What is an Ultrasound Technician?

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An ultrasound technician, sometimes referred to as a diagnostic medical sonographer, is a medical professional that has been certified to operate ultrasound equipment. Ultrasound technician programs have been developed to quickly educate students in this particular allied health care occupation. Becoming certified will give students an opportunity to work in a rewarding field with a decent salary. Ultrasound technician pay is competitive and the job outlook is very good compared to other career paths.

Ultrasound Technician Programs

The ultrasound technician occupation is one of the allied health care careers. Other types of allied health care occupations include radiological technician and dental hygienist. Ultrasound technician programs are designed to help students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to operate ultrasound equipment and provide direct patient care. Many schools offer training programs for ultrasound or sonography degrees. Some schools may offer more condensed certificate programs, which are ideal for existing allied health care employees that have already completed some coursework in the medical field. The first step to a new career is to find schools that offer ultrasound technician programs near you.

Ultrasound Technician Job Description

Ultrasound Technician SalaryAn ultrasound technician plays an important role in medical facilities such as health care clinics and hospitals. Despite what many people think, ultrasound equipment is used to help assess and diagnose a variety of illnesses and medical problems. Ultrasound equipment gives technicians the ability to take images of various parts of the human body. Ultrasound technician programs teach technicians how to operate equipment, accurately interpret images, and provide results to physicians and other medical staff. Some other common duties found in an ultrasound technician job description may include:

  • Preparing the patient for an exam.
  • Operating, cleaning, and maintaining ultrasound equipment.
  • Recording patient information and data.

Even though an ultrasound technician is providing the service and may have a good idea of what the results of an ultrasound are, they are often times unable to provide patients with direct diagnosis information. For instance, one question many women have is, “Why won’t an ultrasound technician tell me about a miscarriage?” Ultrasound techs are certified to operate the equipment and provide high quality services relative to their practice. They are not licensed physicians that are necessarily able to diagnose or recommend treatment.

Ultrasound Technician Pay

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average ultrasound technician pay in 2010 was $64,380, or about $30 per hour. The BLS projects a growth rate 44%, much faster than average, resulting in over 23,000 new ultrasound technician jobs. You can get more information about salaries and job outlook in the ultrasound technician pay article.