Did you know that ultrasound technician employment will grow by at least 10% from 2021 to 2031, with over 10,000 job openings yearly?
If you’re looking to become an ultrasound technician, you’ll have plenty of career opportunities. However, it can be difficult to know where to start the process. The good news is, learning more about ultrasound technicians and the educational requirements will get you moving in the right direction.
Keep reading this guide to learn everything you need to know about becoming an ultrasound technician!
What Does an Ultrasound Technician Do?
An ultrasound tech uses specialized medical equipment to capture internal images with sound waves. These images include organs and other internal structures like:
- Breast tissue
- Abdominal cavity
- Cardiovascular system
- Connective tissue
Ultrasound technicians need to be able to explain the procedure to their patients and obtain a thorough medical history. They also maintain equipment, medical records and order supplies.
There are also different areas you can specialize in. For example, you can specialize in critical care, obstetrics, or pediatrics. In addition, there are cardiovascular and abdominal ultrasound technicians.
How to Become an Ultrasound Technician
If you’re interested in becoming an ultrasound technician, you’ll need to take specific steps, which include:
Determine the Level of Education You’ll Need
First, you’ll need to get training in ultrasound technology. You can enroll in different programs, but most people typically begin with a two-year associate degree. An associate’s degree allows people to enter the workforce quickly to gain experience.
You can also earn a bachelor’s degree or specialize in a specific area. For example, you can take these courses for critical care ultrasound.
You’ll need a high school diploma or GED to enroll in an ultrasound training program. Additionally, you’ll take courses like:
- Medical terminology
- Hands-on clinical courses
Pursue Ultrasound Certification
Once you earn your degree, you can take a certification exam. The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) provides certification for ultrasound technicians.
You’ll need to complete specific education and training requirements and pass an exam. Four states require you to have a license to practice as an ultrasound technician, which includes:
- New Mexico
- New Hampshire
- North Dakota
You’ll need a certification to obtain a license, but certification is not necessary for other states. However, employers are more likely to hire you if you’re certified. You’ll also gain more knowledge in the field.
Once you complete your education, you’ll need to search for a job. Most of the time, you’ll find jobs in clinics, hospitals, or public health facilities.
As a new ultrasound technician, you’ll have an easier time finding a job in a doctor’s office or a hospital.
You can also attend career fairs to see who is hiring in your area. Volunteering to gain experience in a healthcare setting is also a good idea.
Becoming an Ultrasound Technician
Now that you know what it takes to become an ultrasound technician, you can start your ultrasound career journey today.
Take your time to thoroughly research degree programs and decide which area you want to specialize in.
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