Ultrasound Technician Salary By Experience
|Experience Level||Low Hourly||High Hourly||Low Annual||High Annual|
|20 Years +||$23.13||$49.79||$48,100.00||$103,560.00|
Ultrasound technicians, officially known as diagnostic medical sonographers, specialize in the use of high-tech sonographic equipment on the human body for the purpose of medical imaging. The images produced by an ultrasound technician are then used by their patient's doctor for the diagnosis or ruling out of a medical condition. Ultrasound technicians play a vital role in the healthcare team, a value which is reflected in the strong ultrasound technician salary.
The median annual ultrasound tech salary is currently $65,210, which is $31.35 an hour. The low end of the salary range is just $44,950, while the highest earners receive $90,640 or more annually.
The following industries are the top five employing sectors for ultrasound technicians, along with their average salary rates:
|General Medical & Surgical Hospitals||$65,870|
|Offices of Physicians||$66,050|
|Medical & Diagnostic Laboratories||$63,920|
|Outpatient Care Centers||$72,470|
|Collages, Universities & Professional Schools||$74,540|
Of these employer types, the highest paying industries are schools and outpatient care centers, who provide 1,250 and 630 jobs nationwide respectively. In contrast, hospitals offer 32,900 jobs, but pay significantly lower salaries on average.
As you can see, there is a significant variation in the ultrasound technicians salary based on employment sector. However, you can't assess the suitability of these jobs for you based on salary alone. Consider that some of the lower paid jobs, such as in physicians' offices, may also come with less stress and a reduced workload. Many healthcare workers thrive on the buzz and excitement of busy hospital work, but others may prefer a quieter and more sedate workplace. Remember when making your decision that feeling comfortable in your role and looking forward to work each day will mean more to you in the long run than a slightly higher wage.
Licensing is not a legal requirement in most states (Oregon and New Mexico both passed laws requiring it in 2010), but it is favoured by many employers, and training is essential. To this end, 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.
Either qualification is sufficient for employment within the US, but the salary for an ultrasound technician with four years' education may begin at a higher rate.
Of course, an aspiring ultrasound tech needs to go through the appropriate training before they can qualify to receive the ultrasound technician salary. There are several ways of achieving this, for example through community college, accredited online programs, or even through an employer such as some major hospitals or the Armed Forces. Generally, to attain to the full qualification you will need to study for one to two years. Prior education in natural science, physics and algebra will be helpful in finding a spot and excelling in a sonographer course. The syllabus will likely include subjects such as patient care, anatomy, and medical ethics.
Before applying for any course, be certain that it is accredited with the CAAHEP- the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. They recognise around 150 programs nationally, so there are plenty to choose from. Once you have completed a recognised course, you will need to take exams before being certified by ARDMS, the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Even if your state does not explicitly require certification, you will find that it gives you an edge in job seeking and ultrasound technician salary negotiations.
The employment prospects for certified ultrasound technicians are strong. This is partly due to being part of the healthcare sector, which remains largely unaffected by economic downturn. However it is also significant that sonography is increasingly being used in preference to radiological procedures, making it a growing niche in one of the most stable industries available to job seekers. Recent data indicates that the demand for ultrasound technicians will rise by 44% between 2010 and 2020. This growth is much faster than average, and in turn should have a positive effect on the ultrasound technician salary.
"Ultrasound technician" is the commonly used name for this career, but the proper term is "diagnostic medical sonographer." These professionals can also be referred to as an "ultrasonographer" or "ultrasound technologist."
There are several options for specialization within the field of sonography, which you may study for along with your initial training or choose to go into once already on the job. Often your employer will be willing to support this, either through paid study time or subsidized training costs. Furthermore, once you have completed this additional qualification, your ultrasound technician salary is likely to rise. Options include obstetric/gynecologic sonography, abdominal sonography, neural sonography (for the nervous system, including the brain) and breast sonography (used to detect and monitor breast cancer).
For those who are interested in this kind of work but not yet sure what direction to head in, you may also consider these related careers:
The requirements and duties of these roles are similar to the ultrasound technician, although the pay rates will likely differ from the ultrasound tech salary.
As an ultrasound technician, you will find yourself in a position of great responsibility, but your work will be rewarding. 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 assist prenatal doctors in assessing the health of foetuses. There is a large variety of specializations that you could pursue, depending on your personal interests, which can increase both your ultrasound technician salary and the demand for your services.
If you are eager for the challenge of certification and the demands of a medical profession, and you are a caring person who likes to help others, you might just be perfect for the role of ultrasound technician. The industry is wide open with greater than average employment prospects, steady growth, and a generous salary.