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What Is the Average Sonographer Salary?
As an average, a sonographer makes around $30 an hour or around $59,300 a year. However, this number may be skewed by a large number of entry-level sonographers. From the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a Sonographer is just under $72,000 dollars a year. So, an experienced sonographer can expect to make closer to this number.
There is growth potential, too, as the highest 10% in this field earn almost $100,000 a year. Even the lowest 10% earned a solid salary, at well over $51,000 per year. Some sonographers may also earn additional bonus and profit sharing funds, most likely no more than 3-5 thousand dollars in a year.
What Is the Starting Sonographer Salary?
A starting sonographer earns a median salary of just over $50,800, below the lowest 10% range. This indicates room for salary growth. This field is expected to grow, as well. It expected that the field will add 17% more in job positions by 2026.
What Factors Affect a Sonographer’s Salary?
One of the biggest factors affecting salaries is geography. From the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average in California is just over $92,500, one of the highest, while it is just under $62,000 in Georgia: one of the lower values. However, within any geographic region a sonographer can raise their salary considerably by attaining specialty certifications. For example, a Registered Vascular Ultrasound Technologist earns an average of over $31 an hour. So, by passing this certification examination, sonographers can earn $7,000 more per yea, on average.
This is not the only specialty available. Specialty certifications are for testing different body areas, such as the abdominal or musculoskeletal systems, or for working with certain patient groups. Some sonographers hold multiple certifications and earn even higher salaries. There are also bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sonography that can also increase one’s salary.
Depending on the specialty, jobs may be available in different settings. The setting can affect salaries as well, with sonographers in outpatient care centers averaging well over $42 an hour. Other high-paying settings include specialty hospitals, colleges and universities, and management settings. General and surgical hospitals average over a bit over $74,000, which is slightly over the median wage.
Do Sonographers Make More Than MRI Techs?
From the Bureau of Labor Statistics, MRI techs made an average of nearly $34 hour or close to $70,500 a year. This is slightly higher than a sonographer. However, the median was just under $70,000 a year, with the highest 10% at close to $97,500: both slightly lower than sonographers. Also, it appears that MRI techs do not have the sonographer salary mean/median skewed distribution. This is likely due to experienced sonographers attaining certifications which earn higher salaries. A sonographer appears to earn less than an MRI tech to start but has more room for growth and a somewhat higher salary potential.