The ultrasound field is growing, and the burgeoning retiree class will require even more qualified experts in the coming years. In addition, researchers are finding new methods of using ultrasound machines to diagnose problems. Those entering the field can expect stable, well-paying jobs. However, determining a fair salary can be difficult and is dependant on a number of factors.
Where you work will have a significant impact on what salary you can expect. In general, big cities provide better salaries than small cities, but the regional differences are perhaps the most important. Those who live in the Northeast or on the West Coast will generally attract higher salaries than those who live in the South or the Midwest. However, the cost of living in high-salary regions tends to be higher, so technicians with lower salaries still might have more disposable income. Before moving to a new region in pursuit of a better salary, calculate whether you'll have more money after you factor in higher home prices, higher taxes and the higher cost of day-to-day items.
Enrolling in ultrasound programs and working hard during your classes will prepare you for the field, but training and experience will make you a better technician. Not everything can be taught while you're a student, and what you learn on the job will help differentiate you from other applicants. In general, experienced technician will make more than new technicians in specific regions. However, education matters as well; schools sometimes offer certification courses that can help you learn advanced techniques, and earning other medical degrees can help you push for, and receive, higher salaries.
Supply and Demand
On the national level, there is fairly high demand for ultrasound technicians. As the large Baby Boomer generation enters retirement, more ultrasound technicians will be needed to meet demand, and salaries are expected to rise as a result. However, these factors are also relevant on a local level. In areas where there is more demand for technicians than there are technicians available, it is easier to find high-salary positions; in areas where there are more technicians than people demand, salaries tend to be lower. Sometimes, relocated to a new area can lead to a significant salary increase.
The ultrasound field is booming, and better technology combined with more research is allowing technicians to see better images than ever before. In addition, more schools are offering ultrasound degrees, which helps make the field more accessible. The diagnostic power of ultrasound machines will only improve in the future, and those who know how to use them will set themselves up for a lucrative, exciting career. Fortunately, salaries are expected to rise in all regions and for all skill levels.