Sonography is a medical procedure that uses ultrasound to produce images of internal organs and the body’s structure for diagnosis. Sonography is conducted by sonographers, who may also be referred to as ultrasound technicians. It is one of the best high-paying jobs in the medical field, and ultrasound tech experts can work in different roles.
One of the biggest questions for those who want to pursue a career in sonography is usually, “what is an ultrasound tech salary .” Therefore, in this article, we take a look at the highest-paying job roles that a sonographer can take on in 2023 and answer frequently asked questions about this medical field.
Electrophysiology Technician (EP tech)
An EP tech is a sonographer that specifically assists a cardiologist during a cardiac procedure. The salary for this role ranges between $66,500 – $135,500 per year.
The role of the EP tech during a cardiac procedure is primarily to use a cardiac EP catheter to diagnose heart problems in a patient. This will involve placing the catheter in the patient and reading the electrocardiogram recordings to diagnose illnesses and anomalies.
Apart from this, the EP tech is also expected to interact with patients about their procedures and help maintain equipment in the cath lab.
An ultrasound supervisor is usually in charge of the activities of the sonography department of a hospital. The salary for this role ranges between $66,000 – $120,500 annually.
The ultrasound supervisor’s responsibilities include:
- Monitoring the technicians’ performances
- Appointing and onboarding new employees
- Equipment maintenance
- Managing and maintaining staff schedules
- Analyzing results for senior doctors
- Guiding patients through the sonography process.
Furthermore, the ultrasound supervisor might be called upon when there is a need to perform complex sonography tests.
This refers to a sonographer who specially conducts ultrasound on the brain and central nervous system to diagnose diseases such as stroke, epilepsy, brain tumors, etc. The pay of a neuro sonographer ranges from $68,500 -$113,000.
You should note that neurosonography makes use of a Transcranial Doppler (TCD) and specialized beam shapes instead of the more traditional sonography machines. Furthermore, neuro sonographers could further specialize in a specific area, such as neonatal neurosonography that deals exclusively with infants.
Echocardiography (ECHO) Technologist
This is a highly specialized job role. An Echo technologist uses ultrasound equipment alongside other tools to create images of the heart to inspect its valves, chambers, and walls. On average, this ultrasound techian salary ranges between $70,000 – $111,000 per year.
Echo technologists usually work in hospitals or imaging clinics.
This medical expert performs an ultrasound to create pictures of a baby within the mother’s womb. It helps medical professionals gain valuable information about the health of the mother and baby and how soon to expect birth, among other things. It is usually a part of prenatal care.
An OB sonographer earns a salary between $65,000 and $108,000. However, highest earners may earn as much as $117,000
Pediatric Echo Sonographer
This is a role that deals exclusively with children. It involves using ultrasound machines to create diagnostic images of the children’s hearts. The pay for this role ranges from $82,500 and $108,000 per year. However, top earners may earn as much as $122,000.
Some of the responsibilities attached to this role involve interacting with children about the sonography process and analyzing results to suit the needs of physicians.
A cardiac sonographer earns between $66,000 and $104,000 every year. The roles of a cardiac sonographer include:
- Conducting echocardiogram tests to gather essential facts about a patient’s heart
- Inspecting heart chambers, valves, etc., to determine the state of the heart
- Inspecting patients’ results and reporting to a physician.
A cardiac sonographer can specialize in some of the cardiac fields mentioned above and earn more.
Chief Ultrasound Technologists
A chief ultrasound technologist performs the role of managing other ultrasound technologists within a department or hospital. He liaises between ultrasound technologists, physicians, and other members of staff.
The salary range for this role is between $62,500 and $101,500. However, top earners may earn as much as $128,000.
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
These ultrasound technicians are specifically trained to inspect and analyze the results of sonographic testing. They use ultrasound equipment to create images of various body parts and study these images to decipher whether there is a sickness or abnormality. The average pay for a diagnostic medical sonographer is between $62,500 and $99,500.
An excellent example of this kind of sonography are ultrasounds conducted to see if cancer is spreading or in remission or to check if a woman is pregnant.
A vascular sonographer performs an ultrasound to see how blood flows through a patient’s arms, neck, legs, and other parts. This type of ultrasound is noninvasive and is used to test for blood clots and artery diseases.
A vascular sonographer earns between $59,000 and $80,000 yearly.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ultrasound Technologists and Technicians
What is the estimated ultrasound tech entry-level salary?
The Average entry-level salary for an ultrasound tech ranges from $37,000 to $82,500. Of course, the difference in pay is determined by many factors, including employer, specialty, certifications, and responsibilities. On average, however, an entry-level sonographer should earn $59,000 every year.
What do I need to get started as a sonographer?
There are many pathways to becoming a sonographer or ultrasound tech. You could get accredited after a 2-year associate degree program in sonography. You could also do a bachelor’s program of 4 years or take an ultrasound tech exam after one year of certification programs.
What are the benefits of a career as an ultrasound technician?
Ultrasound tech benefits are plentiful, ranging from an excellent starting salary to the opportunity to specialize. Ultrasound technicians also usually have flexible schedules and enjoy a variety of work settings.
Make sure you use our free SPI practice test to prepare for your exam if you are considering sonography as a career or know someone who is.