Do You Need a Degree to Be an Ultrasound Technician?

Considering a career in ultrasound? You may be wondering if you need a degree to be an ultrasound technician. The answer is not as simple as a yes or no.

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What is an Ultrasound Technician?

An ultrasound technician, also known as a diagnostic medical sonographer, is a professional who uses special equipment to create images of the human body. Ultrasound technicians can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private practices.

The job description

An ultrasound technician, also known as a diagnostic medical sonographer, is a medical professional who uses special equipment to create images of the human body. These images are used by physicians to diagnose and treat medical conditions.

Ultrasound technicians typically work in hospitals, clinics, and private medical practices. They may also work in research facilities or for companies that manufacture ultrasound equipment.

Most ultrasound technicians have at least an associate’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography. Some employers may require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree. Ultrasound technicians must also be licensed or certified by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).

The work environment

An ultrasound technician, also known as a diagnostic medical sonographer, is a medical professional who uses special equipment to create images of the human body. These images are used by physicians to diagnose and treat medical conditions.

Ultrasound technicians typically work in hospitals, clinics, or private medical offices. They may also work in mobile units that travel to different locations, such as nursing homes or patient homes.

Most ultrasound technicians work full time. Some may work evenings or weekends to accommodate patients’ schedules. Some technicians may be on call for emergencies.

What are the requirements to become an Ultrasound Technician?

An ultrasound technician, also known as a diagnostic medical sonographer, is a professional who uses diagnostic imaging equipment to create images of the human body. Ultrasound technicians do not need to have a formal education beyond a high school diploma, but many employers prefer to hire those who have completed a postsecondary certificate or associate degree program in diagnostic medical sonography.

Education

In order to become an ultrasound technician, also called a diagnostic medical sonographer, you will need to have at least an Associate’s Degree in diagnostic medical sonography. However, many employers prefer or require their employees to have a Bachelor’s Degree in the field.

There are many accredited ultrasound technician schools across the country that can offer you the education and training you need to become a qualified professional. Upon completing your chosen program, you will need to earn passing scores on both the physics and general portions of the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) exam in order to earn your professional certification and begin working as an ultrasound technician.

High school

In order to become an ultrasound technician, also called a diagnostic medical sonographer, you will need to complete high school. You do not need to complete a degree, but you will need to have completed high school or the equivalent, such as a GED.

Postsecondary education

In most cases, you’ll need at least an Associate’s degree to qualify for certification and entry-level positions as an ultrasound technician. Some employers may require a Bachelor’s degree, however. A few schools offer 2-year Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography programs, but most students complete a traditional 4-year Bachelor’s degree before entering the field.

Certification

In order to work as an ultrasound technician, also known as a sonographer, you will need to earn certification from an accredited program. Although certification is not required in all states, most employers prefer or require it. Certification from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) is the gold standard in the field. To become certified, you will need to complete an accredited educational program and pass an examination administered by the ARDMS.

Licensure

Ultrasound technicians, also called diagnostic medical sonographers or cardiovascular technologists, are responsible for using sonographic equipment to create images of patients’ internal organs and blood flow. Most states regulate the use of this type of equipment, so licensure is required in order to work as an ultrasound technician. Specific requirements vary by state, but they generally include completing an accredited diagnostic medical sonography program and passing a national certification exam.

What are the skills that an Ultrasound Technician needs?

Ultrasound technicians, also called diagnostic medical sonographers, use high-frequency sound waves, or ultrasound, to capture live images from inside the human body. This technology helps doctors to diagnose and treat a variety of medical conditions. While no formal degree is required to become an ultrasound technician, there are some skills that are necessary for success in this field.

Critical thinking

Ultrasound technicians, also called diagnostic medical sonographers, use imaging equipment to provide live pictures of the inside of patients’ bodies for physicians and other health practitioners. They prepare patients for procedures, identify which body parts will be imaged, operate the equipment, maintain patient records and explain procedures to patients. In some cases, they assist physicians during exams by providing them with real-time images.

Interpersonal skills

As an ultrasound tech, you’ll be working closely with patients, so it’s important that you have strong interpersonal skills. You’ll need to be able to put patients at ease, explain procedures clearly and answer any questions they have. You’ll also need to be able to work well as part of a team, as you’ll be working closely with other healthcare professionals.

Manual dexterity

Ultrasound technicians, also called diagnostic medical sonographers, use imaging equipment to create pictures and video of patients’ internal body tissues. The skills that an ultrasound technician needs include good manual dexterity, critical-thinking abilities and the ability to take clear and concise images.

What are the salary and job outlook for an Ultrasound Technician?

An ultrasound technician (sonographer) uses diagnostic ultrasonic equipment to create images of patients’ internal organs, fetuses, and blood flow. The median annual wage for diagnostic medical sonographers was $72,510 in May 2019. Job outlook for diagnostic medical sonographers is much faster than average at 17 percent from 2018 to 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Salary

In May 2019, the median annual salary for diagnostic medical sonographers was $74,320, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Sonographers who worked in physicians’ offices had a median salary of $73,870, while those employed in general medical and surgical hospitals earned a median salary of $75,780.

Job outlook

Employment of diagnostic medical sonographers is projected to grow 14 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. The growth of the middle-aged and elderly population will lead to an increase in medical conditions that require diagnostic imaging, such as heart disease and cancer.

As the baby-boom population ages, there will be an increasing need for diagnostic medical sonographers to perform ultrasound exams on patients with degenerative diseases of the musculoskeletal system, such as arthritis andotitis media (inflammation of the middle ear).

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