Difference Between an Ultrasound Technician and a Radiologist

If you wonder whether there is a difference between an Ultrasound Technician and a Radiologist, we are here to make things clear by providing you with the necessary comparison of these two careers.

As you are interested in this field, you have probably seen ultrasound technician schools, programs, careers, types of facilities you can work in, and many of them mention the field of radiology in comparison.

You need to know that these two fields use completely different technology, but at the same time, both of these professionals use imaging techniques as a primary tool for their diagnosis.

Ultrasound utilizes sound waves while the radiologist uses a variety of tools, including x-rays, ultrasound, radionuclides, and other methods to help diagnose the patients’ disease.

Ultrasound vs Radiology Salary

Besides getting a proper education, when you are interested in some career field, you want to know how much you may earn.

In case you think about those who have just got started and took an entry-level position, you have to bear in mind that they cannot expect a huge salary as those with experience get.

Radiologists are doctors, which can earn a significantly higher salary, in the range of physicians and surgeons, but to reach this position, you will need to reach a graduate-level education and consider medical schools.

However, an ultrasound tech vs. radiology tech salary is a little bit closer, with sonographers coming in a little higher nationally.

The salary is affected by the work you will perform once you get hired.

When a person thinks about an ultrasound technician, they match him/her with the images of fetuses.

But this is not the only duty that these professionals perform.

If you train as an ultrasound tech or take a sonography program, you can work in multiple areas, such as a cardiac focused clinic where you will have to support physicians to analyze images of patients’ hearts, vessels, and surrounding areas.

Another place where you can work in vascular or abdominal-focused care, or you can work in OB/GYN and spend your time watching the smiles on expecting mothers as you perform their sonograms.

Taking images will not be your only task, as you may have to perform other duties, including measurements and calculating information that helps the physician better understand the patient’s condition.

So as to qualify for certification as a sonographer or ultrasound tech, you will need to devote 18 months.

You can either choose an online or on-campus program.

Online ones are designed for working students as they give them more options.

In order to suit all kinds of students, traditional programs are offering a mix of online coursework.

Many programs include internship opportunities at the end to give the student clinical experience.

Radiology has many different areas you can choose to focus on: Diagnostic, Oncology, Neuroradiology, Nuclear Radiology, and Pediatric Radiology to mention a few.

When choosing which one to take, you should have in mind that it takes a lot longer to become a radiologist than it does to become an ultrasound technician.

It may require that you complete four years of undergraduate studies, four years of medical school, and spend about four years in residency compared to an 18-month program that is needed so as to become an ultrasound tech.

How to Become a Radiology Tech

More and more people nowadays are eager to become either a radiology technician or an ultrasound technician.

Those who have a long-term plan of working as a radiologist should look at tech programs first and decide whether they want to get a certificate, Associate’s, or Bachelor’s degree.

The curriculum will cover patient care procedures, radiation protection, imaging, radiobiology, ethics, and other related topics.

Those who wish to become ultrasound technicians or work as diagnostic medical sonographers should start getting information about their future studies by calling schools that accept students or contact organizations that help current and future sonographers with their careers.

Related Articles


Do Nurses Need Ultrasound Training?

The medical team consists of various professionals who have their own duties and without whom the team would not function…


Ten Reasons To Become An Ultrasound Technician

In case you are a person who wants to enter a career in the field of allied health, we are…


The Difference Between Ultrasound and Sonography

Many young people who consider a healthcare career sometimes wonder whether there is a difference between diagnostic medical sonography and…

Ultrasound Tech

Online Ultrasound Technician Training Programs

Ultrasound technicians, also known as sonographers, are often associated with pregnancy. The first time a mom-to-be sees a glimpse of her…

Search Programs