Last Updated: April 2, 2017
How much do ultrasound technicians make? Ultrasound technicians earned a mean average annual salary of $71,750 which breaks down to $34.49 per hour based on 2016 salary analysis from the BLS.gov. For the median average annual salary, the lowest ten percent of workers earned $48,660 or $23.39 dollars an hour. For the upper ten percent of ultrasound technician salaries, a worker earned an average annual salary of $99,100 or $47.64 an hour. However, there are several industry sectors for diagnostic medical sonographers that will influence the amount an ultrasound technician can earn. For example, one of the highest paying industry sectors for ultrasound techs are outpatient care centers. In this sector, an ultrasound tech can expect to earn an average annual mean salary of $82,940 or around $39.87 dollars per hour. For more common facilities such as hospitals, medical and diagnostic laboratories, and specialty hospitals, an ultrasound technician typically can earn an average mean salary between $71,510 to $73,400 annually. This salary range would break down to an average of $34.38 to $35.29 dollars per hour. The highest paying state for an ultrasound tech in 2016 was California with an annual average mean salary of $93,350 or $44.88 per hour.
How Much Does an Ultrasound Tech Make by State?
Ultrasound Tech Salary with Annual and Hourly Rates
|State||Ultrasound Tech Hourly Rate||Ultrasound Tech Annual Salary|
|District of Columbia||$42.10||$87,570|
Source: BLS.gov, mean average salary data as of May 2016 | For more detailed information, try Payscale.com
What Does an Ultrasound Tech Do?
Also called a diagnostic medical sonographer, an ultrasound technician operates equipment that uses sound waves to create pictures of the body internally. This is an area of practice commonly used in obstetrics, but is also used to detect other medical conditions, such as kidney stones and ovarian cysts. It can also determine the flow of blood and any obstructions, and is technology even used in veterinarian medicine. In the United States, as of 2014, there were 112,700 jobs for this career. Considered a full-time job that is in even more demand due to the increasing importance of this technology and its detection of serious ailments, the position is expected to see a 24% increase by 2017, with a 46% increase by the year 2022. Deemed a quickly changing field due to the demand, this is a lifelong career that will not soon fade away. The duties affiliated with this position are vast, especially since this is a job that allows for the opportunity to specialize.
What Does an Ultrasound Tech Do Summary
- Meet with patients and answer any questions they have about the procedure, technology, and even the career itself.
- Prepare the equipment being used for the procedure.
- Use the special technology to create images from the provided sound waves.
- Ensure the overall quality of the image to guarantee a physician can make a proper diagnosis. If the image is of sub-par quality, the judgment to take another image must be made.
- Determine the difference between normal or abnormal imagery.
- Maintain the equipment, which includes reporting any defects and seeing that they are repaired.
- Analyze the collected information and compile a concise summary for the physician to make an overall diagnosis.
- Record the data and maintain a patient’s records.
A typical day of an ultrasound tech revolves around the above mentioned, and circulates where in the world this profession is working, and whether they are working for an obstetrician, a cardiovascular center, or a hospital as they are needed.
Education, Degrees, and Skills
To take the qualifying exams that will deem them certified, these professionals must receive at least an associate’s degree or complete a postgraduate program from an accredited school. Regardless of how they earn the necessary degrees, it must be from an accredited institution to qualify for the position. Education is both classroom and clinically focused, which gives students the necessary training and experience before embarking on the career. During a clinical, students can work with the technology, utilize what they have learned in the classroom, observe, and learn the practice from licensed professionals in real life settings. Becoming licensed in the field is a requirement set by most employers; receiving a license will earn a professional the title of a registered diagnostic medical sonographer (RDMS). This licensing ensues after the appropriate exams, like the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography, are passed. As far as a solid skill set is concerned, ultrasound techs should have excellent oral communication skills, dexterity, an attention to detail, and can withstand the physical demands of the occupation, like standing for prolonged periods of time. Critical thinking is important as well.
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