Echo sonographers, also known as cardio sonographers, are healthcare professionals who have received specialized training in the use of imaging technology to assist physicians in diagnosing heart problems in patients.
They use ultrasound machines to produce moving 2-D or 3-D images of the heart and its chambers. This procedure is known as an echocardiogram.
A career in echo sonography can be extremely satisfying. The echocardiogram results will provide cardiologists with a look inside the patient’s heart, allowing them to make a diagnosis and devise an appropriate treatment plan. Individuals who are looking for meaningful, fast-paced, patient-centered work may be interested in a career in cardiac sonography.
This article focuses on the echosonographer’s salary as well as a pediatric cardiac sonography salary but before we delve into that, we will explain all you need to know about this profession.
At a Glance: Echo Sonographer
Cardiovascular care’s effectiveness and options have grown exponentially in recent decades, making this one of the most exciting medical careers available.
To become an echo sonographer, you must first complete a two- or four-year degree program and then pass a national board exam.
Certification is valid in all states, unlike other medical professions such as nurses and chiropractors. This gives you career flexibility as well.
How to Become an Echo Sonographer
Echo sonographers only perform ultrasounds on the heart. (Other ultrasound technicians perform vascular, prenatal, and other imaging exams) Professionals in this field, also known as “echocardiography,” assist doctors in diagnosing, monitoring, and ruling out issues such as cardiovascular disease or heart defects.
They can also perform imaging during heart procedures, known as intraprocedural echoes, to assist physicians in procedures like valve replacement.
- Find and finish a training program (associate or bachelor’s degree).
A two- or four-year degree in an echocardiography-related field will prepare you for the profession. This education consists of classroom, laboratory, and clinical work. You can look for cardiac ultrasound programs or majors in cardiovascular technology or ultrasound.
It is important to note that ultrasound careers are divided into three categories: cardiac, vascular (veins and blood vessels), and general (which includes everything else, including fetal). Each has its own process for certification.
- To become certified, you must pass a national or international board exam.
A board exam administered by the National Board of Echocardiography, Cardiovascular Credentialing International, or the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography is required for cardiac sonographers. You will take an exam tailored to your chosen branch of echocardiography adult, pediatric, or fetal.
- Find a job that is a good fit for you.
Look for positions that match your priorities in terms of setting, location, salary, benefits, and growth potential.
- Maintain your continuing education requirements.
To keep your certification, you must attend echocardiography-specific continuing education courses.
Duties of an Echo Sonographer
An echo sonographer has direct contact with patients. Churchill estimates that she works with patients and performs ultrasounds for six hours of an eight-hour shift.
An ultrasound is typically performed after the following steps:
- Check the patient in
- Ascertain that the patient has donned a medical gown and secured their belongings
- Place the patient in a private ultrasound room and explain the procedure
- Conduct cardiac ultrasound
- Describe the next steps
- Ascertain that the patient can change back into their clothes and retrieve their belongings
- Prepare the ultrasound room for the next patient by cleaning it
- This procedure may last between 30 and 60 minutes to complete
The remainder of a cardiac sonographer’s workday is spent writing ultrasound test reports. Measurements, calculations, and a verbal description of what they saw are all included. The doctor will read these reports and watch videos in order to make a diagnosis and plan for the patient.
Where Can You Find Echo Sonographers?
The majority of echo sonographers work in hospitals. Cardiologists can refer patients for imaging and collaborate with cardiac sonographers to diagnose or rule out heart conditions.
Some cardiac sonographers work in operating rooms, where they may monitor patients’ hearts during procedures such as fluid removal around the heart.
Hospitals aren’t the only place for cardiac sonographers to work. They can also work in private practices and diagnostic laboratories, particularly those specializing in cardiovascular health.
Finally, cardiac sonographers may find employment with companies that manufacture ultrasound machines or software. These companies require the expertise of a cardiac sonographer in order to develop and test new technology. Companies also send cardiac sonographers to hospitals to train staff on new equipment or software.
What is an echo Sonographer salary?
In the United States, the echo sonographer’s salary is $79,641. Salary ranges for cardiac sonographers typically range from $54,000 to $116,000 per year. The hourly rate for cardiac sonographers is $38.29 on average.
The echo sonographer salary is affected by location, education, and experience. The highest-paying states for cardiac sonographers are California, Oregon, Idaho, Rhode Island, and Washington.
States with the highest pay for Echo Sonographer
While an echo sonographer’s salary is $79,641, or $38.29 per hour, there are numerous opportunities for cardiac sonographers to earn more.
In Oakland, CA, for example, you could earn $138,493 per year. Other high-paying cities include Portland, Oregon, Vancouver, Washington, and Northampton, Massachusetts. If you’re looking for an entry-level job, your best bet is to relocate to Oakland, California, where the average starting salary is $92,000.
California, Oregon, and Idaho are the highest-paying states for cardiac sonographers. Meanwhile, the lowest-paying states are South Dakota, New Hampshire, and Iowa.
Which companies pay the most for Echo Sonographer
According to our research, the highest-paying companies for cardiac sonographers are Washington Hospital Healthcare System and Erlanger Health System.
What is the Pediatric Cardiac Sonographer salary?
A Pediatric Cardiac Sonographer salary in the United States is $110,959 as of May 1, 2023. In case you need a quick salary calculator, that works out to about $53.35 per hour. This equates to $2,133 per week or $9,246 per month.
The majority of Pediatric Cardiac Sonographer salaries currently range from $93,500 (25th percentile) to $106,000 (75th percentile), with top earners (90th percentile) earning $199,000 in the United States.
The average pay range for a Pediatric Cardiac Sonographer varies a little (around $12,500), implying that there are few opportunities for increased pay or advancement, even with several years of experience, regardless of location.
What are the Top 10 Best Cities for Pediatric Cardiac Sonographer Jobs?
We’ve identified ten cities where the typical Pediatric Cardiac Sonographer salary is higher than the national average. San Mateo, CA tops the list, with Daly City, CA and Berkeley, CA close behind in second and third place. Berkeley, CA outperforms the national average by $23,206 (20.9%), and San Mateo, CA outperforms the national average by another $25,324 (22.8%).
With average salaries higher than the national average in these ten cities, the opportunities for economic advancement as a Pediatric Cardiac Sonographer by changing locations appear to be extremely fruitful.
Finally, the average salary for these top ten cities varies very little at 9% between San Mateo, CA and Santa Clara, CA, reinforcing the limited potential for wage advancement. When weighing location and salary for a Pediatric Cardiac Sonographer role, the possibility of a lower cost of living may be the most important factor to consider.
What are the top 5 highest-paying related Pediatric Cardiac Sonographer jobs in the United States?
At least five jobs in the Pediatric Cardiac Sonographer job category pay more per year than the average Pediatric Cardiac Sonographer salary. Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesiologist, Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesia, and Cardiac Radiologist are just a few examples.
Importantly, all of these jobs pay between $51,576 (46.5%) and $178,215 (160.6%) more than the national average of $110,959. If you’re qualified, being hired for one of these related Pediatric Cardiac Sonographer jobs could help you earn more than the average Pediatric Cardiac Sonographer position.
Job Prospects for echo Sonographers
In general, medical professions are expanding in the United States. This is especially true for echo sonographers.
According to the BLS, employment of diagnostic medical sonographers (including cardiac sonographers) is expected to grow 14.7% through 2031. This rate of growth is twice that of the national average for all jobs in the United States.
Several factors contribute to job growth in echocardiography.
- Aging population: As the American population ages, it will require care for conditions that are more common in the elderly, such as cardiovascular disease.
- Increasing heart disease: According to research published in the journal Health Affairs, cardiovascular disease is expected to increase through 2030.
- Medical providers are ordering more ultrasounds as an alternative to other imaging options, such as an MRI or CT scan. Ultrasounds are less expensive than other imaging methods, show the heart in real-time, and do not expose patients to radiation.
In the United States, the average echo sonographer’s salary ranges from $54,000 to $116,000 per year. In the United States, echo sonographers typically earn between $25 and $55 per hour.
The average cardiac sonographer salary in California is $127,301, $97,529 in Oregon, and $96,771 in Idaho. These are the three highest-paying states in the United States for cardiac sonographers. The highest average salary for cardiac sonographers is at Washington Hospital Healthcare System.
In the United States, health care is the highest-paying industry for cardiac sonographers. California is the highest-paying state. Oakland, CA is the highest-paying city in California. While a Pediatric Cardiac Sonographer salary in the United States is $110,959 which works out to about $53.35 per hour. This equates to $2,133 per week or $9,246 per month.
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