17 Pros and Cons of Being an Ultrasound Technician

Is becoming an ultrasound technician on your radar?

You should know that a career as an ultrasound technician is filled with many positive and negative qualities.

Ultrasound technicians play a vital role in the healthcare field.

They are responsible for performing various ultrasound exams on patients.

Would it be worth it for you to pursue this profession?

The best way to find out is by weighing the pros and cons of working as an ultrasound tech.

Continue reading to learn about both the good and the bad of being an ultrasound technician to help you determine whether this is a good career choice for you.

Pros of Being an Ultrasound Technician

Here are the top advantages of being an ultrasound technician:

1. Make a Good Living

One of the biggest pros of being an ultrasound technician is that you’ll earn roughly $70,380 every year.

This salary is exceptional for those just starting in the healthcare field.

In addition, if you decide to further your education, your salary will also increase.

Working as an ultrasound technician allows you to create a comfortable life for both yourself and your family.

2. Every day is Different

Being an ultrasound technician means that you’ll never get bored, as every day will be different.

Indeed, you will come across something new every single day.

The patients that you will be performing ultrasounds on will need them for different reasons.

You may even learn something new in the process.

As your work day goes on, you’ll have varying job responsibilities that will keep you busy.  

3. Work in Varying Settings

Ultrasound technicians work in different settings, giving you the chance to experience something new.

Some of the areas that you’ll have the option to work in include outpatient units within a hospital, doctor’s offices, labs, and more.

So, what does this mean for you?

It ultimately means that if one setting doesn’t meet your expectations, you’ll have plenty of other options to try something else.  

4. Stability

If you are looking for a career that guarantees stability, working as an ultrasound technician is probably a great choice.

You can feel confident knowing that you’ll always have a job, thanks to an aging population that is now living longer.

This is mainly due to modern medicine.

Modern medicine relies on ultrasounds for medical diagnosis and interventions.

Ultrasound technician jobs are in high demand.

Openings are expected to increase by 12% by the year 2029.

Compared to other careers, this growth rate is much faster.  

5. Training Programs are Short

Once you’ve decided to become an ultrasound technician, you will be required to enroll in a training program and earn a certificate.

The good news is that these programs last anywhere from 12 to 18 months.

Overall, this is considered a short time frame.

During this time, you must dedicate yourself to receiving the training required to become an ultrasound technician.

However, you can begin working after you complete the program.

This alone is enough to motivate anyone looking to enter the healthcare field.

6. Degree can be Completed Online

Another advantage to being an ultrasound technician is that you’ll have the option to complete your degree online.

This flexibility is entirely beneficial for those who are looking to earn a degree.

Earning a degree from the comfort of your own home provides you with the opportunity to balance your personal life.

It may also be cost-effective, meaning you could save some additional funds.

There is no need to worry about spending additional fees on commuting to and from school or on gas and food.

7. Satisfaction in Helping People

If you love helping people, you’ll gain a lot of satisfaction knowing you’ll be doing just that, working as an ultrasound technician.

You’ll be working with patients from different walks of life.

You will be by the side of patients, whether they are experiencing the happiest moments or the saddest moments of their lives.

Your duty as an ultrasound technician is to help guide the right treatment plan for patients undergoing care.  

Cons of Being an Ultrasound Technician

1. Exposure to Pathogens

One of the first cons of being an ultrasound technician is that you can expose yourself to pathogens.  

Anytime you work in a healthcare setting, you take the risk of being exposed to various contagious illnesses.

Some of the patients that you are performing ultrasounds on may be infected with something that may put you at risk.

If you consider yourself a germophobe and are afraid of contracting something that you could pass on to your family, this career may not be the best choice for you.

2. You Must Complete an Internship

While you must enroll in a program to receive a certificate to become an ultrasound technician, an internship is also required.

The internship will be supervised.

You will also be working on the same schedule as the person you are shadowing.

Internships typically last anywhere from three to six months.

However, it will vary depending on the requirements of the program you enroll in.

Depending on the way you look at it, you could be working for free when just starting. 

This could be bad for someone looking to jump right into their career soon after graduating from the certification program.

3. Must be Good at Math & Science

Do you love science but hate math?

Or perhaps it’s the other way around.

If you are the type of person who excels in both math and science, this could be a very rewarding career for you.

But if you despise one or the other, you may want to rethink a career as an ultrasound technician.

That’s because you’ll be expected to pass many math and science courses throughout the program.

Some of the courses you must successfully pass are chemistry, college algebra, biology, physiology, and college physics.

4. Education Programs are not Free

Another downside of being an ultrasound technician is having to pay for the program.

Many times, these programs will not even accept financial aid, which means you must pay out of pocket or take out a loan.

Some of these programs can range in cost anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000.

Moreover, if you plan on enrolling in an associate’s or bachelor’s program, costs can exceed $45,000.

You should think hard and long about what educational route you plan on taking, so you can come up with a financial plan.

5. Unpredictable Work Schedule

Get ready to have an erratic work schedule if you plan on working as an ultrasound technician.

It’s possible that your schedule could consist of eight-hour shifts or even 12-hour shifts.

In addition, you may quickly find yourself rotating between nights, weekends, holidays, and weekdays.

However, if you land a job in an outpatient setting, you may get lucky and only have to work five days a week.

Having an unpredictable work schedule means you will miss out on various family events and more.

6. On Feet All Day

You’ll be working on your feet most of the day as an ultrasound technician.

You’ll be walking around during the scans and standing during the duration of them. 

It’s a known fact that 90 percent of sonographers experience work-related musculoskeletal conditions, according to the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

If you’re not up to being on your feet for your entire work shift, you should look into a different profession; otherwise, get ready to invest in some comfortable shoes. 

7. Maybe a Stressful Job

Deciding to make a difference in people’s lives will, at some point, be stressful.

This is mainly due to the large amount of pressure you’ll be under. 

Day by day, you’ll be responsible for taking on an extensive patient caseload.

It’s also possible that you’ll run into problematic scans.

Many times, ultrasound technicians are even called to take care of a scan on an emergency basis.

And based on your findings, it would then be determined what life-saving measures must be taken.

14 Pros and Cons of Being an Ultrasound Technician – Summary Table

Pros of Being an Ultrasound TechnicianCons of Being an Ultrasound Technician
Make a Good LivingExposure to Pathogens
Every day is DifferentYou Must Complete an Internship
Work in Varying SettingsMust be Good at Math & Science
StabilityEducation Programs are not Free
Training Programs are ShortUnpredictable Work Schedule
Degree can be Completed OnlineOn Feet All Day
Satisfaction in Helping PeopleMaybe a Stressful Job

Should You Become an Ultrasound Technician?

After looking into what is involved with being an ultrasound technician, you may have made up your mind.

If there’s one thing that does stand out, it’s probably that it’s a very active job.

If you can see yourself dealing with an erratic schedule, getting through the certification process, and paying for your education, you may be on your way to a very rewarding career.

After all, on the bright side, you’ll always have a job, and no day will be the same.

If these things sound appealing to you, you should definitely take the plunge.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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