Ultrasound Technician Schools
Ultrasound technician schools come in all different shapes and sizes. Ultrasound technology is becoming a widely accepted career path taught by many varied educational institutions. This is good news in many senses because it means that if you are considering becoming an ultrasound technician, there are a lot of options open to you.
Would you like to study for one, two, or four years? Are you most comfortable in a traditional academic college setting or would you prefer a more technology focused environment? Or would you like to experience what it is like to actually work in a hospital setting before actually going out to work at a job? Thanks to the variety of sonography school choices, these are questions of preference that you can and should consider before enrolling in some kind of educational ultrasonography program. Ordinary attributes like cost, program duration, and program prerequisites also tend to vary. Aside from the basic fact that these are all ultrasound schools, differing factors like this need to be taken into consideration. This article will look at some of the varieties of the basic attributes of ultrasound education.
Here there are really only three basic options: Programs of 1 to 1.5 years, programs of 2 years, and programs of 4 years.
Programs of the one year length generally result in a certificate. This is not a degree per se, but is often enough to get an entry level ultrasound position. Whether or not this is a good option depends on how ambitious you are for a higher paying job and whether or not you plan to return to school. If you just want to quickly get into doing some work, a certificate may fit the bill. However you will not be able to take the national certification exam with this kind of credential and there are many employers who probably will not hire you with it.
The 2 year option – that is an Associate’s degree – is the most common. This qualifies you to take the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) examination and is generally accepted as a credential by most employers.
The 4 year option results in a Bachelor’s degree in Sonography. These courses go in depth. They may be a good choice if your primary goal is to start as a sonographer and advance to other related fields such as being a supervisor or ultrasound departments at a hospital, teach sonography, or go into related fields.
The basic types of schools that teach sonography are: community/junior colleges, vocational/technical schools, career schools, teaching hospitals and 4 year colleges and universities.
Community colleges give either certificates or, more commonly, 2 year Associate’s degrees. Vocational and technical schools have an especially technologically focused sense to them. They may offer either Associate’s or Bachelor’s degrees. Career schools are dedicated institutions that generally focus only on a few areas. They most often award certificates or Associate’s degrees. Finally, 4 year colleges and universities have a variety of educational facilities and may offer either Associate’s or Bachelor’s degrees. Teaching hospitals allow students to get hands on experience in a hospital environment and also may offer 2 or 4 year degrees.
Costs of attending ultrasound school can vary greatly. Obviously one factor in this is the length of the program. The longer the program, the more it usually costs. In addition to this, more prestigious schools will cost more. Bachelor’s degree programs in ultrasound technology cost about the same as other undergraduate Bachelor’s degrees. Namely in ranges such as $15,000 to $50,000 yearly. Associate’s degrees may cost somewhat less but are comparable. Certificates may cost much less, being shorter programs that are geared toward quick turnover.
Accreditation is actually one of the most important attributes of an ultrasound school. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAHEEP) is an organization that accredits ultrasound programs nationwide. It is strongly recommended that you seek an accredited school. These schools are much preferred by employers as well as the ARDMS when considering if an individual qualifies to take the board exams.
Hopefully this has helped make clear some of the factors that differentiate and characterize ultrasound educational institutions and programs. There are a wide range of possibilities, so go over your priorities and goals and weigh all the factors. Finding a good school that is suited to your personal situation helps you get started on the right foot.
Here are other articles that you should check out:
How to Become a Certified Ultrasound Technician
How to Become an Ultrasound Technician
Top 5 Ultrasound Technician Schools
Types of Ultrasound Technician Training
What is the Difference between a Radiology Technician and an Ultrasound Technician?
Top 5 Sonography Schools