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- Ultrasound and Sonography Technologies
Career Definition for Echo Vascular Technicians
The echo vascular tech's main responsibility is to execute tests (oftentimes, during surgery and post-surgery) to monitor the components of artery function, states the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These components include the patient's pulse, blood flow, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and circulation in the brain, abdomen, and periphery. Once the tests are completed and their data compiled, the vascular tech summarizes conclusions derived from the data, then presents them to the physician.
|Education||Certificate, associate's degree, bachelor's degree|
|Job Skills||Communication skills, mechanical aptitude, knowledge of the human body, teamwork|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$71,410 (for all diagnostic medical sonographers)|
|Career Outlook (2016-2026)*||23% (for all diagnostic medical sonographers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Echo vascular techs can earn from a one-year certificate to a four-year bachelor's degree, according to CAAHEP, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. As of 2016, the CAAHEP lists over 70 accredited diagnostic medical sonography programs with vascular concentrations in the U.S.
The echo vascular tech operates ultrasound equipment that bounces high-frequency waves off the body's blood vessels (except for the heart's vessels, says the Society of Vascular Ultrasound's website, www.svunet.org). The vessels' resulting echoes are represented as video images showing how the vessels are functioning. The echo vascular tech needs essentially the same skills as those of an echocardiology technician, such as thorough knowledge of Doppler ultrasound.
Future Economics and Career
Because medical technology improvements have eschewed invasive procedures in favor of less expensive noninvasive ones, vascular techs are able to pinpoint vascular disease earlier, which means more job availability and a projection of much-faster-than-average job growth of 23% in 2016 through 2026. The BLS reported in May 2017 that the median annual salary for diagnostic medical sonographers, including echo vascular techs, was $71,410.
Alternate Career Options
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With either an associate's or bachelor's degree in radiation therapy, in addition to licensing in most states, these professionals then seek jobs treating diseases, such as cancer, through the administration of radiation treatments. As of May 2017, they earned a median salary of $80,570 per year, the BLS said, and could expect faster-than-average employment growth of 13% from 2016-2026.
Nuclear Medicine Technologist
These techs earned median wages of $75,660 in 2017, according to the BLS, in jobs where they administer radioactive drugs to patients and then use a scanner to create bodily images. Their training usually involves either an associate's or bachelor's degree in this field; some states require licensing. Per the BLS, a faster-than-average increase of 10%, was projected from 2016 through 2026.