The healthcare industry is always accepting applications for someone in the field of diagnostic medical sonography, also known as an ultrasound technician. The field for ultrasound technicians is highly skilled, so any individual seeking this career path should be prepared to study inside and outside the classroom in order to become a certified technician. Ultrasound technician schools teach students the essentials of ultrasound medical imaging.

According to Educational Portal, students are required to complete an Associate or Bachelor’s degree in order to become an ultrasound technician. Students can obtain that two-year or four-year degree online, or through a traditional brick and mortar school. The coursework for an ultrasound technician student varies from school-to-school, and program-to-program. Most programs cover areas of study in anatomy, basic physics, healthcare procedures, medical terminology and medical ethics. Other courses an ultrasound technician will take include: basic cardiac life support, principles of vascular sonography, and principles of allied medical professionals, along with some math and English courses.

All ultrasound technician schools teach students how to use and interrupt ultrasound equipment. Understanding the female reproduction system and fetal health and development are key study areas for an ultrasound technician student. The student will also learn how to operate and read equipment relating to pregnancy.

Studying is not all an ultrasound technician will be doing while in school. Students are required to complete 24 hours of training per week, at an outside clinic, for every week they are enrolled in an ultrasound technician program. This is beneficial to students because they will be working under the supervision and tutelage of professionals in the ultrasound industry. If a student is attending an online school, she should locate a nearby healthcare facility to complete her required clinical training. As a precaution, students should verify that the program is approved by there school before beginning the clinical training.

Even though a student graduates from their program, they are not yet certified to work in their industry. Each graduate must take an examination (American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography exam) to become an official ultrasound technician. If a graduate has studied in a specialty area, more examinations may be required. A healthcare facility will not hire a graduate who has not passed his examination.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry for a diagnostic medical sonographer is expected to grow by 44 percent between the years 2010 and 2020. This job growth is faster than any other profession. As of May 2010, the median annual wage for an ultrasound technician was $64,380 per year, or $30.95 per hour. The typical work environment for an ultrasound technician is in a hospital, imaging clinic, physician’s office amongst other healthcare facilities.

Bureau of Labor Statistic