Sonography technicians are a vital part of a hospital's diagnostic team. Though many people think ultrasound techs concern themselves only with pregnancy cases, they do much more than that. Sonography technicians are needed for other routine -- and less-than-routine -- cases, such as gynecological exams, ophthalmologic diagnoses, and echocardiograms.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Pennsylvania ranks fifth in the country in employment of diagnostic medical sonographers, with 2,480 professionals working in the field as of May 2015. The state also boasts a number of schools with programs specifically focused on sonography.
Students interested in pursuing a formal education in sonography will find several options available from Pennsylvania schools. Below are five institutions that offer education programs for future ultrasound technicians:
Pennsylvania's sonography technician programs offer a wide variety of options to prospective students. Some may choose to earn a certificate, and can do so in two years or less. Others might decide to gain a more general foundation of medical knowledge and experience at first, then go on to specialize in a distinct area of sonography in the future.
Regardless of the path prospective sonography students take, programs typically involve coursework in a classroom setting, as well as fieldwork in a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. To successfully complete the program, students must demonstrate both knowledge of sonography from a theoretical standpoint and efficient clinical skills.
While courses vary by school and program specialty, below are several topics students can expect to study while pursuing a degree in sonography:
Ultrasound technicians are not required by U.S. law to become licensed. However, most sonography schools and programs suggest their graduates become certified technicians. To do so, prospects must sit for exams administered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Sonography technicians are required to renew their certification annually.
The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for Pennsylvania. 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® 23.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org
Annual Median Salary