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If you're interested in a career in health care and enjoy working with technology, you may want to consider becoming an ultrasound technician. Also known as sonographers, ultrasound technicians use high-frequency sound waves from an ultrasound machine to create pictures of a patient's internal organs and other tissues. Doctors and other health care professionals use these images to diagnose and treat a variety of medical conditions.

North Carolina Ultrasound Technician Schools

North Carolina offers numerous ultrasound technology programs with accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Students can pursue either a certificate or degree in the field, with a choice between general, cardiac, or vascular sonography specializations.

Here are five North Carolina schools that offer formal education programs in diagnostic medical sonography:

  • Cape Fear Community College: At CFCC in Wilmington, students can choose between general sonography and cardiac sonography degree and certificate programs. The graduating class of 2015 earned 100 percent job placement and ARDM certification.

  • Johnston Community College: Located in Smithfield, JCC offers students the choice between pursuing a degree in general sonography, cardiac sonography, or vascular sonography. Courses include clinical work at a variety of area hospitals and medical centers.

  • South Piedmont Community College: SPCC offers an associate degree program in general sonography. Every graduate from the class of 2014 earned ARDMS certification.

  • Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College: This school, located in Asheville, offers two associate degree programs: general and vascular sonography. The graduation rate in 2014 was 100 percent, as was the ARDMS certification rate.

  • Southwestern Community College: SCC in Sylva offers the choice between a diploma and an associate degree. Every student graduating with the class of 2015 earned ARDMS certification, as well as job placement.

In addition to completing one of these programs, graduates are advised to pursue certification with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).

What to Expect from North Carolina Sonography Programs

CAAHEP-accredited ultrasound technology programs help prepare graduates for ARDMS certification, using state-of-the-art equipment and real-life training. Common course topics include:

  • Abdominal Sonography
  • Cardiovascular Sonographic
  • Doppler Sonography
  • Fetal Echocardiography
  • Introduction to Sonography
  • Obstetrical Sonography
  • Pathology
  • Sonographic Basics
  • Sonographic Physics
  • Sonography Clinical Education
  • Vascular Sonography

In addition, students pursuing an associate degree in the field typically take general education courses, such as:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • History

Sonography students can also expect to learn skills on patient care, computers, and medical technology. Instruction is often split between classroom-based learning and hands-on training with actual ultrasound equipment. Some programs offer an internship component as well, giving students the chance to apply their skills in an actual health care environment.

North Carolina Ultrasound Technician Licensing and Certification

The state of North Carolina does not require ultrasound technicians to have a license. However, ARDMS certification is strongly recommended as a means of improving employability and increasing earning potential. To obtain these credentials, you must submit a Clinical Verification Form, an application and fee, as well as pass two exams, one on Sonography Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) and the other on your chosen specialty.

Credential choices include:

  • Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
  • Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer
  • Registered Vascular Technologist
  • Registered Musculoskeletal Sonographer

Specialty exams include:

  • Abdomen
  • Breast
  • Fetal Echocardiography
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Pediatric Sonography
  • Adult Echocardiography
  • Pediatric Echocardiography
  • Vascular Technology
  • Musculoskeletal Sonography

When applying, you must include your transcripts or a CME certification of completion of a qualified sonography program. ARDMS returns incomplete applications, but does not reimburse the processing fee.

Resources for Ultrasound Technicians in North Carolina

ARDMS provides sonography students and professional ultrasound technicians the following resources:

In addition, the site offers educational articles and job information.

These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
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More North Carolina Ultrasound Technician Training Schools

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

School Name
Campus
Highest Award
Enrolled
Asheville
Associate
6,408
Hudson
Associate
3,728
Wilmington
Associate
7,570
Morehead City
Associate
1,628
Winston Salem
Associate
7,276
Smithfield
Associate
4,145
Winterville
Associate
6,499
Polkton
Associate
2,250
Sylva
Associate
2,040

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Sonographers

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for North Carolina. A table below the map shows job popularity and salaries across the state.

Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Sonographers

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Sonographers relative to the population of the city. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Metro Area
Jobs
Annual Median Salary
Asheville 180 $66,260
Fayetteville 50 $60,320
Greensboro 160 $66,400
High Point 160 $66,400
Greenville 70 $64,020
Hickory 40 $56,060
Lenoir 40 $56,060
Morganton 40 $56,060
Durham 180 $69,320
Chapel Hill 180 $69,320
Raleigh 290 $65,170
Wilmington 80 $61,730
Winston 200 $66,220
Salem 200 $66,220

Sources:

  1. Home page, ARDMS, http://www.ardms.org/Pages/default.aspx, accessed October 1, 2016.
  2. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians, Including Vascular Technologists, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/diagnostic-medical-sonographers.htm, accessed October 1, 2016.
  3. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, ARRT, https://www.arrt.org/certification/sonography, accessed October 1, 2016.

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