Ultrasound Technician Jobs
If you've pursued your ultrasound technician degree and American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers credential, you may be ready for a job! But where do you look for ultrasound tech jobs? How much salary you may expect? Find answers to these questions and more below.
How to Search for an Ultrasound Job
These methods for searching an ultrasound job may help:
- Online job postings. There are several good online job boards, but since there are several alternative terms for ultrasound technicians make sure to try multiple keyword variations. Suggested keywords include ultrasound technician, sonographer, medical sonographer, and diagnostic sonographer.
- Career placement offices. These offices are a good source of job leads and information about local employers.
- Personal research and networking. Because not all open jobs are listed on job boards, it is important to also check with employers in person. Make sure to contact both human resources and the appropriate department managers. Follow up periodically to see if any new jobs have been listed.
Ultrasound Technician Job Duties
Whether employed by a hospital, physician's office, or outpatient clinic, the typical requirements and job duties for an ultrasound technician include:
- Physical ability. Ultrasound technicians must be able to stand for long periods without undue fatigue. They must be able to move or lift patients as needed. They also need acceptable eyesight and hearing to distinguish different machine sounds and interpret sonograms.
- Communications skills. Ultrasound technicians must be able to explain procedures to patients, communicate with the medical staff, and be able to document the resulting medical data. They may also need to provide oral or written summaries of technical findings.
- Technical skills. Ultrasound technicians must be able to operate ultrasound machines and obtain the required diagnostic images. They also maintain ultrasound facilities, equipment, and records as needed.
- Teamwork. Ultrasound technicians work as part of a team. They may need to collaborate with or supervise other diagnostic technicians. They also work with physicians to analyze and interpret the diagnostic images.
What Is Required Physically in an Ultrasound Job?
Ultrasound technician jobs are physical by nature. Technicians work standing up 80 percent of the time. They must also be able to lift moderate weights and help patients on and off examining tables. Ultrasound tech jobs require the full use of the upper body as well as the ability to push and pull, bend and stoop. Lastly, ultrasound technicians require a keen sense of hearing and good eyesight in order to distinguish different equipment sounds and interpret colored sonograms.
Ultrasound Technician Career Prospects
The prospects for ultrasound jobs are growing at a faster rate than all other jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for ultrasound technicians will increase 18 percent from 2008 to 2018. This is due to a combination of an aging U.S. population that will require more diagnostic procedures and an increase in ultrasound procedures as a more cost effective and safer alternative to radiology-based diagnostic tests.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2010 figures list the median annual salary for ultrasound technicians as $64,380 with the top 10 percent earning $88,490.