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.

Accredited Ultrasound Tech Programs

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 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 NameEmployment #Hourly Avg. WageAnnual Avg SalaryEmployment per 1K jobs
Alabama113026.80557500.589
Alaska7039.76827100.230
Arizona185038.80807100.683
Arkansas55030.21628400.460
California638044.09917000.382
Colorado104039.16814500.405
Connecticut92038.72805500.557
Delaware18034.21711500.397
Florida513031.12647300.609
Georgia177030.36631500.411
Hawaii15043.39902500.241
Idaho30037.15772600.440
Illinois274035.74743400.463
Indiana114032.53676600.377
Iowa84031.29650800.546
Kansas62033.43695300.451
Kentucky72031.24649900.385
Louisiana92027.90580400.485
Maine21035.22732500.354
Maryland151035.42736600.568
Massachusetts199039.64824500.563
Michigan251029.05604100.587
Minnesota159037.77785600.559
Mississippi71031.14647700.635
Missouri133034.48717300.476
Montana19036.71763600.421
Nebraska53030.37631700.551
Nevada62036.01749100.475
New Hampshire23037.80786300.346
New Jersey264036.20752900.658
New Mexico56030.27629700.701
New York479035.81744800.520
North Carolina194031.62657700.450
North Dakota12033.13689100.300
Ohio215030.85641700.401
Oklahoma93032.08667300.592
Oregon89041.41861400.487
Pennsylvania255032.42674400.441
Rhode Island24038.40798700.513
South Carolina69031.17648200.344
South Dakota33028.52593200.783
Tennessee163030.13626600.561
Texas527037.62782500.443
Utah50036.51759400.358
Vermont8036.70763300.276
Virginia167034.12709600.441
Washington150042.04874400.471
West Virginia52029.26608700.752
Wisconsin161036.42757600.568
Wyoming8032.61678200.286

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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