If you are thinking about becoming an ultrasound technician, you are probably wondering if you will struggle to find a job after you complete your education. And the answer is, probably not. This interesting healthcare career is on the rise, and it doesn’t appear as though it will slow down anytime soon.
What is the Ultrasound Technician Job Outlook?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of ultrasound technician jobs is expected to rise 46 percent until 2022. Currently, hospitals provide 62 percent of the jobs, but more and more ultrasound technicians will soon be finding employment in outpatient facilities. This is partly due to the fact ultrasound equipment is not as expensive as it once was and it is becoming more mobile, making it easier for patient bedside exams.
The Best and Worst States to Work as an Ultrasound Technician
Wages are primarily based on location, education, and certification, and according to the BLS, the average median salary is $66,410. The state that offers the highest salary for ultrasound technicians is California with an average of $89,870. Other top paying states include Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Colorado.
With an average yearly salary of $50,700, Alabama pays the least. Other low paying states are Arkansas, Mississippi, South Dakota, and West Virginia. All of these states are largely rural causing the salaries to be lower, however, the wages range from $50,700 to $55,740, which is more than the average salary for all other jobs in these states.
The states that currently have the most openings for ultrasound technicians are New York, California, Florida, Texas, and Ohio.
The Top Places to Live if You’re an Ultrasound Technician
According to rankings by Bloomberg Businessweek, among the top places to live if you’re an ultrasound technician are:
Larimer County, Colorado – Situated in the north central part of the state, it is home to Colorado State University and Rocky Mountain National Park. Fort Collins and Loveland are the two major cities within the county.
Brenton County, Oregon – Ultrasound technicians can find affordable housing in Corvallis. The cost of living is fairly low, making it an ideal location since Oregon is one of the top paying states for this healthcare field.
Orange County, California – With over forty mils of coastline, Orange County offers plenty of scenery and plenty of activities. The most affordable cities in the county are Anaheim and Irvine.
To enter this field, all you need is an Associate of Applied Science degree. But if you want to have better job opportunities and a higher salary, you’ll need to obtain a bachelor or master’s degree. Those who hold a master’s can teach prospective ultrasound technicians at a community college, university, or vocational school. No matter which degree you choose, the school must have accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
While certification is not a requirement in most states (you’ll need it ones that require licensure), many employers will only hire ultrasound technicians who have the Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer credential administered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). There are other credentialing organizations, but the ARDMS is one of the most widely recognized.
Ultrasound technicians have a wide array of duties that they perform on a daily basis. They include:
- Sterilizing equipment
- Explaining the procedure to patients
- Taking patients’ medical history
- Positioning patients
- Capturing images of the necessary body structures so physicians can make a diagnosis
- Taking measurements
- Analyzing data and storing it on a computer
- Communicating with a variety of medical professionals
- Maintaining the ultrasound equipment
If we can answer any questions you have about becoming an ultrasound technician, please contact us.