Working as an Ultrasound Technician

If you are thinking of a job in the medical field, you should consider becoming an ultrasound technician.  This is one of the fastest growing careers in medicine, and the outlook for this job is excellent for the next several decades.  Of course, it is always possible (and probable) that new methods of using radiation to diagnose problems will be developed, so the number of available openings could even go up!  Read on for a description of this career.

As an ultrasound technician, you would be responsible for using a sonogram machine to create an image of the inside of a person’s body.  This is commonly used in pregnancy, but it is also useful for any issue that requires an image of the soft tissues of the human body, such as lung scans or bladder or intestinal issues.  The machine works by using a type of paddle that you hold against the person’s body, and the machine sends sound waves into the tissues, and then measures how they are reflected back.  The machine then takes that complicated data and interprets it in a way that allows the machine to create a picture of what the structures and tissues are like inside the body.  The image will be interpreted by a doctor, so this job does not require you to make any type of actual diagnosis, but you do need to know enough about the body to make sure that you are creating a useful image.

The average ultrasound technician salary in the United States as of 2010 is approximately $60,000 per year, although some technicians are able to command salaries of about twice that amount, if they have specialized in a certain area such as cardiac or prenatal ultrasound.  Also, if you work in a large hospital or other large facility, it is likely that you will make somewhat more than average.

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