How to Become an Ultrasound Technician – Overview
How to become an ultrasound technician – Ultrasound technicians, also known as sonographers, in short, are highly specialized and intensely trained health professionals.
An ultrasound technician is most commonly associated with performing sonography during pregnancy. However, an ultrasound technician does more than just perform sonography on expecting mothers.
The career holds incredibly fruitful opportunities for hardworking, passionate aspirants.
As an ultrasound technician, you are required to perform sonography for small parts, abdomen, gynecology, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems in the body.
Who is an Ultrasound Technician?
Ultrasound technicians use special imaging equipment that works by emitting high-frequency sound waves.
These sound waves can penetrate the body but get deflected off of certain types of tissues, thus making the distinction between the different organs and tissues of the body.
If you are searching for how to become an ultrasound technician, then you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about the benefits of becoming an ultrasound technician, what are the requirements to become an ultrasound technician and the different certifications/licenses you will need to earn to become a professional ultrasound technician.
Why should you become an Ultrasound Technician?
A profession as an ultrasound technician is an incredibly great career choice. It is one of the highest-paid positions in the healthcare industry, right after doctors and surgeons, and is also one of the most versatile career choices too.
Let’s take a quick look at the reasons why you should become an ultrasound technician:
- Swift education – You are usually required to earn an Associate’s Degree, which only takes around 2 years to complete so your education does not take too long.
- Well paid – According to the latest figures by the US Bureau of Labor, the average annual salary for an ultrasound technician in the US is around US$ 75,920.
- Good scope – The US Bureau of Labor also expects the job growth to be in the double digits in the next 10 years.
The statistics show that jobs for diagnostic medical sonographers are expected to rise by 19% in the next 10 years, and will amount to over 21,000 new positions in the public and private healthcare sector.
This is a great indicator that highlights the intense fruitful potential of choosing to become an ultrasound technician.
What are the requirements to become an Ultrasound Technician?
Hard skills, as well as soft skills, are required by healthcare professionals and others in the service industry.
Hard skills are those that a professional must acquire to do their job. Soft skills, on the other hand, are the individual’s abilities to complement the hard skills.
Let’s take a quick look at the hard skills and soft skills that you need to have if you wish to become a certified ultrasound technician:
Hard Skills required for being an Ultrasound Technician
- Excellent hand-to-eye coordination
- Able to push, pull, lift over 50 lb.
- Dexterity to use imaging equipment
- Knowledge of human anatomy/physiology
- Understanding of pathophysiology
- Reading, writing and interpreting technical findings after examination
Soft Skills required for being an Ultrasound Technician
- Empathy and compassion
- Listening and communication skills
- Ability to keep a cool head under pressure
- Ethical conduct
- Being able to function as part of a team
- Independent work ethic
What are the educational requirements to be an Ultrasound Technician?
You will at least need to earn an Associate’s Degree (AA) in diagnostic medical sonography to be a certified professional ultrasound technician.
You will need to earn a certification from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) to be a professional sonographer.
Besides this, the more certificates you earn the better are your chances for job growth as an ultrasound technician.
How long does it take to be an Ultrasound Technician?
Here’s a breakdown of how long it will take you to be a certified ultrasound technician:
- Takes around 1 year to complete
- Usually crafted for current healthcare professionals and those with higher education
- Made to prepare students for entry-level sonography technician positions
- Takes around 2 years to complete
- Normally helps you earn an Associate of Applied Sciences (AAS) degree with a specialization in diagnostic medical sonography
- Helps you prepare to be a practicing sonographer
It is incredibly vital that you choose a program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) as this makes you eligible to appear for exams conducted by ARDSM or Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) organizations.
- Takes around 4 years to complete
- Helps you earn a Bachelor of Science degree with a specialization in diagnostic medical sonography
- Helps you to become a certified practicing sonographer
- Important to choose programs that are accredited through CAAHEP as this makes you eligible to appear for exams conducted by CCI organizations or ARDMS
- Additional education also helps provide aspirants with lucrative employment opportunities and apply for different specialty registry exams
If you have good hand-to-eye coordination and excellent communication skills with an analytic mindset, then you can become a well-trained and expert ultrasound technician in the US.
This is one of the most lucrative careers with extremely high growth potential.