Did you know that there are massive shortages of healthcare workers being predicted by in the next few years? That fact, combined with an aging U.S. population, means that these jobs are desperate for new recruits.
While some medical professionals require years and years of training, other careers have shorter tracks for entry-level positions. Becoming an ultrasound technician takes about two years and offers good starting pay.
Read on to learn more about ultrasound tech school and why it might be the right fit for you.
What to Expect in Ultrasound Tech School
Training to become an ultrasound technician typically takes two years as an associate’s degree is required for most positions. The coursework is heavy in the sciences, including physics, chemistry, and biology. Other courses are more specific to the job, including radiation physics, medical terminology, and patient care.
In addition to the coursework, you can expect a clinical component that allows you to gain actual hands-on experience. The total hours spent in rotations vary by program, although some states set requirements.
Is Accreditation Important?
Attending an accredited program is a requirement for many potential employers. When reviewing prospective ultrasound tech schools, you should look for accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Besides maintaining professional standards, this organization lists the schools that are accredited, and you can search it by your location.
What Else Should I Consider Besides School?
While earning an associate’s degree is often a requirement, there are other steps that make you more attractive to employers. If there’s a specific type of ultrasound you want to specialize in, the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography offers certifications that you earn by passing an exam.
To stay up to date with news and industry trends, you may also consider joining a professional organization. Besides providing news, you may have the opportunity to volunteer or do research.
What Type of Salary Can I Expect in this Field?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for diagnostic medical sonographers in 2021 was north of $60,000. While entry-level pay may not be this high, the top 10 percent of technicians earn more than $98,000 a year.
In addition to good pay, the job outlook predicts the number of positions to increase. This is due to the large number of current technicians retiring and the aging population.
Are You Ready to Start Your Ultrasound Tech Schooling?
Now that you know what it takes to become an ultrasound technician, what are you waiting for? There are plenty of job openings and the pay is great. The path is straightforward as you will need an associate’s degree from an accredited program. Enhancing your degree with certifications or by joining a professional organization is also smart.
If you found this article helpful, check out the rest of our blog for more great content about healthcare careers.