Employment in the healthcare field is expected to grow by 18 percent over the next 8 years. This is a far higher rate than the national average, which means that jobs in the healthcare field are opening up left and right.
In other words, if you’re looking for a career change, healthcare is the field to get into.
But, what if you’re interested in working in healthcare but don’t want to spend a decade in med school?
Not to worry. There are plenty of healthcare-related jobs that don’t require years and years of schooling — for example, working as an ultrasound technician.
But how do you get into this career field?
Check out this guide to learn how to become an ultrasound technician.
Complete the Required Education
First things first, you need the appropriate education to become an ultrasound technician.
You’ll first need to earn your high school diploma or GED, after which you have three options:
- A 1-year certification program
- 2-year Associate’s degree
- 4-year Bachelor’s degree
For the most part, ultrasound technicians hold an Associate’s degree. However, there are Bachelor’s programs available that offer more areas of specialization.
Also, keep in mind that while certificate programs are the shortest (12-18 months), they’re only designed for those who already have experience in the healthcare field and are looking to transition into medical sonography.
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Whatever route you choose, make sure your education program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. This is the largest accreditor of professions in the health science field, and it ensures that all ultrasound technician programs meet the national standards.
Pass the Certification Exam
After completing your education, you’ll need to pass the national certification exam to become an ultrasound technician.
This exam is comprised of 400 questions and takes 7.5 hours to complete. Also, keep in mind that the length of your certification will depend on what credentialing organization you use. For the CCI, your certification will only last for 1 year, whereas it will last 6 years for the ARDMS and 10 years for the ARRT.
In addition to general certification, you may also want to consider specialty certification. This will make you more marketable to employers. You can check out these ultrasound CME courses to get an idea of what specialties are available.
Start Job Hunting
Once you’ve completed your education requirements and certification, it’s time to start searching for a job.
To make yourself more marketable to employers, you should consider volunteering at a healthcare facility when completing your education. This will show your dedication to the field. It’ll also help you gain some hands-on experience.
As we mentioned earlier, the healthcare field is growing rapidly, so finding a job shouldn’t be a problem.
How to Become an Ultrasound Technician: Are You Ready to Start Your New Career?
As you can see, becoming an ultrasound technician is a much quicker process than becoming a doctor.
And, although you won’t be making as much money as a doctor, you can still make a pretty decent salary. The median salary for an ultrasound technician is $64,380.
So, now that you know how to become an ultrasound technician, it’s time to get started on your new career. Be sure to check back in with our blog for more career advice.