How to Become an Ultrasound Technician

How to Become an Ultrasound Technician

The median annual salary for an ultrasound technician is $67000. The ultrasound technician salary makes it one of the most well paying professions. With a few years of training, you too can join the ranks of well-compensated professionals.

This article will show you the path become an ultrasound technician career.


What an Ultrasound Technician does

You might be asking yourself, what does an ultrasound technician do?

Well, ultrasound technicians use medical equipment to capture internal images of a body. Ultrasound technicians are most famous for checking the bellies of pregnant ladies. Ultrasound machines help capture images of the developing baby.

Ultrasound technicians are sometimes referred to as ultrasound technologists. They must have the skills to operate and diagnose problems with the machines.


1.  Get the Right Education

The first step to becoming an ultrasound technician is getting a degree in medical sonography. One can also enroll in a short-term certification course for medical sonography. The short-term certification is important if a university does not offer sonography.

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredits health schools. CAAHEP’s accreditation is crucial when seeking licenses for medical sonography. Thus, it is important to ensure that the university course has CAAHEP accreditation.


2.  Get Licensed and Become and Ultrasound Technician

The second crucial step is getting the right license. The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) offers relevant licenses. Students will sit for the sonography principles instrumentation exam offered by ARDMS. After which they receive a preliminary medical sonography license. To check out some of the certificates, click here.

After attaining the first license, students can choose 9 specialty areas in ultrasound. For instance, specializing in diagnostics will lead to the registered diagnostic sonographer license. The choice of where to specialize on will depend on personal interest.

Other areas of specialization include abdominal sonography, obstetric sonography, breast sonography, and neurosonology sonography.

After completing education, getting a job as an ultrasound technician should be straightforward. 

Hospitals hire ultrasound technicians as either full time employees or independent contractors. The core work leverages the ultrasound expertise to diagnose patients.


3.  Maintain Licenses

To continue working as an ultrasound technician one needs to maintain the licenses. For instance, the ARDMS licenses expire after ten years. Ultrasound technicians must ensure continuous education to maintain the licenses.

Licenses that certify ultrasound technologists need at least thirty hours of education. The hours of education add up over three years. The continuous education ensures that the skills are always sharp. The education also ensures that technicians are able to use the latest technology.

It would also be wise to join existing associations of professionals in the field. The most prominent are the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography and The American Society of Echocardiography.


A Fulfilling Career

The steps outlined above should be enough to guide you into a fulfilling career. Ultrasound work guarantees a stable and interesting career. Advances in technology should make sonography an evolving job with new instruments to work with.

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