The median national ultrasound technician salary is $65,000 according to information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So how much can you earn as an ultrasound technician? The answer depends on several factors. Factors such as number of years of experience, place of employment, geographical location of the establishment, type of establishment and education can have an impact on how much money you can earn.
The lowest 10th percentile in the profession makes $56,300 or less per year and the highest 10 percentile earns $80,000 or more per year. The middle 50 percent of the ultrasound technician workforce makes between $61,500 and $74,000 per year.
Ultrasound technicians do not receive much bonus on their salary. The fact is most in the profession do not receive bonuses. However, there are other benefits that come with the job. Benefits such as social security, paid vacations, pension, 401K and healthcare contributions can bring the total pay package of an ultrasound technician salary to about $95,000 per year for a base salary of about $67,300.
Job description of an ultrasound technician
What does an ultrasound technician do? An ultrasound technician is a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. An ultrasound is a form of medical imaging that uses penetrative sound waves to produce images of a patient’s insides. The images produced is used to diagnose diseases and for other purpose such as obtaining an image of your unborn baby.
A typical ultrasound technician will perform the following duties:
- Help prepare a patient for an ultrasound scan. This includes answering questions and concerns of patients
- They take care of the ultrasound imaging machines
- The technician applies gel over the area to be scanned so the sound waves can produce an image of the inside of the body.
- They operate the imaging machines to obtain images of the inside of the patient
- They analyze images to check for errors and quality. They can also make initial determination for physicians
- Prepares and sends a result of the ultrasound scan to the physician for analysis
How to become an ultrasound technician
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To become an ultrasound technician, you will need to take a diagnostic medical sonographer course from an accredited program. Some colleges and universities offer sonography programs at the associate’s and bachelor’s degree levels. Some also offer a 1 year certification program in sonography, this is however more for people already working in the healthcare profession such as nurses. Majority of employers will only employ ultrasound technicians with a degree in sonography or a certificate from an accredited sonography program.
Almost all employers will only employ an ultrasound technician with professional certification. That is why you should attend an accredited sonography program. You will get certification from an accredited program when you graduate and pass the exams. The exams you write can relate the the specialty you are interested in. These specialties include abdominal sonography, breast sonography, obstetric and gynecologic sonography and neurosonography.
If you attend a non-accredited program, you will be required to work 1 year before you can get certification. And it is extremely difficult to get employment without professional certification.
For high school students interested in becoming an ultrasound technician, they should take courses in anatomy, mathematics and physiology.
Ultrasound technician salary in UK
In the United Kingdom, an ultrasound technician salary ranges from £20,000 – £60,000 depending on many factors. Self-employed sonographers earned from £20,000 – £48,000. Those employed by hospitals earned from £26,000 – £40,000. And those employed by the federal government reported a salary range of £28,000 to £40,000. Those working in private practices reported salaries of between £31,000 and £47,000.
Ultrasound technicians with a bachelor’s degree can earn as much as £65,000 per year.