4 reasons to consider a career as an ultrasound tech

If you are seeking a job in the health care industry, then you may want to check out careers in ultrasound technology. From helping new parents learn if their baby is healthy to assisting physicians diagnose and treat diseases, ultrasound technicians can be an essential part of many medical teams. Whether you already work in health care or are a student starting to explore your future career options, here are four reasons to think about becoming an ultrasound technician.

1. It's one of the fastest-growing occupations in the country.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), diagnostic medical sonographers, under which ultrasound technicians fall, is the sixth-fastest-growing career group across all industries in the nation. Career openings for ultrasound technicians are expected to experience a 46 percent increase across the U.S. between 2012 and 2022.

2. Median pay is high, compared to that of other occupations.

The BLS reports that in 2012, diagnostic medical sonographers had a national median income of $60,350. The top paying states included the following:

  • California
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Massachusetts
  • Connecticut

3. There are several educational program options available

Students interested in the field have several potential paths to follow, including enrolling in certificate, associate or bachelor's degree programs in areas such as sonography or cardiovascular technology. The BLS indicates employers usually prefer individuals with a degree or certificate from an accredited institution or hospital program.

4. Diverse and job opportunities

Ultrasound technicians may have the opportunity to pursue a number of positions within various segments of the health care industry. After graduation, students may choose to become professionally credentialed. The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography conducts a number of examinations that can help individuals become registered sonographers in more than ten specialties, such as the following:

  • Vascular technology
  • Neurosonology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pediatric Echocardiography

Combined, these four reasons help make a compelling case for students to consider a career as an ultrasound technician. Those interested in learning more can conduct further research and/or request information from schools that offer sonography programs.

Sources:

Credentials and Examinations, American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography, http://www.ardms.org/credentials_examinations/

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292032.htm

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians, Including Vascular Technologists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/diagnostic-medical-sonographers.htm

Fastest Growing Occupations, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_103.htm

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