Ultrasound technicians have great careers obtaining images of patients’ blood flow, organs, and soft tissues based on a physician’s orders. These images play an important role when it comes to diagnosing a variety of conditions such as cancer and kidney stones.
If you are considering this profession as a career, you are probably wondering about an ultrasound technician’s salary. But before we get into all of the numbers, let’s go over what factors affect wages:
Location – Those who work in a metropolitan area will earn more than those who gain employment in a rural community.
Education – While you only need an associate degree to enter this profession, it’s better to spend an additional two years in school to obtain a bachelor’s degree.
Experience – Like most careers, ultrasound technicians who have worked in the field for years will earn more than someone who is just starting out.
Certification – Even though certification is optional in all but two states, most employers will only hire ultrasound technicians who have earned the Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer credential awarded by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).
Specializations – Technicians who specialize in specific ultrasound fields including breast sonography, cardiac sonography, pediatric cardiac sonography, neurosonography, and vascular technology receive higher wages due to the level of training involved.
Ultrasound Technician Salary Overview
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated that in 2014, ultrasound technicians earned an annual median salary of $68,390 or $32.00 per hour.
Top Paying States
- California – $89,870
- Oregon – $85,970
- Alaska – $82,740
- Washington – $82,550
States with the Highest Levels of Employment for This Profession
If you’re willing to relocate for an open position, here are the top five states that employ ultrasound technicians and the median salary:
- New York – $67,210
- California – $89,870
- Florida – $60,080
- Texas – $65,720
- Ohio – $61,700
Salary by Employer
If you’re trying to decide which medical environment you’d like to work, maybe these numbers will help:
- General Medical and Surgical Hospitals – $68,860
- Physicians’ Offices – $67,510
- Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories – $66,240
- Outpatient Care Centers – $72,930
- Colleges, Professional Schools, and Universities $72,270
How Does an Ultrasound Technician’s Salary Compare to Other Healthcare Professions?
The median salary for some other healthcare careers are:
- Medical Assistants – $29,610
- Radiologic Technologists – $78,440
- Surgical Technologists – $61,300
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the job growth for ultrasound technicians will be 46 percent during the time frame of 2012 to 2022. This is partly because medicine is continuing to place an increased emphasis on diagnostic techniques that are less invasive and use no radiation.
Ultrasound Technician Duties
To earn their salary, ultrasound technicians have several daily responsibilities including:
- Preparing and positioning patients for their exam
- Operating ultrasound equipment to produce and record images based on the prescribing physician’s orders
- Observing the screen during the scan to ensure good image quality
- Processing and coding film along with images or prints from the scan to give to the physician
We’ve already mentioned what type of degrees you can obtain to enter the ultrasound technology workforce. However, we haven’t mentioned that it’s crucial to take classes at a school that holds accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. This is because attending a non-accredited school will make it more difficult to take the certification exam, plus most employers shy away from technicians who did not attend an accredited program. You can find programs across the country at junior colleges, teaching hospitals, trade schools, and universities. While the curriculum varies from school to school, you are likely to take courses such as Anatomy, Physics, Abdominal Sonography, and Ultrasound Principles.
With the salary and job growth on the rise, more and more people are choosing to become an ultrasound technician. If you would like additional information, contact us today.