Best Job Options for Ultrasound Techs
One of the best aspects of choosing a career in the medical field is the seemingly endless opportunity for career advancement and specialization. Ultrasound technicians, also known as diagnostic medical sonographers, enjoy the same opportunities to take their career path in almost any direction they choose.
While in school for ultrasound technology, you will learn about all different uses for sonography in diagnosing and treating patients in different phases of life and on different areas of the body. One of the aspects of employment an ultrasound technician can easily control is the specialty in which they work.
Whether in a mobile diagnostic clinic or in a hospital, sonographers scan images of all areas of the body for diagnostic purposes, including the abdomen, head, heart and cardiovascular system and muscular and skeletal systems. Not only do they capture images, they also take measurements and contribute to evaluation of results as part of the treatment team. Sonographers can also work with specialized segments of the patient population such as pregnant patients, providing images of the uterus and growing fetus, as well as with the entire patient population at large.
Career Updates: What Does an Ultrasound Tech Make?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the job outlook for ultrasound technicians is expected to continue growing at a rate faster than average (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). Additionally, this career enjoys a median pay of $63,630 per year or $30.59 per hour (BLS, 2017). This is one of the highest medical industry pay rates, considering that many in this field have only an Associate’s degree or certificate to begin working.
One way to accelerate in your career path as an ultrasound technician is to obtain your Associate’s degree in ultrasound technology. While an ultrasound certificate program can get you certified and employed, a higher degree can provide you with the opportunity to specialize in an area of sonography and become more skilled in your trade.
Obtaining your two year degree can also provide more opportunities for training and supervisory positions within an office or department—as well as lead you to the next step of getting your Bachelor’s degree.
Another career advancement opportunity available to ultrasound technician is the obtaining Advanced Sonography credentials. An Advanced Sonographer may also be called an Ultrasound Practitioner, Advanced Practice Sonographer or Clinical Sonography Specialist. Being an advanced sonographer means you will work directly under the supervision of a physician in that specialty.
For example, an Advanced Cardiac Sonographers specialize in cardiac imaging and provide services at a more advanced level under the direct supervision of a cardiologist. This means completing ECGs, Echocardiograms and completing other cardiac diagnostic services for patients under a cardiologist’s care.
These advanced sonographer careers are supported by the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) to encourage career advancement and specialized professionals.
How Can I Get Started As an Ultrasound Technician?
The first step to entering and succeeding in this field is to get your training. You’ll find a complete listing of all the sonography, ultrasound and diagnostic imaging programs in the US right here.
Simply find your state, then contact the best ultrasound schools you see to get program details.
Once you have the information to choose a school, you can decide which route and specialty track is right for you!