Ultrasound Technician salary
If you are looking for a job that is financially rewarding while at the same time allows you to provide medical service to people, then a career as ultrasound technician might appeal to you. Not only does the job provide competitive salary, it also offers excellent career advancement opportunities. Typically, novice technicians earn about $40,000 to $55,000 per annum. If one has been in the industry for almost four years but less than 10 years, the ultrasound tech can expect up to a little over $60,000 per year. Those who are far more experienced generally earn more than $75,000 yearly. And depending on other factors, technicians can still further increase their income capacity.
Factors Affecting a sonographer's Salary
Changes in salary depend largely on the following factors:
Education. Your level of education is the number one determining factor whether or not you will get a high salary. Definitely, the higher educational level you have attained, the higher your chances of receiving bigger pay. For instance, a graduate with a bachelor's degree in Ultrasound Technician will receive a higher salary than someone who completed a one-year vocational certificate as an Ultrasound Technologist. Likewise, if you graduated in a reputable school that produces excellent graduates, your school's reputation can also help increase your chances of receiving higher rate and where you can find a job.
Level of experience. Expectedly, someone who has been in the medical industry working as a sonographer, another term used in place of ultrasound technician, earns higher than a beginner does. According to studies conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, sonographers with more than 15 years of experience can earn as much as $90,000 per year on top of benefits and other job rewards.
On the other hand, those who are just starting a career as a technician receive about $18.00 an hour. However, this rate can increase to $27.00 or more per hour as one gains more medical experience.
Specializations. Technicians who specialize in specific fields of ultrasound such as obstetrics and gynecology, breast sonography, and neurosonography, among others, receive a higher compensation primarily because of the specialized training they received.
Type of practice. Another factor that determines salary is the type of practice one is engaged in. If you opt for private practice, then the income is much higher than those who opt to work in hospitals. However, the downside to this is you have higher overhead expenses because you have to take care of location, buy your own equipment, and pay for bills and salaries, if you have employees working for you.
Location of practice. Geographical location also affects the income of ultrasound technicians. According to studies, Texas is among the States that pay the lowest rate for sonographers ($24,000 - $70,000), while New York ranks as one of the States that pay the highest (at $35,000 - $115,000). California and Pennsylvania are among the States that pay the median rate ($36,000 - $80,000).
How to Increase your pay
To give yourself higher income opportunities, your best options include:
Further studies. If you graduated from a vocational school, aim at achieving higher educational level – from associate's degree to a bachelor's degree. If time and resources permit, get yourself trained at specialized medical fields such as vascular sonography, cardiosonography, and neurosonography, among others, instead of concentrating on the fundamental ultrasound tasks alone.
Keep your registration active. Sonographers do not need a license to practice their profession. However, it is required that they maintain their registration active by completing continuing-education hours.
Ultrasound technician salary is among the most competitive in the medical profession. It is lucrative financially, and although money is not the sole basis to stay in a particular job, it helps in giving you a different sense of fulfillment for being able to help others.
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References & Further Information:
Bureau of Labour Statistics - www.bls.gov
Society of Medical Sonography - www.sdms.org