X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging are two popular medical procedures for peering inside your body. However, both post some risk to the technician due to their use of radiation or an electromagnetic field. Another method is ultrasound, which uses sound waves and is deemed safe enough for examining foetuses in the womb. Performing an ultrasound requires the technician to have special expertise.
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A medical ultrasound technician, also known as a diagnostic medical sonographer, controls special equipment, such as a transducer, to direct high-frequency sound waves into parts of a patient’s body. The resulting images can then be interpreted and examined by a physician to determine whether there are problems. Technicians can specialise in imaging the abdomen, nervous system, female reproductive system or breast.
Salary by Experience
Salaries vary by experience. According to PayScale, as of March 2010, those with less than one year of experience average £25,106 to £32,930 a year. Those with one to four years make £25,673 to £36,587. Those with five to nine years earn £29,316 to £45,770. Finally, those with 10 to 19 years are paid £35,642 to £46,353.
Pay also depends on the employer. Those who work for themselves show the highest range, from £19,370 to £48,100, according to PayScale. Those who work in a hospital earn £26,240 to £39,148. Those who work for the federal government are paid £28,829 to £40,628. Finally, those who work for a private practice are paid £30,837 to £46,906.
Though no states require ultrasound certification, many sonographers undergo voluntary certification, with some specialities earning more than others. According to PayScale, a registered diagnostic cardiac sonographer (RCDS) earns £31,742 to £58,761. A registered vascular technologist (RVT) makes £34,752 to £50,920. Finally, a registered diagnostic medical sonographer (RDMS) is paid £30,494 to £45,511.
Location of the workplace can also affect salary. Those in Seattle average £32,500 to £58,699. Those in New York earn £29,171 to £41,892. Those in Atlanta make £25,706 to £37,375. Those in Orlando get £26,826 to £54,786.
Gender influences salary, though only by about 5 per cent. Men average £28,798 to £45,682. Women make £29,274 to £43,926. A degree has a greater influence. Those with a bachelor's of science are paid £25,377 to £65,000, while those with an associate’s degree only receive £25,201 to £38,322.
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