Do you have a desire to work in a professional medical setting alongside physicians? If so, a career as an ultrasound technician could prove very rewarding for years to come. As an ultrasound technician, you will play a crucial role in assessing the health of various patients by using specialized medical equipment that uses sound waves to capture bodily images.
Health care is experiencing rapid growth. In fact, healthcare has been the largest industry for quite some time now. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018, the industry was responsible for over 15 million jobs in the United States alone. The industry is projected to add 3 million more jobs by 2022, continuing its reign as the largest industry in the nation.
As a specialized field within the healthcare industry, ultrasound technicians are expected to be in higher demand than ever before. Employment for ultrasound technicians of all individual specialties is projected to increase by an astounding 40 percent in the next few years. The tremendous growth rate of ultrasound technician occupations in the coming years far exceeds the national average of most other occupations.
What Does Ultrasound Tech Do?
Also known as diagnostic medical sonographers, ultrasound technicians use specialized instruments that create images of soft tissue within a patient’s body through the use of high-frequency sound waves. These images are used by physicians for a variety of reasons, such as pre-natal checkups and the diagnosis of diseases. As an ultrasound technician, you will likely specialize in a specific sub-category or part of the body, such as the brain or abdomen.
There are many reasons for the rising demand of ultrasound techs. A large factor is its non-invasive nature, as ultrasounds are much easier to use for examining the interior of the body than other technologies. Unlike costly surgical procedures that are extremely time consuming and require a recovery period, ultrasounds are quick and totally painless.
As an ultrasound tech, you will simply apply ultrasound gel to the area of the body that needs to be scanned and conduct a reading of the images that appear on a screen. It is a quick and easy process that leaves patients completely free of any side effects. Ultrasounds are also much less dangerous than other diagnostic methods, such as X-rays that use radiation that can potentially harm a patient. These characteristics of ultrasounds are helping to drive the demand of ultrasound technicians throughout the country.
According to CNN.com, ultrasound technicians made it on to the top ten list of the highest paying careers that only require an associate’s degree. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that ultrasound technicians benefit from an average annual salary of $68,900. Although this figure is above the national average, it will likely increase even further in the near future as demand rises. According to the BLS, the profession itself is projected to see an employment increase of 40 percent by 2022. As an ultrasound technician, you will likely find employment in a hospital, doctor’s office, or medical lab setting.
The Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography has formed a partnership with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration to ensure ideal working conditions for all ultrasound technicians. According to OSHA, the delicate daily work performed by ultrasound techs may lead to work-related health conditions, such as musculoskeletal disorders. However, OSHA has developed strict working guidelines that must be followed by employers and employees to prevent employees from developing such work-related injuries. In following these guidelines, employees must attend forums related to current conditions in the ultrasound technology field, and they must also be given proper training on using sonogram equipment. These guidelines ensure ultrasound technicians stay well-informed and work in the best conditions possible.
In The End, As an integral part of the growing healthcare industry, the career outlook for ultrasound technicians looks brighter than ever. There are many factors that are leading to the rapid growth of the healthcare sector. Regardless of societal trends and the lifestyle changes of our growing population, people will always need health professionals. With the exploding world population and growth of the world’s elderly population, healthcare professionals are in greater demand than ever before, further increasing the need of ultrasound technicians for non-invasive medical diagnosis.