One of the most-common questions people have when considering a career in medical sonography is “what is the average ultrasound technician salary?” The answer to this question depends on a number of variables, including the amount of experience one has, the state he or she works in, and several other factors. Below, we’ll take a brief look at the things that go into determining how much an ultrasound tech makes, and review the latest official state-by-state data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Median Ultrasound Technician Salary in the U.S.
Before we dig into the specific factors that affect the salary a person earns as an ultrasound technician, we’ll provide a general answer to the question posed in the first paragraph. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report cited by www.onetonline.org, the median annual U.S. salary for a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer was $66,410 in 2013.
As stated above, the actual salary you can expect to earn in this field will vary according to your specific set of circumstances, however.
What Influences How Much an Ultrasound Tech Makes?
The factors that generally have the greatest impact on an individual’s earnings as a medical sonographer are, in order of importance:
- Level of Education
A brief look at each follows.
As with most professions, the more experience you have as an ultrasound tech, the higher your pay generally is. The reasons for this are obviously tied into annual pay increases, as well as increased mobility between employers and the opportunity to negotiate a higher salary that this provides.
Level of Education
Generally speaking, the more training and credentials an ultrasound technician holds, the higher salary he or she can command. While a minimum of a diploma from a CAAHEP-accredited program, and certification from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) are required in most states, some employers prefer to hire technicians who have additionally completed college-level degrees in sonography.
- Associate’s Degree in Diagnostic Ultrasound (two-years)
- Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Probably one of the greatest influences on your ultrasound technician salary is the state where you work. Generally speaking, sonography professionals who live and work in the Northeastern and Western United States tend to earn significantly more than their counterparts in the Midwest and Southeast.
Factoring into this reality, however, is the fact that the cost of living in these regions is also far higher than in other parts of the country.
Click to See Ultrasound Technician Salary by State
Ultrasound Technician Salary by State
|State||Median Salary (2013)||Cost of Living Rank*|
Maximizing Your Ultrasound Tech Salary
Now that you have an idea of what goes into determining your ultrasound technician salary, you’ll see that there are specific things you can do to maximize your earning potential. While relocating to another state may not be an option, and acquiring experience is simply a matter of time, you can pursue additional training and education to maximize your salary. If you graduate from one of the accredited ultrasound technician schools and follow our steps to become an ultrasound tech, you will be on your way!