Ultrasound Technician Salary Guide
It’s hard to imagine a time when diagnostic imaging was not used to diagnose and treate various health conditions that are common today.
The most familiar procedures for diagnostic imaging today involve x-ray and MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging. However, when an X-ray isn’t advisable, economical or at times considered safe, sonography or ultrasonography is a valuable alternative option.
About the Ultrasound Technician Salary Rate
Diagnostic medical sonographers, or ultrasound technicians, use special equipment that directs high frequency sound waves into areas of the patient’s body. This equipment collects reflected echoes and forms an image that is used for interpretation and diagnosis by a physician.
Ultrasound technicians are highly valuable members of the medical team and for that, they are paid a very competitive ultrasound technician salary.
The mean annual ultrasound technician salary in 2010 was $64,900 or $31.20 an hour, according to data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their data puts the lowest 10% of ultrasound technicians at $44,900 a year, and the upper 10% at $88,490 annually. Most people work in general medical and surgical hospitals, with 31,830 individuals out of the 53,010 total technicians employed during the period of May 2010.
Ultrasound technicians working in hospitals earn $65,010 a year on average. Physicians employ the second largest number of technicians in their offices with 12,890 individuals receiving around $65,750 in salary per year. The third work setting where ultrasound technicians can be found abundantly are in medical and diagnostic laboratories, who collectively employ 4,990 technicians. In these laboratory settings, one can earn $62,160 a year.
If you want to earn the best possible salary rate as an ultrasound technician, you should work in companies that work with employment services, where you’re likely to earn as much as $73,040 or more a year. The other industry where they pay the second highest ultrasound technician salary is in colleges, universities and schools. In these roles, you can earn as much as $72,570 a year. Or you can apply at outpatient care centers, and expect to receive an annual salary of $70,440. Management of companies and enterprises that employ ultrasound technicians pay $68,680 a year, whilst those working in specialty hospitals generally receive $68,390 annually.
Aside from these different work settings, where you work at in terms of geographical location also plays a factor in determining how much salary you’ll earn. The State of Massachusetts, for example, has the highest paid ultrasound technicians among all States, with a $80,000 mean annual salary. Oregon is almost identical with that of Massachusetts, where they pay their technicians $79,740 a year. The third State with the highest paid ultrasound technicians is Colorado, paying them as much as $77,880 a year.
With this high rate of pay, it isn’t surprising that many people would want to pursue a career in this field. Colleges and universities offer formal training programs that last up to 2 years for an associate’s degree, or a 4-year course for a bachelor’s degree. Employers prefer hiring ultrasound technicians who have undergone an accredited training program.
In 2008, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredited over 150 training programs. Although all States don’t require ultrasound technicians to be licensed, employers do prefer them to be registered and certified because this is proof of the applicants’ capabilities and competence.
What To Expect From The Career
If you are looking for a career that is rewarding both personally and financially, then you are going to want to look in to becoming an ultrasound technician. Generally speaking, it is an outstanding job in terms of employment security, job satisfaction and benefits. However, as with any position, it is important to understand the requirements and demands of the role in order to assess whether or not you personally are well suited.
If you are seriously considering a career as an ultrasound technician, understanding the job description and the responsibilities involved is important to your success. As an ultrasound technician, you will scan the bodies of patients, using sound waves, in order to help the doctors diagnose and monitor various types of medical conditions. You will also help pregnant women see their babies for the first time and help the prenatal doctors in assess the health of fetuses.
In order to start working in the field and to start earning that ultrasound technician salary, you are going to have to earn a certificate or an Associate’s Degree. Once you have your degree, you will find that the jobs are mainly at hospitals and private medical centers.
This training can be received through the Armed Forces, through community colleges, online colleges, hospitals and major universities. Generally, you are going to find that you need to spend roughly one to two years of additional schooling before you will qualify for certification. Also, before you are going to be able to enter the program, you may have to show that you have a background in natural sciences, basic physics and algebra. While going through the program, you will find that you will have to take coursework such as medical ethics, patient care, anatomy and physics, among other things.
In order to start earning that ultrasound technician salary, you are not going to have to apply for a state license, that is, unless you intend to practice in Oregon or New Mexico. In 2010, these two states passed laws that make it impossible for anyone to work as an ultrasound technician without getting a license to work in this particular field.
There are 176 training programs across the entire country that have been accredited by the CAAHEP. When you complete the accredited programs and you pass all of your exams, you will find that there is certification that is available from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography, or ARDMS.
It is also very important to make sure that you are reviewing the outlook for this career because the last thing you would want is to get excited about the ultrasound technician salary, only to find that it is virtually impossible to find employment in the field. However, this is not something that you are really going to have to worry about because reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that this is a field that is expected to grow faster than normal compared to other occupations. This means that whether you want to work in a hospital, as medical center or a private clinic, you should have no problem doing just that. You will find that you will be able to earn a competitive salary rate as well. As you gain more and more experience, you will find that the ultrasound technician salary that you can expect will increase.
If at all possible, you are going to want to make sure that you are talking to others who are currently working in the field. This way, you will sort of have all of the insider’s tips and hints for the job. You will be able to learn firsthand from their experiences in the trenches. This way, you will know exactly what to expect. There are ups and downs in this field, just like with any other, so you are going to want to make sure that you are prepared.
The sooner you start to learn everything you can about the ultrasound technician salary the better. You will be able to get all of the training that you need and make sure that you are getting the best possible ultrasound technician salary from the employer of your choice. Don’t just work for your career, make your career work for you!