According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average pay for an ultrasound technician, aka a sonographer, in 2010 was $64,380 per year (or $30.95 per hour). This is significantly more than the national average wage of $41,673 per year or $20 per hour. On top of that, ultrasound technicians generally receive great employee benefits like insurance, holiday pay, and paid time off.
From a strictly financial point of view, being an ultrasound technician is an excellent job. But there are other things to take into consideration when choosing a career, like current and future demand for your profession. Luckily, the field of health care is one of the most stable industries in the US right now. In fact, according to BLS, it’s projected to generate more jobs than any other industry by 2016, adding about 3 million more jobs to the market. Ultrasound jobs in particular are expected to grow by 44 percent between 2010 and 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. And as ultrasound technology evolves and improves, it’ll become a more common method used to assist in diagnosing medical conditions, favored over more invasive procedures.
These advancements in medical technology will not only increase the range of ultrasound’s uses, it will also make ultrasound equipment less expensive and thus more readily available outside of hospitals. This will increase the number of ultrasound jobs in smaller medical centers and physician offices. Aside from all the financial and practical benefits, being an ultrasound technician is also personally rewarding. You have a chance to not only save actual lives, but you get to show a new mother her baby’s face or heartbeat for the very first time. Also, making an accurate diagnosis from a difficult to read scan can be challenging and extremely satisfying.
A highly paid, high demand, personally satisfying job is what everyone wants. But this one isn’t as difficult to achieve as it may seem. You can enter the field as an ultrasound technician with only an associate’s degree. Two years of education under your belt, and you can be taking advantage of all the benefits listed above.