Most people, when they hear that I am an ultrasound technician, think about babies and pregnant women right away. And it’s true that many ultrasound technicians spend most of their careers working with women who are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant. However, we have an important role in many other parts of medicine as well, and it is not unusual to see an Ultrasound Technician who has never worked around pregnant women since they were still in school.
1) An Ultrasound Technician can make a pretty decent salary. We help a lot of people, and our paychecks usually reflect that. Depending on many different factors, someone working full-time in this field, with the appropriate education and licensing could expect to make 45,000-75,000 dollars a year.
2) You would be hard-put to walk through a hospital and not be on a floor or in a department that we aren’t in. There is usually at least one of us in the Emergency Room, OB/GYN, Neurology, Ophthalmology, and Vascular Medicine. Some hospitals have an Ultrasound Technician on call, so he or she might be rotated to different departments on every shift they work. We’re even found in some dentist’s offices!
3) In many states, you can choose to pend as little as one year in school to start your career. You can also spend two years in school to earn an Associate’s degree or four years to earn a Bachelor’s degree. In general, the more longer you spend in college, the better your job opportunities and the higher your salary will be.
4) The Bureau of Vital Statistics has published information stating that there were more than 51,000 of us in this profession in 2009.
5) By the year 2018, they also estimate that there could be as many as 18% more of us in this field than there were in 2009. That’s a pretty good chance for job stability!
6) The advances that have occurred in medical care over the past several decades have allowed people to live longer, and for many illnesses to be diagnosed before they become deadly. That means that, as most people in the medical field do, we are often responsible for helping save lives through early detection. THAT’S why it’s so important that every Ultrasound Technician be adequately trained.
7) Although a few people have expressed some concern regarding the safety of ultrasounds, it has been proven repeatedly that they are very safe. As a result of that, and because an ultrasound technician should not expect to come into regular contact with body fluids, a practicing Ultrasound Technician may have one of the safest jobs in the medical field.
8) Depending on where you work, state laws that apply in your area, and your employer’s preferences, you may be required by at least one certification board. Having dual certifications, if allowed in your state, could make you particularly attractive to future employers. The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) and the Association of Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (RDMS) are the two groups that make sure people who go into this field know what they are doing. A certification from either or both of these have the potential to help you make or break your career.
9)We should be good in math and science. Why we need to be good in science is probably somewhat self-explanatory, since it’s in the medical field. We need to be good in math because we may be responsible for doing some of the computations that result in diagnoses.
10)Although schools can always decide to change, remove, or add on programs, in 2006 there were a grand total of 147 schools that offered a program for being an Ultrasound Technician in the United States. That means that there could be a waiting list for the program at the school nearest you, so if you want to sign up, do so as early as possible. We’ve probably all heard the joke about the first person on the waiting list on the fourth day of school…he’s the first person in the class for the next semester.
This is a solid career that allows us to have the ability to interact with patients on a regular basis and allows us to earn a good living at the same time. Most people in this field have reported a lot of job satisfaction.