Ultrasound Technician Salary And Career Overview(2015)

Ultrasound technician salary ranks among one of the highest salaries in medical field. According to the estimates of Monster.com, diagnostic medical sonography is the second best paying job that can acquire with an associate degree. High earning potential and great employment outlook make this profession the most popular choice.

Average Salary Of An Ultrasound Technician

Just like the other employment, the salary of a diagnostic medical sonographer also varies depending on several factors. If you have more education and experience, you will get a higher income. Specialization is the other important determining factor of the salary of sonographers. Geographical area and place of work are the other major factors.

The average annual income of these professionals in the United States is around $64,900. The average hourly income is approximately $31.20. The highest paying professionals can earn more than $88,490 per year, while the entry level salary is around 444,900 per annum.

You can increase your income gradually after acquiring more work experience. Completion of an accredited degree program is the other method to increase your salary. Experienced ultrasound technicians will get some privileges like insurance, medical benefits, and many more facilities.

You can earn very high income if you are working in metropolitan areas. If you are working in Santa Clara – Sunnyvale – San Jose areas in California, you can earn more than $113,080 per year. The income prevailing in San Francisco area is around $107,740 per year. Wage of ultrasound technicians in Santa Cruz – Watson-ville is around $112,280 per year. You can earn around $107,730 per year if you work in Vallejo – Fair-field area.

If you are a cardiac sonographer, your income may be around $81,000 per year. The remuneration of vascular sonographer and pediatric cardiac sonographer is around $88,000 and $67,000 per year respectively. Salary prevailing in some of the states are:

* California : $86,010
* Oregon : $84,780
* Alaska : $82,420
* Washington : $81,180
* Mississippi : $74,000
* Connecticut : $68,000
* Texas : $60,000

The average hourly income of newly certified ultrasound technicians in the US ranges from $13.49 to $33.58. You can increase your income up to $58.06 per hour gradually. Besides salary, you are also eligible for getting yearly bonus around $2,936, paid vacations and holidays, paid sick leaves, life or disability insurance, etc.

Income of Ultrasound Technicians in Canada And Australia

Your income in Canada may be around C$38.73 per hour. Your annual salary may range from C$36,212 to C$80,056. Payscale Canada estimated that the ultrasound technicians can earn up to C$38.82 per hour. You will also get other benefits like yearly bonus, paid vacations, etc.

Australian BLS estimated that the average annual income of ultrasound technicians is around AU$64,900. You can earn around AU$59.65 per hour. Besides, you will also get an yearly bonus, which is around AU$19,574.

Ultrasound Technician Job Description

Ultrasound technicians or diagnostic medical sonographers or ultrasound technologists are vital members in a healthcare industry. They use high frequency sound waves or ultrasound to visualize and record the dynamic visual images of tissues, organs, or blood flow inside the body. Ultrasound scan or sonogram is the medical term used for referring this procedure.

Sonography can be used for examining many parts of the body, which include breasts, abdomen, blood vessels, heart, prostate, and female reproductive system. Sonography is commonly used for detecting and treating heart attack, heart disease, vascular disease, etc.

Diagnostic medical sonographers are highly skilled professionals who are specialized in the use of equipment to create images of structures inside human body. Physicians use these images to make a medical diagnosis. In order to perform some invasive procedures, the sonographers need to conduct direct, extensive patient contact. These professionals must be able to interact with patients compassionately and effectively.

The responsibilities of a sonographer include:

* Obtain and record an accurate history of patients
* Perform diagnostic procedures
* Obtain diagnostic images
* Analyze technical information
* Use independent judgement in recognizing the needs to extend the procedures
* Provide a written and oral summary of technical findings to physicians
* Provide quality patient care
* Collaborate with physicians and other healthcare members

Sonographers must be aware of the risk from possible exposure to body fluids and blood. You may also need to assist in clerical and electronic scheduling, computerized image archiving and record keeping. You must be able undertake managerial or supervisor responsibilities. Vascular technologists and sonographers must be able to:

* Pull and push routinely
* Lift more than 50 pounds
* Distinguish audible sounds
* Have full use of both hands, shoulders and wrists
* Stoop and bend routinely
* Adequately view sonogram
* Interact compassionately with the sick and injured

Types of Sonographers

Several specialties are available in the ultrasound technology. Most of these specialties depend on part of the body or some specific medical conditions. Some of the most common specialties in this field are:

* Breast sonography
* Abdominal sonography
* Neurosonography
* Gynecological and obstetric sonography
* Vascular sonography
* Cardiac sonography

You can practice in any of these specialties. All these specialties require same training. Besides, you need to complete additional courses and training designed for preparing an expert in specialized area. The salary rate varies depending on the demand for each specialty.

Education Requirements for Ultrasound Technicians

You need to complete a comprehensive education program to become an ultrasound technician and to familiar with all aspects of sonography job. Associate and bachelor’s degree programs are available today to become a sonographer. A certificate program is also available if you want to complete the course in less time. One year is needed for completing a certificate program. If you want to get more specialized position in ultrasound technology, you need to pursue further education.

The duration of diagnostic medical sonography is 2-4 years. You can undergo more extensive coursework if you join in a bachelor degree program. It covers a wide range of areas including gynecological, obstetrical and vascular sonography. Both 2 year and 4 year programs require clinical and hands on experience. The 4 year programs provide you an opportunity to acquire knowledge in clinical practical rotations in specialized areas. Accredited diagnostic medical sonography programs are listed in CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs).

Job Outlook

The projected national job growth of ultrasound technicians is 46 percent. Therefore, they have an excellent career outlook. According to 2012 estimates, there were around 110,400 ultrasound technicians in the US. This number is expected to grow by 42,700 by 2022. The demand for these professionals will increase in the coming years due to an increase in aging population.

They need the help of sonographers to diagnose their medical conditions. Today, medical sonography field is using more invasive technologies for diagnostic purpose, which is the other reason for the increasing demand for sonography professionals. According to the high demand for skilled professionals, ultrasound technician salary will also increase.

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