Ultrasound technicians passing out from college now have a wide array of degree choices in front of them that include bachelor’s master’s and these degrees can be research oriented and can further be pursued to fetch a doctorate of Sonography degree. So what exactly motivates students to pursue 5 year or beyond degree? Is it Personal motivation? Is it the will to succeed? Or is it something to do at their professional career? The reasons can be multitude of them but the final detrimental factor is always the salary. What has a say in one’s career is the salary, his success is decided on how much he earns and that is something that each ultrasound technician should focus on if not having done that already. Salary is a complex dependant variable which varies with each independent factor either directly or indirectly. Here in this very article we will unravel each factors and dissect these complex array’s for a simplified understanding which is meant to fetch an ultrasound technician salary at the acme of the Pay Hike Curve.
Salary information contrary to layman’s knowledge is not simple Financial figure but an agglomeration of several convoluted factors which involves science, economics, human resource and technological developments which together form the end result called – SALARY In Order to understand these we need to understand and develop a broad outlook on the various factors that govern salary and how its affected likewise. You needn’t be an engineer to understand this; all you need to have is a broad mind which can analyze the systematic functioning of today’s medical industry and future prospects of diagnostic imaging. As we all know doctors cannot do without diagnosis, without diagnosis no medications can be prescribed and the patient will continue to suffer, it’s a domino effect and thus realizing how vital diagnosis is to medicine the people involved in diagnosis like sonographers are paid an attractive sum which would pursue them to take this as a futuristic venture. But make no mistake not all sonographers are paid same, some can work with a meager income while others can be paid as high as the doctor himself? So what forms these loose ends across pay scale and how to end up from the bottom of the ladder to the top is what this article is all about.
Analyzing Salary Statistics beyond Conventional Wisdom:
We would often have come across information like these mentioned below
“According to the Occupational Employment Statistics provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ultrasound technicians annually receive an average salary of $63,650.”
So what does this mean, does this mean that after completing a Ultrasound Degree course, a candidate may expect salary range of $60, 000? No, definitely not, the words we need to focus on while reading such data are words like “Average “etc. Average is just an indication of two extreme values (Smallest and Largest) which are added together and then divided by total number of net individuals. It just gives the salary information as a consummate level but not on an individual level. There are ultrasound technicians working with salary as low as $30, 000 as revealed in next few sections.
The other line which is popular among salary articles are the median wage
For E.G “ According to t data collected in May, 2008 the Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles reveals information that median annual earnings of diagnostic medical sonographers were $61,980”.
Median like average too is a consummate value and not an individual value, it is calculated based on percentile with the top 10 %, bottom 10% and middle value across this with the 50th percentile. Maybe the graph below would give a better understanding on what median is all about
Statistics such as these often fail to give the true picture and further fail to mention the variables taken into account while performing these statistics, salary is dependent on number of attributes such as experience, location, skill sets , academic qualifications, licensed registry etc , statistics should normalize all these values and group them accordingly and only then can we really know how much exactly can a potential sonographer candidate really earn?
Statistics such as these seldom are done on a normalized scale for statistics vary from region to region, company to company which we will discuss later. While it’s important to reiterate that surveys conducted do not give us misleading data, it’s often that these data can be misinterpreted by a layman until and unless he really acknowledges the fact that these data are representation of the population and do not apply individually.
Actual Salary Representation on Individual Level:-
The actual salary guide to give on an individual level is one that can normalize all factors and is conducted on par keeping all factors equal and then gauging at a percentile based level.
For Eg: – As of 2010, the salary of an entry level Ultrasound technician in Florida working in public hospitals was found to be $57, 783 per year. Among the data accumulated on the salary graph the middle 50th percentile of the sonographers made between $ 55, 653 to $67, 437, while the bottom 10 percent of the sonographers had salary range less than $52, 073 while the top 10 percent of sonographers made more than $70,585 per year.
Thus it is possible to calculate how much an individual can expect at an entry level, the difference is not as large and we can safely conclude an entry level ultrasound technician can earn somewhere around $60, 000 based on the evidence provided above.
Factors Affecting Ultrasound Technician’s Salary:-
1) Skill Set and Added Responsibilities: Sonographers require a multitude of skill set ranging from image analysis to equipment maintenance to patient record maintenance, the more diverse an ultrasound tech skill sets are the more is his salary.
2) Education: Healthcare facilities and State Government run Hospitals stipulate that only academically qualified individuals be hired; private run hospitals too are no different. Salary and Work profile are designated according to the highest basic educational qualification of a Ultrasound Technician. Higher the degree higher is the pay. Thus a graduate who has done Sonography course is more likely to get higher pay than someone who has done just one year vocational course in ultrasound technology. There are various other supplementary factors included within education such as a graduate from a highly reputed and accredited university would get better salary package than his contradictory. 3) Experience: - The more the years of experience for a Sonographer, more is his pay. Entry level sonographers are paid less than a 5 year experienced ultrasound technician and 5 year experienced Sonographer is paid less when compared to a 10 year old sonographer. And it is for this very reason that freshly passed graduates opt for internship program or hands on working experience programs where in they gain the relevant experience to forward their career ladder.Image Courtesy: – http://salarydetails.com/ultrasound-technician-salary/
4) Specialized Fields and Adequate training: There are various specialized fields within sonography where in an ultrasound tech can opt for further training specialized to only that field such as cardiovascular, phleboby, vascular sonography etc. According to data revealed by Indeed. Com vascular sonography and radiology sonographers are amongst the highest paid ultrasound technicians.
5) Getting Certified and Obtaining License:- Ultrasound technicians once have obtained their academic degree in an accredited college are eligible to appear in national certificate exam such as ARDMS, and on whose successful completion they become certified sonographers such as Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer and obtain government approved license to practice, these licensed practitioners get higher wages than non certified practitioners, and most of the salary is often specified in the basic range stipulated by the government itself .
6) Location: - Geographical Location plays a determining factor in pay scale; a Sonographer practicing in North America is less likely to earn more than a fellow sonographer in the U.S. Within U.S, the salary differs from State to State and City to City the median salary of a Sonographer working in South Dakota is less than the potential median salary he would be earning if he were working in Washington D.C . 7) Gender:- Though healthcare industries do not have a gender based discrimination , some are male dominated like Sonography as it requires manual labor at times and as such it was found that males were paid significantly than females.
8) Type of Practice:- Another determining factor for salary is the that determines salary is the type of practice along with the work place you opt for. If you are involved in private practice in private healthcare units, then the income is substantially higher than those who work in public funded hospitals.
Ultrasound Salary Based on Titles:-
Salary is dependent on the work profile a Sonographer chooses to work, according to Indeed.com, In the data gathered a Sonographer either as Nuclear Medical Technician or as Vascular Technician earn the highest among the lot accounting to $72, 000 and $71, 000 respectively while an Ultrasound Technician working as Ophthalmology Assistant Technician earns the least with the salary wage of $30, 000Source :- Indeed. Com// http://www.indeed.com/salary/Ultrasound-Technician.html
How Sonographers Increase Your Pay?
Sonographers can choose to increase their pay by considering the following options
Further Studies and Training: If you are graduate from a vocational school, you can choose to pursue further education through online schools and get additional aim at achieving higher educational level – from associate’s degree to a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in Ultrasound Technology, nuclear medical sonography, cardiosonography, and neurosonography, among others.
Keeping License/ Registration active: Sonographers though not mandatory do require license for advanced career prospects and whose registry can be renewed every two years by clearing national certification exams and completing continued education hours.
What’s shining in Sonography Related Jobs?
With the demand ever increasing in healthcare sector, salary and pay scale offered are substantially higher, diagnostic medicine is vital and will continue to be so in the future as well, hence security and stability accompany this jog promising a good growth that attends to a wide variety of opportunities and diverse range of work related designations.
What’s to watch out for in Sonography Job?
Some days can prove to be very high on nerves draining a Sonographer both physically and mentally , is a profession where there is little room for errors and any miniscule errors can prove career ending.
Sonographer :- Added Benefits and Bonuses
Apart from the income Ultrasound technicians also have added advantage of working in a great professional work environment. More than 60 % of sonographers work in hospitals which is a great place to advance future career prospects in diagnostic medicine and research? While 24 % work in doctor’s offices gaining invaluable experience and also understanding diagnostic medicine better.
The Sonography salary offers great benefits such as medical insurance, paid leaves, family insurance coverage’s, pension etc. Currently in the U.S, there are more than 55,000 ultrasound technician jobs. And it is estimated by 2020 the job market for ultrasound technicians are expected to grow by further 50% with wages expected to grow by additional 12%.