Ultrasound Technician

An ultrasound technician is a skilled member of the medical community who sets up and does ultra sound imaging to help doctors follow a pregnancy or diagnosis certain disorders. While more than half of the ultrasound technicians are employed by hospitals, these skilled professionals also may work in private medical practices, public health facilities and other medical type settings.

There are also a variety of local programs available for ultrasound technicians to get their training through. These settings include hospitals, vocational schools, community colleges, universities, and the military.

Along with class room training in order to become a licensed ultrasound technician, you will need to get actual ultrasound imaging experience either through your educational program or through an internship with a cooperating medical facility.

Ultrasound Technician Job Description

Many ultrasound technicians specialize in specific fields of ultrasound imaging. Some of these specialties may include; obstetrics, neurological, and breast imaging. Once you have completed your course of study and received some type of hands on experience or training then you can sit for the ARDMS certification exam. Although this exam is optional taking it not only shows perspective employers that you are serious about your career, but it may be a requirement for some jobs.

Currently there is an increasing demand for ultrasound technicians so this is a great time for those considering this profession to go back to school and get the need training for a career in this field. Salaries for this position start at around $26.00 per hour and increase depending on the area and field in which you choose to work as well as the amount of experience you may have.

While in many cases, ultrasound technicians work set hours there are times when you may be required to work weekends and evenings in the course of your job. Besides, being able to perform the requirements of the actual job, those technicians who are most successful are good when dealing with people and have the ability to be compassionate and professional at the same time.

Being able to remain calm and answer patients’ questions is essential in allowing you to perform your tasks while giving the patients the reassurance they need.

Ultrasound technicians are a respected and valued member of the medical community and are treated as such by other medical personnel. If you are considering a career as an ultrasound technician you will need to have a good basic background in anatomy and physiology and a number of other subjects as well.

Keeping abreast of what is happening in the field or ultra sound technology will help you to advance in your career.

Again, it is important to research this career completely and to make sure that this line of work will be something you are willing to do for the rest of your life. The benefits are substantial, but there is a lot of hard work that will be required.

Ultrasound Technician Educational Requirements

Ultrasound technician educational requirements will generally consist of a two year Associate degree in which a person will learn how to operate the sonogram and ultrasound equipment. The person will also learn how to read sonograms and how to listen for heartbeats and to tell if the baby is developing properly.

The student will also be required to learn advanced medical terms and will be required to learn about the development of the baby in the womb, as well as learning aspects of the mother’s health. 

Ultrasound technician educational options also offer four year Bachelor degrees which will train the person to be fully prepared to enter into this industry. The person who pursues a Bachelor degree will have more employment opportunities available to him or her and a bigger chance to earn a significantly higher income.

Some nursing assistants and certified nurse’s aides, as well as Licensed Vocational Nurses will have an opportunity to pursue an Associate or Bachelor degree if they find that they want to advance to become an ultrasound technician. The pay for an ultrasound tech is much higher than the average LVN salary.

People with previous medical experience or medical assisting experience, will often adjust well and quickly be able to be efficient and successful as a sonogram or ultrasound technician. Medical billing and coding specialists also adjust quickly to an ultrasound profession.

Ultrasound Technician Work Environment

The work environment for an ultrasound technician is professional and high-tech. Ultrasound technicians spend many hours working on their feet and often work in hospital and medical clinic environments.

Medical scrubs are required by most places where ultrasound techs are employed and it is important to wear sturdy and supportive shoes due to the amount of time spent on your feet.

Ultrasound techs do not always have regularly-scheduled hours as emergencies arise on a daily basis, sometimes several times a day, and technicians must be available to take sonogram and ultrasound readings.

Working in a medical clinic or hospital can be fast-paced and stressful. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to keep up with the demanding hours and work schedule.

Ultrasound Technician Jobs

Ultrasound technicians are in high demand and the job security is top-notch. After several years of being employed with the same hospital or company as a sonogram or ultrasound tech, a person can expect to earn an extremely lucrative income with an exceptional benefits package. 

Ultrasound techs work closely with patients and discuss concerns and give basic care tips to pregnant mothers. They also work closely with nurses, doctors, and radiology units to ensure that the patient is being well cared for.

An ultrasound technician is one who is expert in taking images of the human body for diagnosing any abnormalities. One can become eligible to become an ultrasound technician if he has received an ultrasound technician degree and American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers credential.

Searching an ultrasound technician jobs can be done through any of the following methods: online search, placement offices and personal research and networking. Recently, searching jobs over the internet has become very popular There are many sites where one can register the details to get a job.

One has to use different keywords in order to make their job hunting more effective. You can register in the placement offices to get information about the local employers. All the jobs are not listed in the boards and in the offices. To get many opportunities you can contact the HR of the company directly.

The requirements of an ultrasound technician include physical ability, communication skills, technical skills and team work. Sonographers have to stand for long periods of time. They need to have good eyesight and hearing to interpret the data from the machine. They also need to transport the patient from one bed to the other.

Communication skills are very important since the sonographers have to explain the procedures to the patients. The technician does more physical work. They lift moderate weights and help patients shift tables. They have good hearing and visual ability in order to distinguish between the different colors and sounds produced while taking images.

Ultrasound Technician Salary

The demand for ultrasound technicians have been growing in the future since they play an important role in diagnosing and interpreting the disorders in the patients. Almost every hospital has an ultrasound technician.

It is expected that the demand for these technicians will increase about 20 percent in a year. The annual salary for the ultrasound technicians is about $65,000. The salary is expected to rise with the increasing demand for these technicians in the future.

An average annual salary of an ultrasound tech is $65,000 according to the survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor. This figure will grow about 44 % between the years 2010 to 2020. An average hourly ultrasound tech salary is $31.35 per hour. The lowest paid in this profession makes $44,900 per year while the highest paid in this profession makes $88,490. The average or middle paid in this profession make between $61,500 and $ 74,000 per year.

Ultrasound Techs: Overview

Average Salary $65,000 per year
Entry-level education Associate’s degree
On-the-job training No
Primary employers Hospitals
Job Growth (2010-2020) 44% (Very fast)
New positions (2010-2020) +23,400
Number of positions (U.S.) 53,700

Ultrasound tech’s don’t get bonuses on their salary, however, there are some other benefits like pension, paid vacations, insurance, and many other facilities.

Ultrasound Tech Salary By Employer Type

In general, hospitals, ultrasound tech salary is $65,900 while schools, colleges and universities pay about $74,550. Hospitals give 32,900 jobs, but pay substantially very low salaries. On the other hand, outpatient centers and schools are the highest paying industries as they offer a figure of 1250 and 630 jobs.


Industry Sector


Offices of Physicians


General Medical & Surgical Hospitals


Outpatient Care Centers


Colleges, Universities & Professional Schools


Medical & Diagnostic Laboratories


Ultrasound tech salary pretty much depends on many factors like experience, credentials, education, and whether you’ll be working in a public or private institution, and certainly more experience and better qualifications will command a higher salary.

Factors Affecting Ultrasound Tech Salary


Experience is a major reason in any field, The more experience you have, the higher your salary will be. It goes for the ultrasound tech’s field too, A fresh ultrasound tech will earn around $45,000 however, it’s salary will increase quickly with the experience and continued education. The majority of ultrasound tech’s who are earning more than $65,000 yearly are over the age of 50.

Ultrasound Tech Salary By Experience

Experience Level

Low Annual

High Annual

0-1 Year



1-5 Years



5-10 Years



10-20 Years



20 Years +



Ultrasound Tech’s who have worked for a minimum of 5 years can fairly expect to earn $40,000 to $65,000 yearly and who have experience of 20 or more years can earn about $100,000 or more annually.

You are going to be worth more than someone who only has classroom experience, if you worked in a hospital during the time you were in school. Your work history is important also if it’s not dependable and solid. All these small details will go into what employers would prefer to pay you more.


To become an ultrasound tech, you must complete a two-year allied health degree and then take a one-year accredited ultrasound technology program. Another way is to complete entry-level, education (high school course in science, anatomy or math) and then apply for an associate degree which lasts for two-years.


When you are accredited, you can get a lot of different certifications. Certificates also play a big role in your salary package. The better your certifications, the greater useful you’re to a employer.

Special Areas of Practice

Techs who specialize in particular fields of ultrasound like gynecology and obstetrics, neurosonography, breast sonography, and others, get a better payout simply because of the specialized training they acquire.


Ultrasound tech salary also depends upon state to state and metropolitan cities, even if the position of the job is same.

  • Ultrasound Tech Salary by State to State

Ultrasound tech salary varies from state to state within the United States. The top paying states are California, Washington, Oregon, Connecticut, Massachusetts. California has the highest average salary, i.e. $84,220 followed by other states mentioned below.


Top Paying States

California: $84,220

Oregon: $81,010

Washington: $79,980

Massachusetts: $78,450

Connecticut: $78,430

  • Ultrasound Tech Salary by Metropolitan Cities

Metropolitan Cities offer higher salaries as compared to non-metropolitan cities. Cities in California are in the top ten average salary list. Top five places are dominated by California cities while Norwich-New London, Connecticut is at #6. At #10 is Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Washington.


Top Paying Metropolitan Areas

San José, CA: $107,150

San Francisco, CA: $103,430

Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, CA: $102,850

Santa-Rosa-Petaluma, CA: $95,810

Norwich-New London, CT-RI: $95,420