Ultrasound is a technology that is increasingly used for non-invasive investigation of soft tissue areas of the body. It has some real advantages over other radiologic procedures in that it has relatively few harmful side-effects, even if used fairly frequently. For this reason, there is an increasing demand for good qualified Ultrasound technicians, sometimes known as diagnostic medical Sonographers.
Ultrasound technicians operate the equipment that uses sound waves to generate an image of the area of the patient's body under examination. They prepare the patient, having looked at the patient's notes, conduct the examination and then select the images that are shown to the doctor.
Training is usually in the form of courses run at ultrasound schools. These can be one year courses resulting in a certificate, or 2 or 4 year degree programs. Although there is no license required to practice as an ultrasound technician, the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers has a registration program, and many employers prefer to employ registered Sonographers.
This profession is growing, and the US Department of Labor predicts that this will continue throughout the next ten years. Salaries are around the $45,000 area, with top earnings around $60,000.