Those looking for a stable and fulfilling career should definitely look into the healthcare industry. With the growing population, the need for medical care and attention is rising. If you are interested in the medical field but do not think you have what it takes to become a doctor, there are other careers available. One that may interest you is a career as an ultrasound technician especially with the high compensation they receive. The ultrasound technician salary earned by these professionals ranges from $62,000 to $69,000 each year.
Like most professions, there are several things that determine the ultrasound tech salary. For instance, an entry-level technician with minimal experience will earn much less compared to someone who has had several years of experience. Usual factors that affect the ultrasound technician salary earned include education, experience, location, and work setting.
How Much is the Income of an Ultrasound Technician?
Information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the annual median ultrasound tech pay last May 2010 was $64,380. Technicians in the bottom 10% of the pay scale earn below $44,900, while the top 10% had an income of $88,490. These amounts are quite high, especially since the median annual wages of most occupations are about $33,840.
As mentioned earlier, place of work affects ultrasound technician salary as well. The highest paid technicians are found working in outpatient care centers wherein they receive a yearly ultrasound technician salary of $69,740. This is followed by technicians working in doctor’s clinics and hospitals, who make $64,560 and $64,440, respectively. Technicians working in diagnostic and medical laboratories earn a median ultrasound technician salary of $62,290 a year.
Negotiating a High Ultrasound Technician Salary
The ultrasound technician salary you earn is just as important as how much you love the work you are in. When applying for a job, know your worth. The best way to achieve the ultrasound technician salary you want is by having all the qualifications asked of you and more. For instance, if the requirement is a two-year associate’s degree, aim for more by earning a four-year bachelor’s degree. Do not give them a chance to deny your request by showing them your value. If your employers see how valuable you are to them through your performance then you will not have a hard time getting the amount that will make all your hard work worthwhile.
Ultrasound Technician Career
Ultrasound technicians make use of special imaging equipment, which sends out waves into the body of a patient to analyze and diagnose a range of illnesses that the individual may be suffering from. Generally, their tasks include:
- Taking medical history of patients
- Preparing patients for procedures
- Preparing the equipment and maintaining it
- Applying gel for the procedure
- Operating equipment for the procedure
- Analyzing images
- Identifying the difference with abnormal and normal images
- Recording the findings and storing patients’ records
Ultrasound technicians make use of the equipment to spot internal conditions in the body from the digestive system to the nervous system, tumors, blood vessels, tissues, and eyes, which are not noticeable with the naked eye.
Becoming an Ultrasound Technician
To become an ultrasound tech, you will have to go through formal education. This means that you must complete a postsecondary certificate program or a two-year associate’s degree program in sonography. Although a four-year bachelor’s degree is not required, obtaining this higher level of education will give you the opportunity to earn more. Aside from getting the education you need, you will also have to obtain professional certification, which is a requirement for most employers.
There are a number of universities and colleges in the country offering programs in sonography. Just keep in mind to enroll yourself in an accredited program, as this is a requirement for certification and for most employers.
Here is a list of some of the best schools offering sonography programs:
- Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science – Los Angeles, California
- Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences – Orlando, Florida
- Newman University – Wichita, Kansas
- University of Oklahoma, Norman
- Seattle University, Washington
With certification, you will have a higher chance of landing a job because most employers prefer hiring sonographers who are certified professionally. The first step to certification is completing an accredited program then passing an exam afterwards. Certification is not permanent so technicians will have to take continuing education when having it renewed.
The job outlook for ultrasound technicians is very good. The employment for this profession is predicted to increase 44% from 2010 to 2020. This is a fast rate in comparison to the average of 14% for all other professions. The technology for ultrasound technology will continue to advance and with it, the need for sonographers operating such machines will increase. Hospitals will continue to be the top employers for ultrasound technicians, however, jobs are expected to open up more in doctor’s clinics and medical labs.
Deciding to Become an Ultrasound Technician
Making a decision on what path you will take in life will depend on what career is most suitable for you. Before jumping to become an ultrasound technician, first check if your abilities match this profession. There are several important qualities these individuals must possess. Technicians should be detail-oriented, have hand-eye coordination, stamina, technical skills, and interpersonal skills. To be able to perform to the best of your abilities in this job, it would help if you possessed these qualities.
Job stability and security is always something to consider when applying for a job. Considering the ultrasound technician salary you will earn is part it. But most importantly, make sure that you will be happy doing what you do. At the end of the day, you want to be able to work at a place that you know you can do for the rest of your life.