Ultrasound technicians are part of a specialized sector in the medical field that uses specific equipment to view internal images of the body's soft tissues, including abdominal organs and reproductive systems. The images created by this technology are called ultrasounds or sonograms, because they use the echoes of sound waves bouncing off soft tissue to create a computer image. Ultrasounds can be used on the stomach, heart, muscles, nervous system, and almost any other soft tissue.
With more than 140 acute care hospitals, Illinois has numerous opportunities for health care workers and technicians. Many schools and health care facilities are based in Chicago, the nation's third biggest city, but other large metro areas include Springfield, Peoria, and East St. Louis.
Illinois sonography students have a number of options for training programs across the state. Though there are many programs in Chicago, down-state Illinois also boasts several accredited schools. Here are six institutions that offer formal education in the field:
Because the ultrasound field requires both technical skill and caregiving practice, formal education is a necessary part of becoming an ultrasound technician. Students wanting to start their career in Illinois have several options for training including two- and four-year programs.
Depending on your interests, many schools allow you to focus your education on a certain area of the body by taking the corresponding classes. Most programs also have a clinical component where students learn from a professional ultrasound technician.
Students can expect to develop skills in operating ultrasound equipment, interpreting and summarizing ultrasound images, and working with patients. Courses may include:
Employers often prefer graduates of programs accredited by the CAAHEP. While Illinois does not require sonographers to be licensed, most professionals obtain certification via the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) or Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI). These certifications are awarded after passing the related exams administered by either organization. Certain areas of sonography have optional associated certifications as well. Most sonography technicians obtain at least one such credential.
The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for Illinois. A table below the map shows job popularity and salaries across the state.
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.
2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; O*NET® 22.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org
Annual Median Salary