In this difficult economic time, some of the most secure employment opportunities exist in the medical and health professions. Ultrasound technician jobs fall under the category of health professions and will likely continue to grow as technology and patient care becomes more advanced. In order to qualify to work as an ultrasound technician, an individual must complete ultrasound technician training. Training should be obtained from an accredited institution. Once an individual is completely trained, he or she should have no problem finding employment in this expanding field.
Training courses and programs for an ultrasound technician can be taken at a variety of institutions; universities, local community colleges and trade schools offer training in the field. With the advancement and popularity of online and distance education, it may even be possible to take prerequisite or core courses online. At the conclusion of the academic training, students are typically awarded a certification or an Associate Degree.
There are some certification programs that focus primarily on students who already have had exposure in the field of healthcare. Students come from a variety of experience including working as radiology technicians and nursing assistants. Some certification programs that prepare individuals for a career in ultrasound technology can be completed in one year; however, these programs typically require students to have completed prerequisite courses such as biology and other health sciences.
There are other ultrasound technician training programs that take two years to complete. The program curriculum can range from general studies to courses closely related to the career. Courses often include but are not limited to Chemistry, Medical Terminology, Medical Ethics and Principles of Medical Care. More specific courses related to the ultrasound career could include courses in Ultrasound Methodology and hands on training to learn how to the use and calibrate equipment. The most ideal programs will also offer a clinical internship. Through the internship students have the ability to get practical training and make contacts for employments when complete with the program.
Once all the required coursework has been completed, students may have the option of becoming a registered ultrasound technician. In many states ultrasound technologists are not required to obtain additional certification nor licensing but the credentials will make a student more competitive and more advanced opportunities may be pursued. After completing the coursework, students also have the option of becoming a member of the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography. The membership is typically optional but may increase the chances of becoming employed.
After gaining experience as an ultrasound technician, there will be opportunities to continue education. Continuing education can be completed through a number of ultrasound technician schools. Students who would prefer to obtain a Bachelor’s degree may be able to pursue an undergraduate degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Having an undergraduate degree can lead to management promotion opportunities and other lead roles.