Ultrasound technicians use special equipment to send high-frequency sound waves through the patient’s body.
Then, the waves are converted into images that are used to diagnose the health condition.
Ultrasound technology has various applications and is used to capture images all over the body.
According to a U.S. Department of Labor report, Ultrasound technicians earn from about $50,000 to $75,000 per year.
There are three basic types of certifications/degrees for ultrasound technicians:
- A certificate in sonography/ultrasound. It is required to find a job or apply for associate’s or bachelor’s programs.
- An associate’s degree of applied science in diagnostic sonography. It is required for most entry-level jobs. Also, an associate’s degree is a prerequisite to sit for the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography exam.
- A bachelor’s degree in applied science in diagnostic sonography. It is ideal for anyone who wants to pursue a management career. You can usually choose a specialty such as obstetrics or vascular sonography.
Most ultrasound technicians in the U.S. can find work with professional certifications alone.
Currently, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Oregon are the only states with approved legislation mandating the licensure of sonographers.
A sonography certificate costs between $3,000 and $35,000 and the training studies are finished in one to two years.
For example, the College of Medicine & Science, Mayo Clinic, applies tuition of $34,450 at the Rochester campus.
At the same time, students enrolled in the certificate option in Jacksonville, Florida, pay tuition of $17,290 (65 credit hours).
The certificate in Diagnostic Medical Sonography at Dallas College has a price of $3,318 (5 semesters).
Associate’s degree programs cost around $5,000 to $50,000 and can take around 2 to 4 years.
In addition to the certification program, Dallas College also offers an associate’s degree in applied science at a cost of $5,135 for 5 semesters.
College of DuPage has an estimated cost of $21,290.
This tuition already includes some additional costs such as uniform, books, and labs fees, but don’t include health requirements.
The total cost at the City College for the Associate in Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program (2021-2023) is $47,335.
Uniform and technology fees are included in the tuition but the students are required to purchase all textbooks on their own.
A bachelor’s degree in sonography has a price between $10,000 and $60,000.
Accordingly, Rush University offers a two-year vascular ultrasound program at a price of $58,000.
The University of Arkansas offers a full-time bachelor of science program in diagnostic medical sonography.
Annual tuition for a four-year program is on average $23,452.
Ultrasound certification can be required either by state laws or by the employer.
Many employers prefer that candidates have such professional credentials.
For example, the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) is one of the leading organizations for granting ultrasound certifications.
Applicants are charged a $100 processing fee along with the exam fee.
The SPI exam costs $225, and the cost of each specialty exam costs $250.
When the cost of accommodation, books, uniforms, and other additional costs are not included in the tuition, then they can cost extra between $1,000 and $20,000 per year.
For example, Mayo Clinic charges $750 for books, $100 for uniforms, and $225 for the Medical Sonography physics examination.
The annual certification renewal fee is about $85.
Some organizations and foundations offer scholarships to support the sonography community.
For example, the SDMS (Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography) foundation provides a $2,500 scholarship to a deserving sonography student.
Also, many colleges and universities have their own office for financial aid and scholarships.