Ultrasound technicians assist physicians in diagnosing medical conditions by generating images and conducting tests with medical imaging equipment. Sometimes called sonographers, their responsibilities include preparing as well as maintaining and operating diagnostic imaging equipment, analyzing and reviewing diagnostic imaging results, preparing patients for procedures by taking medical history and answering questions, and recording findings.
In order to become an ultrasound technician, it is typically necessary to complete a formal education program in the field. Below is a list of Massachusetts schools that offer sonography training programs for prospective ultrasound technicians:
Most sonography programs include courses in medical terminology, anatomy, applied sciences, and the usage of ultrasound equipment. The specific coursework required in order to complete the program will generally depend on the designated specialty, ranging from vascular or cardiovascular sonography to breast or abdominal sonography. Each specialization typically includes more specialized classes for that particular focus.
Another common factor in many programs is an in-field clinical component which requires candidates to study under experienced sonographers in a hospital, imaging laboratory, or physician's office while earning institutional credit. Some programs may also offer students the opportunity to participate in an internship at a nearby health care facility.
Although ultrasound technicians are not legally required to be licensed in Massachusetts, certification is often integral to a successful career in the field. In many cases, employers would rather hire professionally certified candidates, partly due to the fact that most insurance companies and Medicare only cover procedures conducted by certified technicians. Certification is recognized nationally and is offered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) and Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI).
In order to gain certification, candidates are required to pass an exam as well as graduate from an accredited program. Most employers prefer hiring graduates of sonography schools that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
There are a wide range of certification specialties for sonographers to choose from. Cardiovascular sonography and vascular sonography certification, for instance, are both offered by CCI. ARDMS offers certifications in diagnostic medical sonography with concentrations in fields like breast, abdomen, or pediatric sonography, as well as cardiovascular and vascular sonography. Sonographers will commonly have at least one certification in a specialty, and many earn multiple certifications.
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