The job outlook for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers is very good. Nationwide, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 18 percent increase in the number of jobs between 2008 and 2018, faster growth than the average for all jobs. Job growth in Tennessee alone is projected at 24 percent during the same time span.
Multiple factors make this a growing profession. Because sonography does not use radiation, either for diagnosis or treatment, it is considered safer than repeated radiation exposure for both patients and operators. Also, demand for both diagnosis and treatment will increase as the country’s population ages.
Uniform salary data lags by a few years, but in 2008, the median wage of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers was $29.80, or $62,000 a year. In Tennessee, the rates were slightly lower, with a median of $26.76 an hour, or $55,700. The top 10 percent of sonographers in the country, however, earn more than $80,000 a year, with potential higher salaries as supervisors and specialists in new fields.