In order to become certified as an ultrasound technologist in Israel, it is necessary to complete the coursework at a recognized university either in Israel or abroad. There is currently no official government licensing of X-ray technicians, including ultrasound technologists, in Israel. Olim who have certification from abroad have been working on this basis.
Diagnostic ultrasound, both in Israel and abroad, is divided into four main categories: Obstetrics/Gynecology, Vascular, Echocardiography, and Abdominal/General. In Israel, students must first decide which of these four specialties they will pursue, while in the US programs students often combine the study of OBGYN ultrasound with abdominal ultrasound. Additionally, unlike in America, those wishing to study abdominal ultrasound technology in Israel must first complete studies as an x-ray technologist and then can receive “cross-training” in abdominal ultrasound.
There are three main categories of employers in the field: hospitals, one of the four Kupot Cholim (health clinics), and medical imaging facilities. The Israeli healthcare system differs significantly from that abroad and it can take time to adjust.
The Israeli Ministry of Health does not regulate ultrasound techs and sonographers. This means that there is no need for a license from the MOH to work in this profession in Israel. Please note that often hospitals do require ultrasound techs and sonographers to hold a bachelor’s degree in addition to their ultrasound training. Click here to read the official letter from the Ministry of Health: MOH Letter to Ultrasound Techs and Sonographers (Hebrew)
A good working knowledge of Hebrew is essential. It is strongly advised to study Hebrew before you arrive and to take Ulpan upon arrival. In addition to regular Ulpan, Misrad Haklita will sometimes offer an Ulpan for medical professionals.
Interview with OB/GYN and Abdominal Ultrasound Technologist, Jenny Katz:
What is your current position?
I am an OB/GYN and abdominal ultrasound technologist who works in medical imaging for one of the Kupot Cholim.
Please provide us with a brief description of your job.
In Israel, an OB/GYN and abdominal ultrasound technologist works independently, without a supervising physician. This means his/her decisions are final. Ultrasound techs in Israel perform fewer types of scans than they would in America, with other radiologists filling the gap.
How did you find your job?
I found my job through networking. I spoke with my neighbors and other ultrasound technologists with more experience in Israel. They pointed me in the right direction.
What degree and/or experience should someone obtain prior to Aliyah, in order to break into your field or get a decent position in your field?
To begin working in Israel straight away, without facing questions of proper training, an Oleh must already be a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. Additionally, Misrad Habriut requires years of experience as a practicing Ultrasound tech outside Israel before one is allowed to work in Israel. Personally, I had a Bachelor’s degree, completed a graduate-level program in ultrasound technology, and had six years of experience prior to making Aliyah.
Does it make any difference whether you studied in Israel or abroad?
Studying in Israel is very helpful. After completing an Israeli program in ultrasound technology and passing the necessary exams, Misrad Habriut will provide you with a Teudah (certification). Someone who studied outside of Israel may not necessarily receive a Teudah. This Teudah is necessary in order to be considered by certain employers for job openings. It is also needed in order to join professional organizations.
What is the professional organization (if any) in your field? How can it be contacted and what does it do?
There are professional organizations for ultrasound technologists in Israel, including one for those have an OB/GYN specialty (ISDUM). A Teudah is helpful in joining these organizations. I was unable to get a Teudah; and, therefore, I was unable to join one of these organizations (or get a particular job that I wanted).
Ultrasound technologists, in Israel, must be familiar with advancing science and medical technology. These professional organizations provide seminars and updates that are helpful in keeping up with these advances.
What is the salary range?
In Israel, OB/GYN and abdominal ultrasound techs generally receive hourly wages between 23-40 NIS. This is somewhat dependent on the amount of time one works.
What recommendations can you offer an Oleh looking to work in this field?
I recommend studying in Israel. If one cannot study in Israel, one should make Aliyah with years of experience or risk being forced to start over and get an Israeli ultrasound technology degree.