An ultrasound or sonogram technician is responsible for providing a high standard of care to patients while using ultrasound technology to capture images of the body. Patients that require an ultrasound may have issues with their internal organs, tissue or circulation. The ultrasound results are then used by physicians to diagnose the problem. Ultrasound tech professionals also use the technology to monitor the condition of expectant mothers and their babies. The sonography results can be used to monitor fetal heart rate, blood circulation and other vital statistics. Ultrasound technician certification programs prepare students to perform these duties and more.
Ultrasound Technician Requirements
Students who have an interest in ultrasound tech have many educational options. Some students pursue the career by earning an associate degree in applied sciences with a focus on diagnostic ultrasound and sonography. Others pursue a bachelor degree in the same field. No matter which track students choose, they will be prepared to sit for their state’s certification.
Students in all programs learn ultrasound skills through classroom instruction, labs, lectures and clinical externships. Students learn to use the sonography equipment, examine patients, use medical terminology to communicate with other members of a health care team and interact with patients. These skills are put to practice in a clinical setting, where students can work with real patients under the supervision of a medical professional.
Students pursuing a career in ultrasound tech should be able to work in a fast-paced environment, work with other members of a health care team, be able to stand on their feet for long periods of time and enjoy interacting with patients.
Sonogram Technician Salary
The average income of an ultrasound tech varies due to location, experience and job level. An entry-level sonogram technician earns an average of $48,900 per year. With increased experience, an ultrasound tech with an associate’s degree can earn up to $67,700 per year. The median yearly income for the field is $57,150. Sonography technicians with a bachelor’s or master’s degree can earn more than $77,000 per year. Although ultrasound techs work in a variety of settings like hospitals, clinics and private offices, the average salary is generally consistent across all settings.
Ultrasound Tech Job Outlook
Health care is an exciting and growing field. By 2016, the industry will create more jobs than any other. Over the next seven years, job opportunities for ultrasound and sonography technicians will grow by nearly 19 percent.