Sonogram technicians are also referred to as ultrasound technicians or diagnostic medical sonographer. In the United States, the average median sonogram technician / sonographer salary is reported to be about $68,000 per year or about $ per hour. The top 10th percentile of sonography technicians earned about $80,000 or more per year or about $ or more per hour. The bottom 10th percentile in the profession earned about $56,000 or less per year or about $ or less per hour. The middle 50% of technicians earned between $61,000 and $74,000 per year which is between $ and $ per hour. Many factors determine a sonogram technician’s salary. Their wages will be affected by factors such as years of experience, type of qualification, location of employment and type of employment.
Although not a very high paying job, some employers do pay benefits on top of a sonogram technician’s basic salary. Some of the benefits that might be given to them include, healthcare benefits, social security, pension, 401K and paid time off. When you add these benefits to the base salary, a sonography salary can come to a total median compensation of about $95,000 per year.
Job description of a sonogram technician/sonographer
Sonogram technicians perform the same duties as ultrasound technicians. They use high frequency sound waves to produce images of the internal organs of the body. The images they produce are very important to physicians. Physicians use these images to diagnose health conditions and also for monitoring purposes (for example monitor the progress of a pregnancy).
A sonographer generally performs the following duties:
- Prepares patients for ultrasound procedures by recording their medical history and responding to any concerns the patient might have about the procedure
- Operating and maintaining of imaging equipment
- They put a gel over the area to be scanned to help sound waves to show the image
- They operate the imaging equipment to produce images of the internal organs
- They then analyze the image they produce to ensure they are accurate and clear images of the area ordered by the physician
- They analyze the image, make preliminary findings and report these to the physician
- They produce and maintain records of the patient
We are all familiar with the image of a pregnant woman attending an ultrasound section. The person performing the scan is a sonogram technician or sonographer. The instrument they move over the belly to produce the images on the screen is known as the transducer.
How to become a sonogram technician/sonographer
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There are many ways one can become a sonographer. Sonogram technicians may obtain qualification through on-the-job training, vocational/technical schools, community colleges and universities. Having a professional certification will greatly enhance your chances of getting employed as most employers prefer sonographers/sonogram technicians with such a qualification.
There are associates degree programs in sonography from community colleges and sonography schools. Some universities also offer bachelor’s degree programs in sonography. Some colleges and universities also offer one-year certificate programs in sonography for those already working in the health industry such as nurses.
Most employers prefer to hire sonographers/sonogram technicians with a degree or certificate from an accredited program. Sonographers are usually trained in a specialized area such as breast sonography and abdominal sonography. To improve their employability, many take classes in more than one specialty. You will need to pass a certification exam in each field to qualify as a specialist in that field.
Sonogram technician salary / Sonographer salary in other countries (Canada, Australia and UK)
The average sonographer/sonogram technician salary in Canada is reported to be about CA$64,000 per year. The range is between CA$56,000 and CA$72,000 per year.
In Australia, the average salary is about AU$78,000 per year. The range in Australia is between AU$60,000 and AU$93,000 per year.
Sonographers/sonogram tech working in the United Kingdom (UK) can expect wages of between £26,000 and £45,000 per year.
Verdict on sonogram technician / sonographer salary
The salary of those working in these professions can vary wildly. It really depends on how much your employer is willing to pay you. It is still a very good salary for a job that do not require a bachelor’s degree.