Pennsylvania Sonography Tech Careers and Degrees
Receiving your Sonogram Technician Training in Pennsylvania
If you want to become a sonogram technician in Pennsylvania, you have many educational program options ranging from one-year certificates to master’s or doctoral degrees. Depending on the program you choose, you will learn procedures that help to diagnose severe health issues, such as heart disease or breast cancer, using an ultrasonography machine.
At a basic level, formal education in diagnostic medical sonography will teach you how high-frequency sound waves can be used to create images of structures and organs within the body. You’ll learn how to read the images and, depending on your specialization, may use them to determine the sex of an unborn baby or find evidence of a host of internal health issues that help a doctor diagnose more accurately. You’ll also learn how to use, maintain, and evaluate the purchase of equipment used for medical sonography.
Pennsylvania is known for its many sonography programs, so you have many accredited schools to choose from for a degree in diagnostic medical sonography. Online ultrasound schools are also an option, though provide less on-site training. To be considered a health professional in the field of diagnostic medical sonography, some formal education (including vocational or technical schools) and/or registration with the ARDMS is required.
Sonography Technician Licensing in Pennsylvania
Formal licensure is not required in all states, or for all jobs, because training can happen on the job or through a one-year certificate program. In Pennsylvania, a formal license is not required, though most jobs require a BLS (Basic Life Support) certificate, and/or certification by the ARDMS (American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers) or the ARRT (American Registry of Radiologic Technologists). Some employers will hire individuals without these certificates on the condition that you acquire them during the first year or two of employment, and most require that the certification is kept current.
In Pennsylvania, degree programs to look for are certificates in Diagnostic Medical Sonography or associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degrees in Allied Health Diagnostic / Intervention / Treatment Professions.
Career Outlook for Sonogram Technicians in Pennsylvania
According to ONET online, the median wage for sonogram technicians nationally is $65,860 annually. The wide range of careers in the field of sonogram technology means that annual salaries can vary widely, especially with the many levels of education available. However, in Pennsylvania, sonogram technicians can expect to make between $43K and $70K in large urban areas such as Pittsburgh or Philadelphia.
Though there are full-time jobs available in Pennsylvania, many sonogram technicians work part-time. Often sonographers are on-call or work variable shifts and hours due to the variable needs for sonograms at hospitals and medical centers. Job opportunities exist for a variety of education levels and career trajectories in the field of diagnostic medical sonography. These jobs range from certificate-level or associate’s degree-level training to doctoral. Job titles can include; Cardiovascular Sonographer, Echo Cardiographer, Mammographer, Medical Imaging Supervisor, Medical Instrument Technologist, Radiology Department Manager, Ultrasound Technologist, Vascular Technologist, and many many more.