An OB technician is a medical professional who assists obstetricians and gynecologists with invasive and non-invasive operations on the vital organs of women. These professionals need to operate specialized medical equipment and work closely with their surgeon and nurse practitioners during and after operations. OB technicians have a favorable job outlook over the next ten years. They generally need associate's degrees in order to practice.
A possible job responsibility of an OB technician is the operation of medical equipment during surgeries. In May 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that surgical technologists, which includes OB technicians, had an average annual salary of $41,310, with the middle 50% receiving salaries between $33,400 and $47,570. The average hourly wage was $19.86, with the middle 50% receiving $16.06 and $22.87.
Operating ultrasound machines is a sub-discipline that falls under the umbrella of obstetrics. Technicians with this specialty are fewer in number, but are paid more than surgical technicians. In the same report, the BLS reported that technicians with this specialty held over 51,000 jobs in May 2010, compared to 91,000 for technicians with a surgical specialty. The average salary for these technicians is $64,900 per year or $31.20 per hour.
The BLS reported that projected job growth of OB technicians with these two specialties between 2008 and 2018 is expected to be 25% for surgical technicians and 18% for ultrasound technicians, both much higher than average. Surgical technicians can enroll in accredited programs between 9 and 24 months long. Ultrasound technicians have the choice of 2- and 4-year programs, with 2-year programs being the most popular.
For both specialties, South Dakota and Alabama rank among the top for OB technicians per-capita, at about 1.5 for each. For technicians with a surgical specialty, California has the highest annual salary at $48,000. For ultrasound technicians Massachusetts is the highest-paying, at $80,000. California employs the most technicians for both of these specialties, with 9,110 for surgical technicians and 5,280 for ultrasound technicians.