Most recognized for giving the first images to a mother to be, the ultrasound technician has other clients too. Their duties involve taking images using sound waves to help a doctor form an accurate diagnosis. He or she is considered an expert in their field because of the specialized training that is required. Ultrasound technician careers are those that pay very well even for new graduates and for that reason; it is a highly competitive field. In addition, this stimulating career gives a sense of purpose for those who migrate to this profession. Ultrasound technician careers are in demand from both those looking for a rewarding career and those agencies needing imaging services.
Favored over Imaging Technologies
Ultrasound technician careers are in demand partly because there are no side effects like other technologies that require an image to make a diagnosis.
Ultrasound techs use transducers that send out sound waves to the area in question. Unlike other imaging technologies, ultrasound does not view bones. Once the image is returned, it is viewed on the screen at which time the tech has to make a decision based on her findings and then translate this to the doctor. This is a hands-on field. You will be required to provide quality care to your patients and be prepared to answer any questions that they may have.
Depending on the program, you can expect to spend at least one year up to four years to complete your training. However, typically a training course would take 18 months. A high school diploma is usually a prerequisite before entering into a sonography program. As this is the medical field, a love of the science and math will take you far. At present, a license is not required; however, certification expected.
Places to Work
Ultrasound technician careers are plentiful anywhere imaging services are needed. That means that the student of sonography can select the medical specialty that interests them most. Flexibility is another attractive quality for Ultrasound technician careers. Technicians can work part-time or full-time and work abroad. In addition, mobile imaging services provide another opportunity. Techs work in clinics, hospitals, private practice, education, research and as technical advisers.
It’s a Work Out
In addition to the mental stimulation and great pay, this field helps you stay in shape. That’s because you are required to lift 50 pounds of equipment as you set up. There is also plenty of bending and you engage your shoulder, arms and wrist. If that is not enough, you are standing almost 85% of the time so your legs are challenged as well.
As the technology advances so will the knowledge of the Ultrasound tech. Continuing education units may be required.
How Much Does an Ultrasound Tech Earn?
Salary is based on experience and location. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average salary is $43,000 for a new graduate with less than a year’s experience and for someone with at least five years experience the salary can be about $20,000 more per year.