Last Updated on January 17, 2023
This article explores everything you need to know about being an OBGYN ultrasound technician in California. Get ready to learn about the job responsibilities, educational requirements, salary, and other facts you’ll need to know before becoming a practitioner.
Ultrasound technicians, also known as sonographers or diagnostic medical sonographers, use ultrasound equipment to perform diagnoses in a variety of medical settings. Their work is mostly done in hospitals and doctors’ offices, but there are many other opportunities for sonographers to specialize in certain areas. Ultrasound technicians have the opportunity to choose from a diverse range of medical specialties, including obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN), vascular medicine, ophthalmology, cardiology and radiology.
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OB/Gyn Ultrasound Technician Salary In California
As an OB/GYN ultrasound technician, you will be working with pregnant women who are having routine ultrasounds during their pregnancy. While some OB/GYN ultrasound technicians do work in hospitals or clinics that perform procedures such as amniocentesis, most work in OB/GYN doctors’ offices where they are responsible for performing ultrasounds on pregnant patients during routine visits. They may also be responsible for helping the doctor with other types of procedures such as collecting urine samples or taking blood pressure readings. An OB/GYN ultrasound technician salary depends on several factors including location, experience level and certification status.
Being an OBGYN ultrasound technician is a rewarding career that allows you to help women during a critical time in their lives.
$63,360 an year
As of Feb 4, 2021, the average annual pay for an Ob Gyn Sonographer in California is $63,360 an year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $30.46 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,218/week or $5,280/month.
Ob Gyn Sonographer Salary California
In California, an ultrasound technician is known as diagnostic medical sonographer. The sonographer uses ultrasound equipment to get images of the heart and blood vessels, abdomen, female reproductive organs and other parts of the body. These images are used by physicians to diagnose and treat patients. As a diagnostic medical sonographer you can expect to make a median wage of $79,520 per year.
If you want to be an OBGYN ultrasound technician, you might be wondering how much you can expect to make. In this article, we’ll cover what an OBGYN ultrasound technician does and how much they get paid.
$46,697 $70,625 /year $89,955 $30 /hour Ob Gyn Sonographer Salary in California Comparison by Location Nationwide United States $70,625 California United States $63,360
As of Feb 5, 2021, the average annual pay for an Ob Gyn Sonographer in California is $63,360 an year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $30.46 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,218/week or $5,280/month.
While ZipRecruiter is seeing salaries as high as $89,955 and as low as $46,697, the majority of Ob Gyn Sonographer salaries currently range between $61,444 (25th percentile) to $75,207 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $84,547 annually in California.
The average pay range for an Ob Gyn Sonographer varies little (about $13,763), which suggests that regardless of location, there are not many opportunities for increased pay or advancement, even with several years of experience.
Based on recent job posting activity on ZipRecruiter, the Ob Gyn Sonographer job market in California is not very active as few companies are currently hiring.
California ranks number 34 out of 50 states nationwide for Ob Gyn Sonographer salaries.
To estimate the most accurate annual salary range for Ob Gyn Sonographer jobs, ZipRecruiter continuously scans its database of millions of active jobs published locally throughout America.
Top 10 Highest Paying Cities for Ob Gyn Sonographer Jobs in California
Are you considering a career as an OBGYN ultrasound technician? If so, then keep reading to learn more about some of the job duties, training, and salary you can expect.
We’ve identified 10 cities where the typical salary for an Ob Gyn Sonographer job is above the average in California. Topping the list is San Jose, with Oakland and Hayward close behind in second and third. Hayward beats the California average by 33.2%, and San Jose furthers that trend with another $23,871 (37.7%) above the $63,360.
Significantly, San Jose has a very active Ob Gyn Sonographer job market as there are several companies currently hiring for this type of role.
With these 10 cities paying on average above the average for California, the opportunities for economic advancement by changing locations as an Ob Gyn Sonographer appears to be exceedingly fruitful.
Finally, another factor to consider is the average salary for these top 10 cities varies very little at 7% between San Jose and Santa Rosa, reinforcing the limited potential for much wage advancement. The possibility of a lower cost of living may be the best factor to use when considering location and salary for an Ob Gyn Sonographer role.
OB /Gyn Sonographer Salary Per Hour
For those looking to enter the medical field as an ultrasound technician, California is a great place to live. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that California has the highest employment level of ultrasound techs in the country.
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About Our Data ZipRecruiter salary estimates, histograms, trends and comparisons are derived from both employer job postings and third party data sources. Data used to develop this report includes ADP data. ADP is an exclusive provider of employee payroll data for ZipRecruiter.
OB/Gyn Sonographer Jobs
As a diagnostic medical sonographer you will use special equipment to direct high-frequency sound waves into areas of a patient’s body. These sound waves generate echoes, which bounce back to the computer and form an image that can be viewed on a monitor. This gives doctors the ability to study and analyze parts of the patient’s body without having to perform surgery.
Ultrasound technicians are able to help women through the early stages of pregnancy. They use imaging techniques, such as ultrasounds, to discover any issues that may be present in the fetus and allow them to be fixed as quickly as possible. Ultrasound technicians also assist doctors in learning more about the development of the fetus. The following includes information on what you can expect from a career as an ultrasound technician, including how much you can earn, how long it takes to become one and what types of education are required.
The use of ultrasound technology in medicine began during World War II. Ultrasounds employ high-frequency sound waves to capture images from inside the body. Because this technique uses no radiation, doctors prefer using ultrasounds to view developing fetuses and perform other types of sensitive diagnostic work.
Ultrasound technicians and sonographers can choose to specialize in a variety of imaging roles. Examples include abdominal sonographers, echocardiographers, vascular technologists, and musculoskeletal sonographers. They commonly work in hospitals, physicians’ offices, medical laboratories, and outpatient care centers.
Although many sonography jobs require just an associate degree or postsecondary certificate, earning a bachelor’s degree is another great way to become an ultrasound tech. A four-year degree offers more advanced education and training than a one- or two-year program. That extra preparation can improve competitiveness in hiring and on-the-job performance.
Three key benefits of attending ultrasound tech school to earn a obtain a bachelor’s include:
- Well-rounded Education: Rather than focusing solely on clinical sonography training, a bachelor’s degree requires students to take classes in a variety of disciplines, including the arts, sciences, and humanities. Graduates possess transferable communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
- Higher Salary Potential: Most employers compensate workers according to their experience and education. A bachelor’s degree may improve your long-term earning potential.
- Advanced Job Opportunities: Earning a bachelor’s in ultrasound technology enables you to compete for the most desirable sonographer positions in healthcare facilities. You can also use this degree to secure a teaching job in ultrasound technician schools.
Ultrasound technician colleges focus on preparing students for successful careers in the field of diagnostic medical sonography. Sonography programs often require coursework that corresponds with relevant professional certification exams.
Bachelor’s degrees in ultrasound technology require a minimum of 120 credits of coursework, though some programs require up to 140 credits. When studying full time, learners typically graduate in four years. Bachelor’s degree completion programs, which supplement associate degrees, take approximately two years of full-time study to complete.
Bachelor’s degrees in ultrasound technology require a minimum of 120 credits of coursework.
Four-year ultrasound technology programs consist of general education, major core courses, electives, and often clinical practice requirements. Some schools offer concentrations in specific areas of sonography.
The requirements for getting into an ultrasound tech school vary by institution and program.
In many cases, students first need to gain admittance to the college or university at large, declare a pre-major, and complete specific prerequisites before they can apply to take sonography courses. Similarly, applicants interested in a degree completion program must satisfy prerequisites with an associate degree.
Prospective ultrasound technology students typically need to demonstrate a minimum GPA between 2.5 and 3.0 on prior coursework. Most application packets require official transcripts, letters of reference, and acknowledgement of technical standards regarding sensory, communication, physical, and cognitive abilities.
Ultrasound technician colleges offer sonography degrees under several different names. Prospective students researching ultrasound tech school programs should keep their eyes open for bachelor’s degrees in diagnostic medical sonography, radiologic sciences, and imaging sciences.
Degree-seekers who pursue a diagnostic medical sonography degree may get the option to pursue a specialization, depending on the ultrasound tech school they attend. Specialization courses help prepare learners for specific careers within the sonography field. The most common tracks available include:
- GeneralChoosing a general track means completing the degree without a specialization. Instead of taking predetermined specialization courses, students pick their own electives to satisfy credit requirements.
- Vascular SonographyA specialization in vascular sonography prepares graduates for sonography careers focused on diagnosing blood flow disorders. Courses cover vascular anatomy and imaging procedures.
- EchocardiographyA specialization in echocardiography or cardiac sonography prepares graduates for careers focused on imaging the heart’s chambers, valves, and vessels. Courses cover introductory and advanced echocardiography concepts, including fetal echocardiography.
How Much Will an Ultrasound Technician Bachelor’s Cost?
Ultrasound technologists normally go through a 2-year program in order to become certified. The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) is an organization that certifies sonographers in general practice and in specialties like abdominal sonography, breast sonography, musculoskeletal sonography, obstetrics and gynecology sonography, pediatric cardiac sonography, vascular technology, and adult echocardiography.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the annual cost for full-time tuition and fees at public four-year universities averaged $9,212 in 2018-2019. At four-year private nonprofit universities, the same expenses averaged $34,758.
Ultrasound tech school students should also budget for expenses beyond tuition and fees, including medical malpractice insurance.
The exact cost of an ultrasound technician bachelor’s varies based on your state residency, school type, and whether you study online or on campus. Though public universities offer lower per-credit tuition rates, private universities typically do not charge out-of-state students additional, nonresident fees. Online learners can save money by avoiding room, board, and campus facilities fees.
Ultrasound tech school students should also budget for expenses beyond tuition and fees, including textbooks, uniforms, medical malpractice insurance, transportation to clinical education sites, and parking.
Financial aid can help cover the cost of an ultrasound technician college education. Scholarships and grants provide funding that does not require repayment after graduation. Federal, state, and private loans provide funding that accrues interest and requires eventual repayment.
Choosing the Right Ultrasound Technician Undergraduate Program
Our ranked list of the best ultrasound technician schools is a great resource, but choosing the best institution and program for you also requires additional considerations. A few key factors to keep in mind include:AccreditationAccreditation ensures that a college or program meets minimum academic quality standards set by a third-party agency. For institutions, regional accreditation is generally considered more prestigious than national accreditation. Ultrasound tech programs may hold additional programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.Available ConcentrationsNot all ultrasound technician colleges offer concentrations. If you want to work in cardiac or vascular sonography, consider choosing a program with an applicable specialization track.Campus LocationFew ultrasound tech degrees can be completed entirely online. You may need to travel to attend regular on-campus sessions and clinical education experiences.Admission DifficultyUltrasound technology colleges often maintain strict admission requirements related to prerequisites, minimum GPAs, and work experience or certification.
Sonographer salary california
OB/GYN sonography involves ultrasounds performed on the pelvic region of female patients and fetuses. Within OB/GYN you may specialize in either obstetric or gynecologic sonography. Obstetric sonography uses abdominal ultrasound scans to determine information about an unborn fetus. The scans provide data about estimated date of delivery, gestational development, and gestational size and weight. Gynecological sonography uses transvaginal or transabdominal ultrasound scans to examine the internal female reproductive system, including the fallopian tubes, ovaries, vagina, and uterus. The overall goal of OB/GYN sonography is to ensure that the patient or fetus is healthy and there are no abnormalities.
OB/GYN Sonography Job Duties
As an OB/GYN sonographer you may work closely with patients and new mothers concerned about the status of their unborn child, and therefore you must maintain a sense of decorum and show genuine concern. If you focus on obstetrics, you may identify the size of the fetus’s organs and other body parts. Gynecological sonographers capture clear images of the internal female organs.
Upon completion of the scans, OB/GYN sonographers may share abnormalities with physicians. However, ultrasound technicians are not physicians and remain legally prohibited from making a diagnosis as to patients’ conditions. Other duties you may complete include:
- Review patients’ medical history
- Explain specific medical procedures to patients
- Position patients for optimal imaging
- Observe the weight of the fetus
- Operate ultrasound equipment
- Determine if further examination is necessary
OB/GYN Sonography Education
Education requirements for OB/GYN sonographers may depend on the chosen area of specialization such as obstetrics, gynecology, or both. You may choose among associate or bachelor’s degrees as well as certificate or diploma programs. The most common option for new OB/GYN sonographers is the two-year associate degree program. Bachelor’s degree options are available to those who wish to pursue more administrational roles in sonography. Schools generally may offer degree or certificate programs in general diagnostic medical imaging but feature specializations in obstetrics and gynecology. Many programs include externships where students gain hands-on experience using the transabdominal and transvaginal scanning equipment.
OB/GYN Sonography Courses
To do this work you will need to know how to operate special equipment such as transducers and echocardiograms/ultrasounds. You will also need to know how to prepare patients for exams. Patients sometimes are anxious when they come in for an exam so you will need good interpersonal skills so that patients feel comfortable during their exams. To do this job you will also need excellent time management skills because you often have several patients scheduled in one day!
Students enrolled in OB/GYN courses may study ultrasound applications used in obstetrics and gynecology. They may take courses concentrating on gynecological areas, including endometrial disorders, transvaginal imaging, and adnexal masses. Students may also learn how to identify pathologies of the fetus, uterus, and ovaries by examining ultrasound images. Examples of the types of classes students may complete include:
- Female Reproductive Scanning
- Medical Terminology
- Practical Aspects of Sonography
- Superficial Structures and Neonatal Brain
- Applications of 3D Obstetrical Ultrasound
OB/GYN Sonography Certification
An ultrasound technician needs to be friendly and compassionate, since she must put patients at ease during what is often an anxious time for them. The ability to explain procedures clearly and answer questions with patience and tact is also important. Ultrasound techs must be skilled communicators, as they need to explain results to doctors as well as patients. They also need strong technical skills and manual dexterity.
Ultrasound technologists also specialize in neurological imaging, breast imaging, fetal echocardiography, or obstetric ultrasound.
You may obtain certification through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS), which offers an OB/GYN specialty examination. Upon successful completion of the exam, which includes receiving at least a score of 555 out of 700, you may earn the title of Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS). However, prior to completing the Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) specialty exam you must pass the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) exam, which tests the knowledge of ultrasound technology and procedures. The RDMS certification exam should take no more than five hours to complete. Once certified, you will be required to complete at least 30 hours of continuing education credits every three years.
OB/GYN Sonography Salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual mean annual wage of diagnostic medical sonographers is $67,170 while the mean hourly salary is $32.29. California ranks as the state with the highest-paying annual mean salary of $86,550. Salary ranges may differ depending upon the area of focus, whether it is in obstetric or gynecologic sonography. Salary may also differ whether you are working in specialty hospitals, outpatient care centers, general medical and surgical hospitals, physicians’ offices, or in medical and diagnostic laboratories. Other factors that may affect salary are years of experience, certification, and education.
- University of Oklahoma Health Sciences CenterLOCATIONOklahoma City, OKTUITION$$$$$OverviewThe University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center offers a Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences with a Sonography Specialization. This program is perfect for high school students and non-major college students who wish to pursue a degree as an ultrasound tech.Program FeaturesThis program is accredited by CAAHEP through the JRC-DMS. Once admitted into the program, students will complete a further 68 credit hours in sonography courses and capstone projects. Its graduates are eligible to sit for the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography certification exam. Sample courses include:
- Advanced Clinical Sonography
- Problems in Allied Health
- Ultrasound Physics and InstrumentationNotablesStudents who wish to apply to the sonography program at UOHSC will be required to submit proof of 64 credit hours from this university or another regionally accredited school. These courses should satisfy the general education, math, and science pre-requisites as outlined by the department.
- University of Arkansas for Medical SciencesLOCATIONLittle Rock, ARTUITION$$$$$OverviewThe University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences houses its sonography programs at the College of Health Professions. The programs, which includes both an on-campus and online programs, are designed both for new students and working healthcare professionals. Once a student graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, they will be eligible to sit for both the national and international ARDMS certification programs.Program FeaturesStudents will find that there are a few differences between the on-campus and online BS-DMS programs. The on-campus program is designed for students with no previous work or educational healthcare experience. The on-campus program also only admits students once they’ve completed general education requirements, allowing the students to focus primarily on their sonography studies. On-campus UAMS students are required to complete 120 credit hours and clinicals in order to graduate. Classes include:
- Sectional Anatomy
- Gynecologic Sonography
- Sonographic Applications: ObstetricsNotablesThe online degree program is called the Career Ladder B.S. Degree. It is designed for ARDMS-certified sonographers who wish to go back to school and finish their bachelor education. There are no clinical education requirements for this degree, as most students will already be working as sonographers.
- Ohio State UniversityLOCATIONColumbus, OHTUITION$$$$$OverviewOhio State University offers a variety of ultrasound tech schools programs that focuses on the general academic and clinical area of sonography. Students will graduate with Bachelor’s of Science in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences — Sonography Concentration. The school, which is accredited by CAAHEP through JRC-DMS, also prepares students to sit for the ARDMS certification exams.Program FeaturesStudents are required to fulfill general education requirements before applying to the professional program. Courses can either be taken at OSU or another regionally accredited institution, but all sonography courses must be completed on campus. Courses include:
- Patient Care for the Imaging Professional
- Introduction to Sonography
- Small Parts of Human AnatomyNotablesOnce accepted into the sonography program, students will finish the required 120 credit hours, practicum, and clinical hours needed for graduation. The professional program runs six semesters concurrently, with a summer term required between a student’s junior and senior year.