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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 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.

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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. The accrediting body for ultrasound tech programs in the United States is Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Below is a link to the database of accredited sonography and ultrasound tech programs from CAAHEP.

CAAHEP Accredited Ultrasound Technician Schools

The programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs are 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

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

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