Have you read about the career of an ultrasound tech and have heard about the high salary rate and benefits that come along with this career? You might have even asked yourself “how do I become an ultrasound technician?” Here, we tell you how to become an ultrasound tech, what the projected growth of this career looks like and how you can get started on beginning a career that is both challenging and financially rewarding.
Why there is Such High Demand for Ultrasound Technicians
Ultrasound technicians, also referred to as sonographers and ultrasound techs, are in high demand, with the demand continuing to increase as doctors and medical facilities incorporate non-invasive imaging into their patient treatments and as new ultrasound technology develops, ultrasound procedures have gained even more accuracy and useful imaging procedures. For example, these days it’s now possible for parents to view an image of a fetus in 3D, see the baby breathe, stretch and move.
A high percentage, around 80%, of sonographers are employed with large medical facilities like hospitals or imaging centers demand for ultrasound technologists is increasing as physicians and hospitals incorporate non-invasive imaging into their patient treatment protocols and new developments make ultrasound technology even more accurate and useful—and more cost-efficient compared to other imaging methods. The majority of ultrasound techs work in hospitals, although it is anticipated that more out-patient facilities will need to hire ultrasound techs in the near future.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook, the average annual salary for an ultrasound tech is $61,980. The lowest 10% of all sonographers earned $43,600 while the highest 10% of techs made over $83,950 annually. The middle 50% salaries ranged from $52,570 to $73,680 per year. Salaries are different depending on where you work. The average salary in a physician’s office was $62,340 and $61,870 in medical and surgical hospitals. The type of environment you work in will affect your salary. Hospitals and large medical facilities such as imaging centers will have the higher salary potential, than a private medical practice will offer.
Sonography is a fast growing healthcare field. You can become trained to be a ultrasound technician in as little as two years and earn your associates degree.. Many ultrasound techs work part-time or on an on-call type basis. Ultrasound techs must have good people skills and communication skills, as well as be able to take careful documentation of every procedure.
The Final Steps to Become a Certified Songrapher
It’s advised for those students still in high school that are considering a career as an ultrasound technician to focus on high school courses in advanced math, computer science, English and physical life and sciences. Most hospitals, the military, universities and vocational schools offer ultrasound technical training programs. There are also two-year programs in ultrasound technology at many community colleges and a few accredited online schools. You can easily find some of the required sonography classes offered as online courses at your local vocational school or college. While all of the classes may not be online, it will still give you more much needed flexibility in your schedule if you are unable to attend school as a full-time student. Make sure that any online schools that offer sonography programs are accredited and will have transferable credits.
Very few employers will hire an ultrasound tech that has only completed a one-year certificate program through accelerated training specializing in ultrasound technology. Most of the online schools, vocational schools and community colleges will offer students financial aid, which is based on a student’s income.
Now that you know the steps you need to take in order to become a certified ultrasound technician, you’re on your way to a successful and exciting career that provides stability for your future.