A Guide to Attaining the Best Ultrasound Technician Salary
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), ultrasound technicians also go by the the complex names diagnostic medical sonographer and cardiovascular technologist and technician. For the purposes of this article regarding the worth of an ultrasound technician salary, we’ll go by the shorter name. The comprehensive professional title above is helpful, insofar as it helps understand what they do. In a nutshell, ultrasound technicians take tests. They also create medical imaging samples with the aid of special medical imaging equipment. As is the case with medical professions, employers pay them very well with a median yearly wage of $60,350. That’s a median hourly salary of $29.02. In today’s post, we’ll tell you at everything you need to know about earning this kind of ultrasound technician salary by attaining a career as an ultrasound technician.
Becoming an Ultrasound Technician
Since this profession has to do both with health care as well as with technology, formal training is mandatory. In order to earn an ultrasound tech salary, you either must complete an associate’s degree program or some other post-secondary education certificate in the field. In numerous states, employers require that you possess a professional certificate, too.
Education for ultrasound technicians
Many ultrasound technician schools across the United States offer associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs in cardiovascular technologies, vascular technologies, and sonography. In order to maximize your chances at getting a job in the field, you must attain a degree or a certificate from an institution with an accredited program – be it a college, school, or hospital. Such programs also provide you with plenty of opportunities to earn credits through a hands-on clinical internship program. This sort of program requires that you work under the supervision of an experienced technician in a hospital, clinic, test lab, or private medical practice.
Most programs in sonography, cardiovascular technology, and vascular technology include coursework in medical terminology, applied science, and anatomy. The only difference is that sonography programs are split between the different fields you later focus on when you take your certification exam (abdominal sonography, breast sonography, and so on). Programs in vascular and cardiovascular technology typically involve invasive or non-invasive cardiovascular or vascular technologies and procedures. In order to enroll in such a program, you must have completed relevant coursework in high-school, anatomy, math, and/or physiology.
Professional training for ultrasound technicians
There are also colleges and hospitals that offer one-year programs for professional certificates. However, you should typically only consider such a program if you’ve been employed in a relevant healthcare job for some time now (as a radiation therapist, for instance). More often than not, professionals in related employment positions, such as EKG technicians, receive on-the-job training from their employers. Technicians typically complete these programs in 4 to 6 weeks.
Professional certificates for ultrasound technicians
The need for professional licenses, registrations, and certificates for ultrasound technicians stems from Medicare requirements. Medicare (and many healthcare insurers) only pay for ultrasound procedures if they are administered by a certified technologist, technician, or sonographer. You can earn certification by attending a program with accreditation and then passing the exam. Most of the time, the exam is held in a particular field in which you specialize. You could also earn several certificates over the course of your career. In some states, diagnostic medical sonographers must possess a license. In order to become licensed, you must first obtain the professional certificate.
Ultrasound Technician Salary Guide
BLS data states that the median yearly wage for ultrasound technicians stands at $65,860. It’s safe to say that these professionals earn a comfortable salary far above the national average for all occupations (which stands at $34,750). The median yearly wage for sonographers, specified above, is higher than the median annual salary for diagnostic medical sonographers, cardiovascular technologists, and technicians (including vascular technologies). This figure stands at $60,350. The median yearly salary for cardiovascular technologists and technicians is $52,070. The top ten earners in the field earn over $80,790. The bottom 10 percent earns less than $27,830.
Ultrasound technicians almost always work full time during normal business hours. Some imaging facilities remain open 24/7, so the professionals here work the night shift, evenings, and even weekends.
Job Outlook for Ultrasound Technicians
The projected job growth for ultrasound technicians is 46 percent. That rate sits far higher than the average for all occupations through the U.S. The job outlook for cardiovascular technologists and technicians (vascular technologists included) has been indexed at 30 percent for the same decade. This boost will likely be prompted by technological developments. In turn, the boost should make ultrasounds and other types of medical imaging more common than other, more invasive procedures. The government expects job growth to concentrate more on physician’s offices, labs, and diagnostic centers (rather than in hospitals). We feel this is caused by an overall trend towards outpatient care.