Betwixt the career paths of an Ultrasound Technician and a Radiology Technician there are many similarities, which is why a lot of people who have little experience or knowledge about all things medical might get them confused. Typically the level of education is the same; an Associate’s Degree in ultrasonography and radiology place them as educationally equal but in different fields.
What exactly is an “ultrasound technician”? a “radiological technician”?
Ultrasound techs are also referred to as ultrasonographers, as the equipment they work with works differently than that of a radiological tech. As the “sono” part of this title refers to sound waves, the ultrasound equipment uses sound waves to travel through the body to get clear images of what the ultrasonographer is trying to see and record.
Radiological technicians work with X-ray waves that travel all the way through the body being scanned and create an image of the scanned part. The danger in this field is greater than that of an ultrasound tech because radiology blasts the body more harshly to get a perfectly clear image of things that are broken or damaged. Because of the higher dangers, pregnant women are not allowed to be near any radiological equipment at all. Many of them work in X-ray labs and make scans of limbs and other injuries looking for signs of impact and fractures.
What kind of schooling do you need and how much does it cost?
While an ultrasound tech only needs two years of schooling, it is possible to get a four year degree as well, as long as it’s from an acceptable college of ultrasonography or ultrasonography program. Online programs for the degree are now also available, but you would have to check the job requirements in your state to verify if an online degree would be acceptable to future employers. The educational expenses for this degree vary depending on the length of time in school and whether the candidate pursues an Associate’s or Bachelor’s, but the average cost is approximately $40,000.
A radiological technician needs a minimum of two years as well, although an advanced four year degree brings more options and higher wages, as to be expected. Again, the stipulations for education vary by state, and the average is about $45-50,000 for their education because of the safety issues involved. Specialized areas also exist for a radiosonographer, as they are sometimes called. There’s also an abbreviated education option in some states referred to as “limited scope of practice”, but that pretty much says it all right there. There are several scholarships available for Radiology Nursing students.
How much does an ultrasound technicians make?
The average salary of an ultrasound tech/ultrasonographer is a little over $57,000 annually. . Additional certifications and specializations beyond the degree and licensing add to the expense but also raise the salary. Many women are familiar with ultrasound techs as they specialize in obstetrics and abdominal ultrasound, and this is where many ultrasound techs are hired on.
How much does a radiology technicians make?
For a radiological tech/radiosonographer, the median salary is $53,000, although some with advanced skills and certifications can earn $70,000 or more. This places it in direct line with base salary being slightly more or less than an ultrasonographer, so it clearly depends on which field you would rather pursue.