ARe you an ultrasound tech operator? The operation of equipment that generates diagnostic images through the use of high frequency sound waves is the primary responsibility of ultrasound technicians, who are also referred to as diagnostic medical sonographers or ultrasonographers. These professionals play an important role in the healthcare industry. Because of their employment, physicians have access to vital information that assists them in diagnosing and treating patients.
Those who are contemplating a career in ultrasound technology can benefit from having a better understanding of the hourly wage that ultrasound technicians earn as well as the factors that influence their earning potential. In this post, we will discuss the hourly pay of ultrasound technicians, as well as the elements that determine compensation, the job outlook, and the employment options available.
Ultrasound Tech Hourly Wage Range
The average hourly wage for an ultrasound tech in the United States is $31.87 per hour according to May 2021 figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This translates to a mean annual salary of around $66,290. Ultrasound tech pay can vary quite a bit depending on factors like geographic location, work setting, certification level, years of experience and more. Overall they tend to fall within the following general hourly wage ranges:
- Entry-level: $17 – $30 per hour
- Mid-level: $25 – $35 per hour
- Senior-level: $30 – $40+ per hour
The highest 10% of sonographers earn $48.04 per hour or more which works out to over $100,000 annually.
Factors Impacting Ultrasound Tech Salaries
There is the potential for significant variations in the salary of ultrasound technicians based on the geographic location of the individual. Those who work in major metropolitan regions and places that have a higher cost of living typically earn the highest salary in the organization in which they are employed. For instance, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average hourly wage in San Francisco is $58.11, while the average hourly wage in lower-paying places such as El Paso, Texas is $25.11.
The sort of facility in which sonographers are employed can have a significant impact on the salaries they receive. While general hospitals typically offer greater pay, outpatient care facilities and physician offices typically give lesser remuneration. In general, general hospitals offer higher wages. The federal executive branch is the facility type that has the highest average hourly ultrasound pay across the country, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rate of $45.36 per hour is the most of any facility type.
Beginning salaries for ultrasound technicians are often on the lower end of the scale, as is the case with the majority of jobs. When they have a few years of experience under their belt, they may normally anticipate seeing a faster development in their wages as well as expanding their prospects for advancement. Sonographers with senior-level experience typically earn more than $30 per hour. Some individuals could even be able to secure managerial roles that include higher salaries.
Receiving certification from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) is a significant step in improving an ultrasound technician’s earning potential as well as their employment opportunities. The Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) certification is the standard, however some individuals opt to specialize in areas such as obstetrics and gynecology or breast sonography within the field of ultrasound. For the most part, having a normal RDMS certification in addition to an advanced certification will result in better compensation.
Job Outlook for Ultrasound Technicians:
Ultrasound technicians have a highly promising future in terms of employment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of jobs available for diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists will increase by 17% between the years of 2010 and 2030, resulting in the creation of 23,200 new positions. Over four times quicker than the average rate across all occupations, which is a significant increase.
It is anticipated that significant demand for ultrasound operations and the qualified technicians who are able to perform them would be driven by the increasing prevalence of chronic illnesses among baby boomers who are becoming older. When it comes to prospective ultrasound technologists, the optimistic growth projections indicate that there will be a large number of job possibilities and good opportunities to enhance their careers.
It is possible for ultrasound technicians to choose to specialize in a particular subject, such as obstetrics and gynecology, neurosonology, or breast imaging, once they have had some years of extensive job experience and have received continued training. In general, the incomes associated with these specialties are higher than those associated with more general ultrasonography employment.
The pursuit of leadership positions, such as chief technologist, department administrative manager, or ultrasound lab director, is being pursued by some sonographers in addition to their specialism. In addition to certification, these more advanced positions typically call for possessing a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Additionally, teaching is a viable career route; experienced technicians have the opportunity to become professors in degree programs for ultrasound technology.
Ultrasound techs are well-compensated healthcare professionals whose average hourly wages range from around $25 on the low end up to $40+ for senior-level positions. Factors like geographic region, employer type and years of experience impact salaries significantly. With strong projected job growth and opportunities to advance into specialized roles, moving into an education path to become an ultrasound technician can offer very good salary and career prospects.