As a matter of fact, all the diagnostic medical sonography programs which have been honored with the CAAHEP (i.e. Council for Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs) accreditation are considered the best ultrasound education providers. And, right now, there are about 168 schools for ultrasound technician education programs across the US, which are sanctioned by CAAHEP. Among those accredited schools, colleges and universities, 3 are online based sonography programs.
Whoever wants to seek the career profile of the ultrasound technician can confidently enroll in any one of the CAAHEP accredited ultrasound technician education programs. These top accredited programs will provide them with all the ultrasound technician training requirements essential for passing the ARDMS (American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers) certification exams, and thus make them genuinely worthy of the respected ultrasound technician title.
Which Ultrasound Field Would You Like to Specialize in?
Now, since there are versatile ultrasound programs available in the ultrasound technician school, it would therefore be a wise decision for you to first figure out which sonography program you would like to specialize in. For further information, let me inform you that currently the echocardiography specialty holds the highest earning potentiality among other ultrasound specialties such as vascular, OB/GYN and abdominal sonography. At present, the salary of an echocardiographer exceeds over $84000 per annum. Nonetheless, the other ultrasound specialties do also make a good earning, and are far better than other medical technician jobs such as X-ray technician and radiologic technician.
On the other hand, there’s also the issue of the qualification type. For becoming an ultrasound technician, there are mainly 4 qualification methods (actually 5, if we also consider the Diploma) available in the schools for ultrasound technician training.
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Types of Ultrasound Qualification:
Certificate: The certificate program for diagnostic medical sonography generally lasts from 1 to 2 years. This is the fastest qualification to become an ultrasound technician. Yet, in order to enroll in a certificate program, the applicants must fulfill some admission requirements. For instance, these certificate programs only admit those applicants who have already qualified with an associate’s degree or other credentials in a healthcare field related to sonography program.
Associate’s degree: The Associate’s degree program will have a time period of 2 years or so. The 1st year would certainly be dedicated towards classroom lectures and lab practices whereas the 2nd year will be focused upon the clinical internship that would provide the trainees with hands-on practice in their related sonography fields.
Bachelor’s degree: Well, the Bachelor’s degree is quite a “lengthy” program for achieving the ultrasound technician qualification. By “lengthy”, I mean to emphasize that this ultrasound qualification program runs for about 4 years. The 1st year will be focused upon the basic sonography courses, whereas the next two years will encompass a combine training method involving both class lectures and lab practices. And, the 4th year of these schools for ultrasound technician training will be dedicated towards the clinical internship, after the completion of which the students will graduate with the title of an ultrasound technician.
Master’s degree: In order to become eligible for enrolling in the master’s degree program, the applicants would generally have to be the possessor of a bachelor’s degree in a related healthcare field. Some, master’s degree study program may also expect the applicants to be of science background or, at least, have some qualifications in the sonography education, other than that of bachelors degree. According to the trend, the sonographers who are honored with the master’s degree usually shape their career as instructors or researchers in the diagnostic medical sonography field. Right now, the University of Missouri (Columbia) is the only CAAHEP accredited ultrasound technician school which runs classes for masters degree program in diagnostic medical sonography.