According to the latest statistics from the bureau of labor statistics, becoming an ultrasound technician is a wonderful idea! Ultrasound technicians are also known as registered diagnostic medical sonographers or RDMS. In the article below we will cover the steps necessary to become an ultrasound tech and what makes the career great and what the job and salary outlook are. Lets get started!

What does an Ultrasound Technician do?

Diagnostic medical sonographers and ultrasound technicians operate special imaging equipment that create images or conduct tests on their patients. The images along with the matching test results assist physicians in their assessment and diagnosis of patient medical conditions. Sonographers and technologists in many cases will work very closely with doctors, physicians and surgeons. Below we get in to specific job duties.

Ultrasound Tech Job Duties

Below are the typical day to day duties of an ultrasound tech.

Prep patients for procedure and get medical history details from patient
Prep and always maintain necessary diagnostic equipment
Operate equipment for diagnostic imaging and tests
Review images and results for quality and make sure that coverage of the areas needed for diagnoses is full
See differences between abnormal images and what would be considered normal
Provide a summary for physicians
Track patients’ records and record your findings

What is the process to become an Ultrasound Tech?

Becoming an (RDMS) or registered diagnostic medical sonographer is easier than you may think! The level of education needed is an associates degree and you will need to be certified. Below we cover the 4 necessary steps that must be taken to become an (RDMS) or ultrasound technician.

STEP 1 – Have or get your H.S. diploma or GED

This is a must. Not having your High School diploma or at least a GED will stop you from going any further.

STEP 2 – Enroll in to an Accredited Ultrasound Tech School

Most colleges have ultrasound tech/sonography training programs. Community colleges offer associates programs that are 2 years in length and there are four year sonography programs but that is on the high end of the spectrum of necessary education levels. There are also 1 year certification programs at some colleges and hospitals. Here is a database of every Accredited Ultrasound Tech Program. Below is a list of what we consider the best options for sonography and ultrasound tech training.

The Best Accredited Ultrasound Technician Schools

Name/WebsiteAddress
Alvin Community College3110 Mustang Rd, Alvin, Texas 77511-4898
Amarillo College2011 S. Washington, Amarillo, Texas 79109
Angelina College3500 South First, Lufkin, Texas 75902-1768
Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College340 Victoria Rd, Asheville, North Carolina 28801-4897
Athens Technical College800 U.S. Hwy 29 North, Athens, Georgia 30601
Augusta Technical College3200 Augusta Tech Drive, Augusta, Georgia 30906
Baker College1050 West Bristol Road, Flint, Michigan 48507-5508
Baton Rouge Community College201 Community College Drive, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70806
Bellevue College3000 Landerholm Cir SE, Bellevue, Washington 98007-6484
Bergen Community College400 Paramus Rd, Paramus, New Jersey 07652-1595
Blackhawk Technical College6004 South County Road G, Janesville, Wisconsin 53547-5009
Brookdale Community College765 Newman Springs Rd, Lincroft, New Jersey 07738-1597
Broward College111 East Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
Bunker Hill Community College250 New Rutherford Ave, Boston, Massachusetts 02129-2925
Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute2855 Hickory Boulevard, Hudson, North Carolina 28638
Cape Fear Community College411 North Front Street, Wilmington, North Carolina 28401-3910
Carl Sandburg College2400 Tom L. Wilson Boulevard, Galesburg, Illinois 61401
Central California School of Continuing Education3195 McMillan Ste F, San Luis Obispo, California 93401
Central Georgia Technical College80 Cohen Walker Drive, Warner Robins, Georgia 31088
Central New Mexico Community College525 Buena Vista SE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106
Central Ohio Technical College1179 University Drive, Newark, Ohio 43055-1767
Chattahoochee Technical College980 S Cobb Drive Dr SE, Marietta, Georgia 30060
Chippewa Valley Technical College620 W Clairemont Ave, Eau Claire, Wisconsin 54701-6162
Cincinnati State Technical and Community College3520 Central Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45223-2690
Collin County Community College District3452 Spur 399, McKinney, Texas 75069
Columbia Basin College2600 N 20th Ave, Pasco, Washington 99301
Columbus Technical College928 Manchester Expy, Columbus, Georgia 31904-6572
Cosumnes River College8401 Center Parkway, Sacramento, California 95823-5799
Cuyahoga Community College District700 Carnegie Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44115-2878
Cypress College9200 Valley View, Cypress, California 90630-5897
Danville Area Community College2000 E Main St, Danville, Illinois 61832-5118
Del Mar College101 Baldwin Blvd., Corpus Christi, Texas 78404-3897
Delgado Community College615 City Park Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana 70119
Eastern Florida State College1519 Clearlake Rd, Cocoa, Florida 32922
Eastern Iowa Community College District101 W Third Street, Davenport, Iowa 52801-1221
El Centro College801 Main Street, Dallas, Texas 75202-3604
El Paso Community College9050 Viscount Blvd, El Paso, Texas 79925
Foothill College12345 El Monte Rd, Los Altos Hills, California 94022
Forsyth Technical Community College2100 Silas Creek Pky, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27103-5197
GateWay Community College108 N. 40th Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85034
George C Wallace State Community College-Hanceville801 Main St NW, Hanceville, Alabama 35077-2000
Georgia Northwestern Technical CollegeOne Maurice Culberson Drive, Rome, Georgia 30161
Greenville Technical College506 S Pleasantburg Dr, Greenville, South Carolina 29606
Gulf Coast State College5230 West U.S. Highway 98, Panama City, Florida 32401
Gwinnett Technical College5150 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043-5702
H Councill Trenholm State Community College1225 Air Base Blvd, Montgomery, Alabama 36108-3199
Harrisburg Area Community College1 HACC Dr., Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17110-2999
Hill College112 Lamar Dr, Hillsboro, Texas 76645
Hillsborough Community College39 Columbia Drive, Tampa, Florida 33606-3584
Hinds Community College608 Hinds Boulevard, Raymond, Mississippi 39154
Horry-Georgetown Technical College2050 Highway 501 East, Conway, South Carolina 29526
Houston Community College3100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77002
Howard Community College10901 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia, Maryland 21044-3197
Ivy Tech Community College50 W. Fall Creek Parkway N. Drive, Indianapolis, Indiana 46208-5752
John A Logan College700 Logan College Road, Carterville, Illinois 62918-2500
Johnston Community College245 College Road, Smithfield, North Carolina 27577-2350
Jones County Junior College900 South Court Street, Ellisville, Mississippi 39437
Labette Community College200 S 14th, Parsons, Kansas 67357-4201
Lake Michigan College2755 East Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, Michigan 49022-1899
Lake Superior College2101 Trinity Rd, Duluth, Minnesota 55811-3399
Lansing Community College419 N Capitol Ave, Lansing, Michigan 48901-7210
Laramie County Community College1400 E College Dr, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82007-3299
Lone Star College System5000 Research Forest Drive, The Woodlands, Texas 77381-4399
Lorain County Community College1005 North Abbe Rd, Elyria, Ohio 44035-1691
Louisiana State University-Eunice2048 Johnson Hwy, Eunice, Louisiana 70535
Lurleen B Wallace Community College1000 Dannelly Blvd., Andalusia, Alabama 36420-1418
Marion Technical College1467 Mount Vernon Ave, Marion, Ohio 43302-5694
Massasoit Community CollegeOne Massasoit Boulevard, Brockton, Massachusetts 02302-3996
Medical Career Institute901 West Park Avenue, Ocean, New Jersey 07712
Merced College3600 M St, Merced, California 95348-2898
Miami Dade College300 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami, Florida 33132-2204
Middlesex Community CollegeSprings Rd, Bedford, Massachusetts 01730-9124
Midland College3600 N Garfield, Midland, Texas 79705
Moore Norman Technology Center4701 12th Avenue NW, Norman, Oklahoma 73069-8399
Mt San Jacinto Community College District1499 N. State St., San Jacinto, California 92583-2399
New Horizons Medical Institute5675 Jimmy Carter Blvd Suite J, Norcross, Georgia 30071
New Mexico State University-Dona Ana2800 N. Sonoma Ranch Blvd., Las Cruces, New Mexico 88011
New York Medical Career Training Center36-09 Main St 5th Fl, Flushing, New York 11354
North Central Missouri College1301 Main St, Trenton, Missouri 64683
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College2740 W Mason St, Green Bay, Wisconsin 54307-9042
O C Collins Career Center11627 State Rte 243, Chesapeake, Ohio 45619-0000
Oakland Community College2480 Opdyke Rd, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48304-2266
Ogeechee Technical CollegeOne Joseph E. Kennedy Blvd, Statesboro, Georgia 30458
Oklahoma City Community College7777 S May Ave, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73159-9987
Orange Coast College2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa, California 92626
Owens Community College30335 Oregon Rd, Perrysburg, Ohio 43551
Palm Beach State College4200 Congress Ave, Lake Worth, Florida 33461-4796
Pitt Community College1986 Pitt Tech Road, Winterville, North Carolina 28590
Rowan College at Burlington County900 College Circle, Mount Laurel, New Jersey 08054-1599
Rowan College at Gloucester County1400 Tanyard Road, Sewell, New Jersey 08080
Saint Louis Community College3221 McKelvey Road, Bridgeton, Missouri 63044
San Jacinto Community College8060 Spencer Hwy, Pasadena, Texas 77505
Santa Barbara City College721 Cliff Drive, Santa Barbara, California 93109-2394
Santa Fe College3000 Northwest 83rd Street, Gainesville, Florida 32606-6210
South Piedmont Community College680 Highway 74 West, Polkton, North Carolina 28135
South Texas College3201 W Pecan, McAllen, Texas 78502-9701
Southeast Technical Institute2320 N Career Ave, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57107-1301
Southwestern Community College447 College Drive, Sylva, North Carolina 28779
Spokane Community College1810 North Greene Street, Spokane, Washington 99217-5399
St Cloud Technical and Community College1540 Northway Drive, Saint Cloud, Minnesota 56303-1240
State Fair Community College3201 W 16th Street, Sedalia, Missouri 65301-2199
SUNY College of Technology at Alfred10 Upper College Drive, Alfred, New York 14802
Tacoma Community College6501 S 19th St, Tacoma, Washington 98466-6100
Tallahassee Community College444 Appleyard Dr, Tallahassee, Florida 32304-2895
Temple College2600 S 1st St, Temple, Texas 76504-7435
Texas Southmost College80 Fort Brown, Brownsville, Texas 78520
Tulsa Community College6111 E Skelly Dr, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74135-6198
Tyler Junior College1400 East Fifth Street, Tyler, Texas 75701
Union County College1033 Springfield Avenue, Cranford, New Jersey 07016-1528
Valencia College1768 Park Center Drive, Orlando, Florida 32835
Weatherford College225 College Park Drive, Weatherford, Texas 76086-5699

Click here if you are interested in learning about online diagnostic medical sonography or online ultrasound tech training.

The programs listed above are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs which is accepted by most employers as the leading accreditor of (RDMS) and ultrasound tech training programs. Also be sure to check the cost of training before you decide on where you get your education from.

Step 3 – Complete the program and other requirements if needed

Not all states require certification from their sonographers but some do. That being said employers are demanding it more and more and it is becoming standard to be certified. It also makes you more employable and desirable as an employee and can make you more money in the long run.

Some states may have a requirement of basic life support training certification or something like that before certification is given. There are also programs that have certifications at the end of their training programs. The best options for ultrasound tech certification are the (ARDMS) American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, (CCI) Cardiovascular Credentialing International, and (ARRT) American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.

Step 4 – Get your RDMS Certification

 

Prep for and pass the ultrasound tech certification test given by one of the 3 sources listed above and you are on your way to becoming an ultrasound technician! It may not be mandated by law but getting your RDMS certification will be one of the best things you can do for your future as a medical sonographer!!!

About Ultrasound Technician Salary

According to bls.gov’s latest data, the median annual wage for ultrasound technicians was $55,270 in May 2017. The lowest 10 percent of earners as ultrasound techs earned less than $28,680, and the highest 10 percent of them earned more than $90,760.

Here is a list of average earnings at differing workplace types.

Outpatient care centers $81,200
Offices of physicians $71,740
Hospitals $69,890
Medical laboratories $69,690

What is the average salary for an Ultrasound Tech?

See the table below for salary and hourly wage information in full.

Ultrasound Technician Salary by State

Area NameHourly Avg. WageAnnual Avg Salary
Alabama26.8055750
Alaska39.7682710
Arizona38.8080710
Arkansas30.2162840
California44.0991700
Colorado39.1681450
Connecticut38.7280550
Delaware34.2171150
Florida31.1264730
Georgia30.3663150
Hawaii43.3990250
Idaho37.1577260
Illinois35.7474340
Indiana32.5367660
Iowa31.2965080
Kansas33.4369530
Kentucky31.2464990
Louisiana27.9058040
Maine35.2273250
Maryland35.4273660
Massachusetts39.6482450
Michigan29.0560410
Minnesota37.7778560
Mississippi31.1464770
Missouri34.4871730
Montana36.7176360
Nebraska30.3763170
Nevada36.0174910
New Hampshire37.8078630
New Jersey36.2075290
New Mexico30.2762970
New York35.8174480
North Carolina31.6265770
North Dakota33.1368910
Ohio30.8564170
Oklahoma32.0866730
Oregon41.4186140
Pennsylvania32.4267440
Rhode Island38.4079870
South Carolina31.1764820
South Dakota28.5259320
Tennessee30.1362660
Texas37.6278250
Utah36.5175940
Vermont36.7076330
Virginia34.1270960
Washington42.0487440
West Virginia29.2660870
Wisconsin36.4275760
Wyoming32.6167820

Source – www.bls.gov

What is the job outlook?

At 17% growth the field of sonography is growing above the national average for medical field careers!

Top 5 Paying States for Ultrasound Technicians

State/AreaAvg. Hourly WageAvg. Yearly Salary
California$44.88$93,350
District of Columbia$42.10$87,570
Washington$41.81$86,970
Oregon$40.46$84,160
Colorado$39.34$81,830

Source:bls.gov

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