):e2016976118.

4. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics.

5. UK National Career Service. Sonographer: Ultrasound practitioner.

6. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. How to Become a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer or Cardiovascular Technologist and Technician.

7. NurseJournal. Ultrasound Technician Training: How to Become an Ultrasound Tech.
Article by
Charles M. Carlsen
Hello! I'm Charles, As co-founder of Drsono, I contribute to the DRSONO blog, providing valuable insights and up-to-date information on ultrasound technology and diagnostic imaging.

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