How Much do Sonographers Make?

The average salary for a sonographer in the United States is approximately $81,029.

That said, how much sonographers make annually varies wildly between the top and bottom earners.

At the lowest income level, sonographers take home around $41,000, while those on the highest end make about $118,000.

Numerous factors determine the average income for sonographers in a particular location, career, and education level.

The most critical factors in determining how much sonographers make yearly include the state they operate in, their job title, their education level, and their training.

Salary Factors

As previously stated, how much sonographers make is determined by various factors.

The following section covers how a sonographer’s state of employment, position (job title), negotiated salary, education level, and perks influence their salary.

It also includes an overview of what sonographers do and their career outlook over the next decade.

Factors Impacting a Sonographer’s Salary

  • State of Employment (location)
  • Education and specialization
  • Negotiated salary
  • Overtime
  • Taxes and expenses

State of Employment

Depending on the state/city a sonographer lives in, their salary can vary widely.

For instance, sonographers in New York make approximately $96,502 annually.

In comparison, sonographers in North Carolina earn around $60,677.

That’s a difference of over $35,000!

With that said, there are various reasons for the pay discrepancy.

Firstly, sonographers working in busy metropolitan areas manage more patients than those in rural areas.

Part of their pay increase compensates for the higher influx of patients and the more hectic schedules they endure.

The cost of living is also higher in certain states, so healthcare facilities must pay employees more to compensate for the cost of local goods and services.

Finally, some states have high tax rates, further eating at a sonographer’s salary.

Although some sonographers earn a lot more than others, their cost of living and taxes may offset any financial advantages they’ve obtained.

Therefore, sonographers need to subtract the local cost of living and taxes from their salary to determine whether they make more money after regular expenses.

Education and Specialization

Depending on a sonographer’s education and specialization, their salary can vary substantially.

There are numerous degrees for sonographers/ultrasound technicians ranging from an associate’s degree to a master’s degree.

Sonographers can pursue specific career specializations offering higher salaries based on their education and expertise.

As a result, acquiring further education is extremely valuable to earning the highest income.

Highly educated sonographers can work as department managers/directors, educators, researchers, application specialists, etc.

Sonography Specializations

Negotiated Salary

Sonographers who negotiate a higher salary with their employer make more money than those who don’t.

There are numerous reasons a sonographer may negotiate their pay.

For instance, sonographers working in high-demand locations may earn more because of a shortage of skilled ultrasound technicians.

The sonographer may also negotiate their salary after displaying their exceptional talent to a facility they’ve worked overtime.

The facility may agree to raise their pay to keep them happily employed.

Finally, some healthcare workers may agree to take on special assignments, departments, or work shifts if the facility agrees to a higher salary.

It isn’t always the case that these opportunities come to sonographers.

However, the increased pay incentive does occur in particular locations and specializations.

Competitors may also offer additional incentives to get a highly skilled sonographer to work for them.


Sonographers working in facilities offering tons of overtime can earn more money due to their overtime shifts.

A sonographer may also be required to work additional hours because of employee shortages.

As a result, some sonographers negotiate a higher salary if their talents are in high demand and there’s a lack of qualified ultrasound technicians to replace them.

Later in this article, I cover the job outlook for sonographers showing a higher than the average national increase for ultrasound technician jobs.

The demand for sonographer technicians increases, leading to more opportunities for overtime, perks, and increased annual salaries. 

Taxes and Expenses

As previously mentioned, some states pay sonographers exceptionally well.

However, taxes and expenses can significantly reduce a sonographer’s take-home pay.

Taxes include direct taxes from their paycheck, sales tax, local cost of goods, and property taxes/rent prices.

All of these expenses combined reduce a sonographer’s bankable income.

Therefore, it’s difficult to determine whether a higher-income state equals a higher genuine income after deducting all taxes and expenses.

It is beneficial for sonography technicians to make these calculations before working in a particular state/location.

They’ll make the best financial decision by understanding their actual cost of living before accepting a specific job if their ultimate goal is to make/save money.

Career Overview

Sonographers are in charge of operating special imaging equipment to create images of the human body through ultrasound technology.

This technology allows doctors, physicians, and other healthcare professionals to observe the inner workings of their patient’s bodies.

By understanding their patient’s internal bodies, healthcare specialists can identify health issues, abnormalities, or complications.

Sonography can identify tumors in the body, observe damaged or broken bones, and observe babies’ health status during pregnancy.

Professionals also use sonography to create images, 3D models, and simulations.

These images, models, and simulations can be used in educational centers to teach future healthcare professionals about the human body.

Sonographers work in various healthcare settings to provide patient care and education.

It includes hospitals, healthcare clinics, doctor offices, physician offices, imaging facilities, and other healthcare settings requiring their services.

During the last several years, the demand for sonographers has led to higher wages and better benefits.

According to, the occupational outlook for medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists/technicians is exceptionally bright.

There are currently 134,100 jobs in existence, and the expected job growth for sonography is 14% between 2020 and 2030.

That places sonographers in an above-average job growth market, meaning they can expect higher salaries, better benefits, and more job opportunities/career diversity.

In addition, the average entry-level education required to work in sonography is an associate’s degree.

As a result, aspiring ultrasound technicians can enter the field relatively quickly and less costly than careers requiring a bachelor’s or master’s degree.