Your Guide to Ultrasound Technician Schools

Ultrasound technicians, also called diagnostic medical sonographers or sonographers, use some of the most advanced diagnostic imaging technology available to assist doctors in many valuable medical services.An associate degree is often the minimum degree required in order to work in this field. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of commonly asked questions about how to earn the credentials you need and what educational path to take. To learn more about us and our site, please visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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Adventist University of Health Sciences
BS in Radiologic Sciences
Adventist University of Health Sciences — Founded in 1992, the Adventist University of Health Sciences is formerly the Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences, a school focused on privding higher education in the several fields of healthcare. The BS in Health Information Technology program prepares students to become radiologic technicians. Adventist University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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What is an ultrasound degree?

In order to become an ultrasound technician, it’s necessary to obtain the proper credentials. Many colleges and universities offer degree programs at the associates and bachelor level. These programs focus on medical imaging science, radiology, health informatics, and many other healthcare technologies. An online degree specifically for ultrasound techs is unlikely to be found. An entry-level degree that prepares students to become an ultrasound technologist is usually a medical assisting degree.

Most two-year associate’s programs in healthcare, medical assisting, health services, or health technology will prepare you for a career as an ultrasonographer, radiology technician, or other type of medical assistant, which may require additional training. These programs cover the fundamentals of sonography and ultrasound technology. Graduates are trained to work with and under the supervision of registered nurses, surgeons, and other medical professionals.

What are the different types of degrees in this field?

What’s unique about this field is the wide variety of degree programs that prepare graduates to become ultrasound technicians. Students can choose from associate degree programs in medical assisting or a Bachelor of Science in health informatics. The level of education a student chooses to pursue will determine the length of time required to earn the proper credentials. While both an associates and bachelor\’s degree will prepare students for a career as an ultrasound technician, a bachelor’s degree will lead to higher income and growth potential.

Students may also wish to obtain an ultrasound technician certificate with the American Registry of Diagnostic Sonographers (ARDMS). Earning certification is a highly desirable qualification and widely recognized by employers. While an associate\’s degree in ultrasound or ultrasonography is not usually offered, there are several viable alternatives to get you started in this field. They include:

Associate’s Degrees for Medical Assistants & Other Healthcare Professionals

Bachelor’s Degrees for Medical Assistants & Other Healthcare Professionals

What is the average salary of an ultrasound technologist?

Ultrasound technicians/technologists fall under the broader category of diagnostic medical sonographers, for which The Bureau of Labor Statistics has gathered substantial data regarding salary and employment outlook. The following data were gathered in May, 2008, and are the most recent that The BLS has published regarding sonographer salary and employment.

  • $61,980 is the median salary for diagnostic medical sonographers.
  • 9,200 new diagnostic medical sonographers jobs are expected to be created by 2018.
  • 50,300 was the total number of diagnostic medical sonographers in May, 2008.
  • 31,830 diagnostic medical sonographers are employed in general medical and surgical hospitals, which are the largest employers in the field.

The salary of an ultrasound tech is significantly dependent on their level of education. An ultrasound tech with a subbaccalaureate degree or associate degree will probably earn less than someone with a bachelor’s or master’s degree, even if the higher degree isn’t in the field of sonography. Since sonographers often pursue medical assistantship or other allied health skills in school, while also learning ultrasonography, they can experience a lot of variability in career and salary options.

Where can I find more information about financial aid?

Since ultrasound technology isn’t its own major, not many scholarships exist that pertain directly to the field. There are, however, many general grants and scholarships available to students in any curriculum, including:

  • Subsidized and unsubsidized loans from the government, such as the Stafford and Perkins, which fluctuate based on your personal wealth and income, and must be repaid after graduation. These loans max out at $5,500 during a student’s first year, and increase slightly each year depending on financial need
  • Grants, such as the Federal Pell Grant, which don’t have to be paid back, but have other strings attached, such as minimum GPA and demonstrable financial need.
  • Tax Credits from the Internal Revenue Service, such as the HOPE and Lifetime Learning credit, can save you money on taxes as long as you’re using the money to pay for school.

All students can fill out a FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid. A FAFSA is free, and provides eligible students with grants, loans, and work study opportunities. It is also is a pre-requisite for state financial aid programs. A FAFSA is also necessary to be considered for a Parent Plus loan. Basically, a FAFSA is a comprehensive form that breaks down financial aid eligibility and helps students assess their financial aid needs.

In order to fill out a FAFSA, applicants need to have the following documentation:

  • Social Security card and driver’s license
  • W-2 forms and other records of money earned
  • Foreign Tax Return
  • Parents’ 2011 Federal Income Tax Return (if a dependent student)
  • Untaxed income records
  • Current bank statements
  • Current business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stock, bond and other investment records
  • Alien registration or permanent resident card (if not a U.S. citizen)

Once all documentation has been compiled and submitted online, students will receive a PIN number that provides access to award information. Based on the report, students can determine what school and program best suites both their financial and academic needs.