What Can You Expect From an Ultrasound Tech Travel Job: Outlook and Salary?

What Can You Expect From an Ultrasound Tech Travel Job: Outlook and Salary?

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In this article, we dive into the specifics of one of the most rewarding allied health professions in the medical field - the ultrasound technician or sonographer, and more importantly, the role they play in travel assignments. We investigate their responsibilities, the necessary proficiency and experience needed for high-quality performance, their assistants' roles and job outlooks. Also, we delve into an analysis of their salary expectations and compare these with other professionals in the allied travel industry. For those interested in this challenging and fulfilling career as a travel healthcare professional, this comprehensive guide provides detailed insights and necessary considerations.

What is a Travel Ultrasound Tech Job?

A travel ultrasound tech is a medical imaging professional who takes temporary assignments around the country. Travel techs fill short-term staffing needs at healthcare facilities like hospitals, clinics, and imaging centers. They help provide continuous coverage when there are vacations, illnesses, or staff shortages.

Travel ultrasound tech jobs typically last around 13 weeks. Assignments can range from a few weeks to several months. Travelers get paid a weekly stipend on top of their regular pay to cover housing, meals, and transportation costs while on assignment.

As a travel tech, you get the opportunity to work in different settings and locations. It allows you to gain experience with diverse patient populations, procedures, and equipment. Traveling exposes you to the latest ultrasound technology and innovations.


What Does an Ultrasound Tech Do in Travel Assignments?

A travel ultrasound tech performs the same duties as a staff tech. Their main role is conducting diagnostic imaging exams using ultrasound equipment. This involves:

  • Preparing patients for procedures
  • Operating ultrasound machines to obtain quality images
  • Analyzing diagnostic images
  • Providing a summary of findings to physicians
  • Documenting results in patient records

Travel techs need to adapt to new hospital protocols and workflows at each assignment. They should be comfortable learning new ultrasound machines and PACS systems on the fly.

What Qualities Are Needed to Perform High Quality Ultrasounds?

To produce accurate and reliable ultrasound results, travel techs need:

  • Technical skills - Operating ultrasound equipment and PACS/reporting systems
  • Hand-eye coordination - Carefully manipulating the transducer to capture optimal images
  • Communication skills - Explaining procedures to patients and collaborating with physicians
  • Analytical ability - Evaluating ultrasound images to identify abnormalities
  • Attention to detail - Producing meticulous documentation of findings

Traveling ultrasound techs should also be adaptable, independent, and comfortable in new environments. Having compassion and care for patients helps put them at ease during exams.

What is the Role of an Ultrasound Tech Assistant in Travel Ultrasound Tech Jobs?

Some travel ultrasound tech jobs are for assistant or trainee roles. As an ultrasound assistant, your responsibilities may include:

  • Prepping exam rooms and patients
  • Assisting sonographers with equipment setup and adjustments
  • Cleaning transducers and disinfecting machines after use
  • Restocking supplies
  • Managing patient scheduling and paperwork
  • Shadowing lead techs to learn scanning techniques

Assistant positions allow new grads to gain clinical experience. They provide training on the job under the supervision of experienced sonographers. This allows you to develop scanning skills and prepare for an independent ultrasound tech career.

How is the Job Outlook for Travel Ultrasound Technologists?

What is the Career Path for a Travel Ultrasound Tech?

The typical career path for a travel ultrasound tech is:

  1. Earn an ultrasound technician certification or degree
  2. Get experience as a staff tech in a hospital or clinic
  3. Work 1-2 years gaining expertise in specialty areas like OB/GYN, vascular, or cardiac
  4. Apply to travel tech jobs at staffing agencies
  5. Complete 13 week assignments at different facilities as a traveler
  6. Consider settling into a permanent staff position at one of your favorite sites

Some techs work as travel sonographers for years, continually expanding their skills and earning higher pay. Others use it as a bridge early in their career to gain broad clinical experience before committing to a regular job.

How Does Acute Care Experience Benefit an Ultrasound Tech's Job Outlook?

Getting experience in acute care settings like hospitals and trauma centers is highly valued. It exposes you to complex cases and emergent situations. This develops clinical skills like:

  • Performing ultrasounds quickly and accurately in urgent cases
  • Prioritizing the most clinically important images
  • Using ultrasound to guide vascular access and procedures
  • Collaborating with physicians in ICU, OR, and ER settings
  • Handling unstable patients with traumatic injuries or illnesses

Traveling offers the opportunity to gain acute care experience at top hospitals across the country. This expands your skillset and makes you more marketable when seeking future ultrasound jobs.

What Role Do Healthcare Employers Play in Ultrasound Tech Versus Travel Ultrasound Tech Job Outlook?

Healthcare facilities have an increasing demand for qualified ultrasound techs and travelers. With growing patient volumes and an aging population needing more diagnostic imaging, staffing shortages are common.

Facilities rely on travel techs to fill gaps and meet temporary needs. Travel assignments allow them to adjust staffing levels as demand fluctuates. Tech travelers also bring specialized expertise that a facility may lack.

For ultrasound techs, having travel experience makes you more appealing when applying for jobs. It demonstrates your adaptability, independence, and wide range of clinical skills. Facilities hiring look for techs with diverse experiences and flexibility.

The demand for both permanent and travel ultrasound techs is projected to grow substantially in the coming years. Shortages will lead to enhanced job prospects, competitive compensation, and expanded roles for sonographers.

What is the Salary Outlook for a Travel Ultrasound Tech?

The salary outlook for travel ultrasound techs is quite promising. As demand for medical imaging services continues to grow, there is an increasing need for qualified ultrasound technologists who are willing to take on temporary assignments at healthcare facilities around the country. This creates ample opportunities for travel techs to secure well-compensated contracts.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians in 2020 was $75,920 per year or $36.51 per hour. Those working as travel techs tend to earn even more thanks to stipends, bonuses, and higher hourly pay offered for their flexibility and skills.

Furthermore, the job outlook for ultrasound techs is very strong. Employment in this field is projected to grow 17% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. An aging population needing more medical care will drive the demand for sonography services. Travel techs stand to benefit greatly from this upwards trend.

What is the Average Salary for a Travel Ultrasound Technologist?

The average salary for a travel ultrasound technologist is typically $80,000-$100,000+ per year. However, salaries can vary quite a bit depending on assignment location, level of experience, specialty, and other factors.

Here is a breakdown of common compensation for travel ultrasound techs:

  • Base Pay: $45-$60 per hour
  • Housing Stipend: $1,500-$3,000 per month
  • Meal Per Diem: $200-$300 per week
  • Travel Allowance: $500-$1,000 per assignment
  • Completion Bonuses: $1,000-$3,000 per assignment

When you add up the base hourly pay, tax-free stipends, bonuses, and other perks, total compensation can exceed $100,000 annually for top travel techs.

How Does a Week Including Stipend Affect a Travel Ultrasound Tech's Salary?

The weekly stipend provided to travel ultrasound techs as part of their compensation package can have a significant positive impact on their earnings. Stipends are intended to cover costs of temporary housing, meals, and incidentals while techs are on assignment away from home.

Stipends are usually $1,500-$3,000 per month, which works out to $375-$750 per week. Since stipends are not taxed, this extra $375-$750 per week goes directly into a travel tech's pocket as take-home pay, greatly boosting disposable income.

For example, if a travel tech has a base salary of $60 per hour and works 40 hours a week, their gross weekly income is $2,400. But if they also receive a $500 weekly stipend, their total weekly take home pay becomes $2,900 - a 21% increase.

Why Might Travel Ultrasound Techs Earn Higher Pay Than Standard Ultrasound Techs?

There are several reasons why travel ultrasound techs tend to earn higher salaries than technicians who work in permanent roles:

  • Scarcity - Travel techs have specialized skills and the flexibility to fill urgent needs at different facilities around the country. Their mobility is valued.
  • Incentives - Hospitals and clinics often offer higher pay rates, bonuses and stipends to attract the best travel techs to fill temporary vacancies.
  • Expenses - Travel involves paying for housing, travel, meals and being away from home. Higher pay compensates for this disruption.
  • Productivity - Travel techs are able to complete procedures and exams faster by focusing on one facility at a time.
  • Experience - Travel techs tend to have Years of expertise working in diverse settings with cutting-edge technology.

In essence, travel techs earn more because they take on more responsibility, expenses and inconvenience in exchange for a lucrative short-term assignment.

What Should Ultrasound Technologists Expect from Other Allied Travel Jobs?

In addition to travel ultrasound technician roles, there are some other allied health travel job opportunities that experienced technologists may want to consider for temporary assignments:

What is the Job Description and Responsibilities for Allied Travelers like Lead Ultrasound Techs?

A lead ultrasound technologist or supervisor manages an imaging department and staff during a travel assignment. Typical responsibilities include:

  • Overseeing day-to-day operations of the ultrasound department
  • Coordinating exam schedules and staff assignments
  • Training and evaluating ultrasound techs
  • Ensuring quality control and compliance with protocols
  • Liaising between sonography staff, physicians, and hospital administration
  • Analyzing equipment needs and purchase recommendations
  • Performing complex ultrasound exams

Strong leadership, communication, and clinical ultrasound skills are required for this role. The average salary for an allied travel lead ultrasound tech is $115,000-$130,000 annually.

How Do the Salaries and Job Outlook of Travel Sonographer Jobs Compare to Other Allied Travel Jobs?

Travel sonographer roles tend to be very well compensated compared to some other allied health travel positions. Here's a glance at average salaries:

  • Travel Sonographer: $95,000
  • Travel CT Technologist: $85,000
  • Travel Radiology Tech: $75,000
  • Travel Physical Therapist: $80,000
  • Travel Occupational Therapist: $85,000

The job outlook for travel sonographers is also strong, projected to grow 19% from 2020-2030. Other allied travel roles like OT, PT, and radiology techs have projected growth of 10-15% over the next decade.

Do Sonography Jobs like Cardiovascular Ultrasound Tech and Breast Sonography Rt Have Different Job Outlooks and Salaries?

Yes, there can be some variance in job outlook and salary between different ultrasound specialties:

  • Cardiac Sonographer: 23% projected job growth from 2020-2030, average salary around $75,000.
  • Breast Sonographer: 15% projected growth, average salary around $73,000
  • Abdominal Sonographer: 14% projected growth, average salary around $77,000.

In general, cardiovascular ultrasound techs have the best job prospects and highest pay due to an aging population with more heart health needs. However, all sonography specialties offer strong job security and salaries well above the national median wage.


Land your dream job faster when you travel with us. Get started with top local and national travel nurse jobs in On Demand.

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Land your dream job faster when you travel with us. Get started with top local and national travel nurse jobs in On Demand.

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Land your dream job faster when you travel with us. Get started with top local and national travel nurse jobs in On Demand.


Land your dream job faster when you travel with us. Get started with top local and national travel nurse jobs in On Demand.

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