How much do sonographers earn in the UK?

15 February 2022  •  Locum
How much do sonographers earn in the UK?

When starting a new job, it's important to have a good idea of how much you can earn. This helps you to ensure that you are paid fairly. To help you with this, we've put together this blog post about how much sonographers earn in the UK. If you're thinking of becoming a sonographer, this article is here to help you!

What do sonographers do?

But first, what do sonographers do? They work in healthcare settings alongside nurses and doctors and use ultrasound equipment to capture photos of the inside of people's bodies. One of the most well-known uses of ultrasound is for baby scans, where expectant mothers check that their baby is healthy. Other uses of sonogram may be to analyse internal conditions or injuries.

Sonographers have a range of day to day tasks. These include:

  • Setting up equipment
  • Speaking to patients about procedures
  • Operating the ultrasound equipment
  • Looking at the images and assessing what they represent
  • Deciding who to pass on any information to
  • Writing reports about any findings
  • Updating patient records
  • Communicating with doctors about particular patients and their treatments
  • Referring patients to other doctors and healthcare professionals

How much do sonographers earn?

Sonographers generally earn upwards of £40,000 per year. However, it depends on a few factors.

According to Indeed, the average base salary of a sonographer (pre-tax) is £44,831 per year. Of course, this can vary dramatically, depending on the exact location of the sonographer and their experience level.

According to Payscale, the salaries can vary between £26,000 and £47,000. This is slightly less generous, although Payscale notes that there is usually a £1,000-4,000 bonus up for grabs every year.

It also says that sonographers could earn a maximum of £57,000 per year.

Locum sonographers, however, can earn up to £55 per hour, which really increases the earning potential.

How to earn more as a sonographer

Here are some tips for earning more as a sonographer:

  • Take up all training offered. You may be able to earn more with a particular qualification.
  • Look for promotions or chances to become a head of the department or a trainer for other sonographers.
  • Consider moving to different parts of the country, like London. However, beware of this - often, the places that pay more do so because the cost of living is higher.
  • Work hard to try to maximise your bonuses.
  • Consider moving to private healthcare. Generally, professionals in private healthcare earn more than those who work for the NHS.
  • Specialise in a certain area of sonography

How to become a sonographer

Here are some steps for becoming a sonographer:

1. Finish your secondary education

Most sonographers have finished their secondary education and have A levels. These could be in relevant subjects, like Biology or Chemistry. Other subjects are usually also permitted.

2. Consider an apprenticeship

There are apprenticeships available for sonography. These have the benefit of paying a little, so you can earn as you train. However, these are typically very low paid and tend to be admin roles. They are suitable for some people but not for others.

3. Look at degree options

There are plenty of relevant degrees that you could consider. For example, radiography, midwifery, nursing or health science are all applicable degrees. You'll learn a bit about sonography with these degrees and you will also be able to take your education further.

4. Do a postgraduate certificate or diploma

There are postgraduate certificates or diplomas that you can study that are focused on sonography and clinical ultrasound. Most people who have studied for a relevant apprenticeship or BSc bachelor's degree can apply to these.

5. Complete your placement

Part of the postgraduate degree is to complete a placement. This usually involves a certain amount of work within a healthcare setting in the sonography department. Some universities offer this kind of placement as part of their degree.

6. Apply to junior level jobs

Once you have completed all of the relevant training, you'll be able to apply for junior-level jobs. These will be fairly low paid at first - usually around £26,000 or just above if you live in a more expensive area. However, you might find that you can progress quickly, especially if you already have a range of experience. This will help you to get more qualifications and earn more.

Skills of a sonographer

Sonographers have a set of key skills. These include:

  • Attention to detail: sonographers must ensure that they can properly scan people and get the desired photos.
  • Independence: it's important to be able to work without being under the supervision of other staff members.
  • Medicine and healthcare knowledge: you'll need a thorough understanding of people's different needs and wishes.
  • Communication: it's important to be able to speak to a range of different people about their requirements and to deliver instructions well. You'll also need to communicate with other doctors and nurses.
  • Computer skills: these are important as you will often use computers to operate machinery, type up reports and communicate with colleagues.

Where do sonographers work?

Sonographers work in hospitals or clinics. The hospitals could be general hospitals within the NHS, where you will usually work with outpatients. Alternatively, you could work in a private setting. Other sonographers work in therapy clinics, helping people with specific injuries. The workplace is usually fast-paced and dynamic. Sonographers can usually deal with things being a little hectic and speaking to lots of different people throughout the day.

Are there opportunities to specialise?

Yes, some sonographers choose to specialise in a particular area. These could include gynaecology or cancer treatment. Some professionals also choose to specialise in a particular group of people, such as women who are pregnant or young children. This can help you to earn more and gain more knowledge about a specific area.

Some sonographers who have a great deal of experience may go into teaching the subject. They could do this at a university or nurse training college. Other sonographers go into clinical research, looking into the different ways that sonography can help people with different medical conditions. If you work as a sonographer in these capacities, you'll likely earn some more money.

Find a sonographer job with Globe Locums

If you are looking for a sonographer job in the UK, get in touch with Globe Locums today. We can help you find the perfect role.

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