Ultrasound technicians play a very important role in the healthcare field. This is because they are responsible for obtaining images of patients’ blood flow, organs, and tissues that physicians then use to diagnose a wide array of medical conditions ranging from minor to severe.
What is an Ultrasound Technician’s Average Salary?
According to a newer report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual average salary for ultrasound technicians in 2014 was $68,390 (or 32.88 an hour). This number is up from the annual average in 2013, which was $66,410. Monster.com states that diagnostic medical sonography is the second best paying job one can get with an associate degree.
Highest Paying States
Below is a list of the top ten highest paying states along with the annual median salary ultrasound technicians earn:
- California – $89,870
- Oregon – $84,780
- Alaska – $82,420
- Washington – $81,180
- Massachusetts – $80,510
- Rhode Island – $79,990
- Wisconsin – $79,280
- Arizona – $78,760
- Hawaii – $78,170
- Connecticut – $77,950
How to Increase Your Earning Potential
There are four main ways in which you can increase your salary:
Location – Ultrasound technicians who work in metropolitan cities earn more than those employed in rural areas.
Education – As mentioned above, you can earn a great salary in this field with only an associate degree. However, if you obtain a bachelor’s degree, you’ll not only earn higher wages, but you’ll also have more job opportunities available to you.
Certification – Though certification is optional in most states, it’s best to sit for the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation exam administered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). Earning the Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer credential will help raise your wages and make you more employable. Many employers will not hire those who are not certified.
Specialty – This will play definitely play a role in raising your salary. For example: if you’re specialty is obstetrics and gynecology, you’ll earn higher wages than an ultrasound technician who works in general sonography.
Other factors, such as employer also play a part in determining salary.
Typically, an ultrasound technician’s salary is accompanied by a benefits package. Employer funded benefits may include paid vacation/sick time and life insurance, while partially funded benefits often include health and dental insurance for the technician and his spouse and children.
There is a high demand for ultrasound technicians across the country because more and more physicians are prescribing the no radiation, non-invasive (usually) exam in place of other testing that would use radiation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth will rise 46 percent between 2012 and 2022. This means over 23,000 new ultrasound technician positions will be added during this time period. Currently, the states with the highest demand for ultrasound technicians are: New York, California, Florida, Texas, and Ohio.
Self-employed Ultrasound Technicians
The statistics above do not include data for ultrasound technicians who are self-employed. Information released by the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography states that more than a quarter of its self-employed members earn at least $100,000. However, while this may seem like a huge increase over the annual average of $68,390, keep in mind that ultrasound technicians who are self-employed must deduct their expenses from gross pay. This can result in net pay that is significantly less, especially since many have to buy their own medical and dental insurance.
What general job duties are required for ultrasound technicians?
- Charting a patient’s medical history
- Explaining the process to patients and answering their questions
- Positioning patients in order to get the best images
- Taking calculations and measurements
- Sterilizing the equipment after each patient
- Performing basic maintenance on the equipment
- Preparing reports containing preliminary results for physicians
To learn more about an ultrasound technician’s salary or anything else related to this profession, please contact us.