Sonographers, also known as diagnostic medical sonographers, use X-rays, ultrasonography and other imaging processes to produce images of the inside of the human body. Sonographers must know the basics of anatomy as well as how to use and maintain sonography equipment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median salary of a sonographer was £40,287 in 2008. The lowest 10th percentile earned £28,340 and the highest percentile earned £54,567. Salaries vary by geography, location (in hospitals, clinics or doctors' offices) and speciality.
The best-paying states for sonographers are Oregon, Washington, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Alaska, with annual mean wages of between £47,638 and £49,770 for those states. The lowest-paying states were Alabama ($50,090), Wyoming ($50,130), Mississippi ($51,020) and South Dakota ($51,720) according to the BLS.
The top five employers of sonographers are hospitals (annual mean wage of £40,748), doctor's offices (annual mean wage of £40,865), laboratories (annual mean wage of £39,403), clinics (annual mean wage of £40,053) and schools (annual mean wage of £42,094).
There are several specialities of sonographers, including obstetric and gynaecologic sonographers, abdominal sonographers, neurosonographers and breast sonographers. Job prospects and may be best for sonographers who specialise in obstetric and ophthalmology, as the technology related to those fields is rapidly advancing.
The top-paying employer for sonographers is government-sponsored health care facilities. The annual mean wage for these jobs is £50,752. Colleges, universities and schools round out the top five employers with a mean wage of £42,094.
Professional organisations for sonographers may have more detailed career and salary advice for those looking to enter the field or increase their salaries. The Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine can be found in the Resources section.