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In medical digital imaging, ultrasound technicians work with people like radiographers, CT and MRI technicians, and mammographers. Ultrasound technicians work with doctors and other healthcare workers to find health problems or diagnose diseases. To become an ultrasound technician, you have to study and train for one to four years. In this article, we explain what an ultrasound technician does and what your options are if you want to become one.
Ultrasound technicians, who are also called sonographers or diagnostic medical sonographers, do ultrasound procedures on all parts of the body. These procedures are often done on pregnant women. Ultrasound techs look for problems in the heart, the nervous system, the breast, the abdomen, and other tissues.
Most of the time, ultrasound technicians:
Most ultrasound techs work in hospitals, doctors’ offices, or research centers. A day in the life of an ultrasound technician often includes:
Ultrasound technicians have a job that is fun, and interesting and helps people get healthier. Here are eight reasons why you might want to become an ultrasound tech.
1. A cutting-edge field of work
Ultrasound technicians work in a field that keeps getting better and better. They learn how to use the most up-to-date tools to find and diagnose problems or diseases.
2. Save lives
Diseases are much more likely to have a good outcome and prognosis if they are found and treated quickly. Ultrasound techs might be the first ones to notice a spot or color that needs to be looked at more closely. Ultrasound technicians are a line of defense against disease because they work with doctors and nurses.
3. Chances of making money
According to the most recent data from Indeed, ultrasound technicians usually start out making $26,739 per year and can earn over $95,000 if they specialize.
4. Education and training that never stops
Sonographers can go to classes or seminars to learn about new techniques or pieces of equipment. They have many chances to get more education and keep learning, or they can move up to a different healthcare job. Certifications in specialties like cardiology and obstetrics can help you learn more.
5. Quickly fill out the field
Depending on what they’ve learned in school and how much experience they have, ultrasound technicians can get their certificate in a little over a year. Most people choose two-year programs because they give them more education and training in less time than it takes to get a bachelor’s degree.
6. Job opportunities
Ultrasound technicians can go on to get more education and become registered nurses, physician assistants, or doctors. Sonographers who don’t work in hospitals may be in charge of a department, teach sonography, do research, or sell ultrasound systems.
7. Routines that change
Since ultrasound techs work with many different doctors and patients throughout the day, they rarely have time to get bored at work. During the day, they work as technicians and do office work. Techs always learn something new because they take classes and go to seminars on a regular basis.
8. There are several ways to become an ultrasound tech.
Adjust your education to your current position, education, and career goals so you can choose a program that fits your lifestyle and helps you reach your goals. Check with an advisor to see if the college credits you already have can be used to meet some of your education needs. You can choose to do research as your only job or become a specialist to help your career.
Those who want to become ultrasound technicians can choose between one-year and four-year programs, depending on how much they already know or what they do for a living. Healthcare workers who are already working can sign up for a one-year certificate or diploma program that adds to what they already know. Students who don’t have a background in health care can choose between two-year and four-year programs based on their career goals.
Choose a school or program that has been approved by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS). This will make sure that the program offers hands-on training, a complete education, and financial aid, and prepares students to get certified. Check to see if there are any local or regional programs with a good reputation that offer the benefits listed. There are general writing and academic courses, as well as courses designed just for ultrasound technicians and externships that give students real-world, hands-on experience.
Besides what they learn in class, ultrasound techs also learn:
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