Get to Know the Field: Begin by getting a good understanding of the ultrasound technician profession. Discover what they do, where they work, and the various specializations available in the field, such as abdominal, obstetrics/gynecology, cardiac, or vascular sonography.
Earn a High School Diploma or Its Equivalent: To become an ultrasound technician, you usually need a high school diploma or GED. Focus on science and math subjects during your high school years.
Join an Accredited Ultrasound Technology Program: Sign up for a program that's accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). You can find these programs at universities, colleges, and vocational schools. They typically offer a certificate, an associate degree, or a bachelor's degree in diagnostic medical sonography.
Acquire Clinical Experience: As part of your ultrasound technology program, you'll participate in clinical rotations. Here, you'll gain practical experience under the guidance of experienced professionals. This experience is essential for honing your skills and competencies.
Consider Getting Certified: Certification isn't always mandatory, but it can improve your job prospects and showcase your proficiency as an ultrasound technician. The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) provides certification exams in various specialties. You must fulfill specific educational and clinical experience criteria to be eligible for certification.
Get State Licensure (if needed): Some states might require ultrasound technicians to be licensed. Look into the requirements of the state where you plan to work and make sure you meet all the necessary conditions.
Look for Job Opportunities: After completing your education and obtaining any required certifications or licensure, start looking for job openings. You can find opportunities at hospitals, clinics, imaging centers, or private practices.
Pursue Continuing Education: To keep up with the latest in the field and maintain your certification, consider enrolling in continuing education courses and attending professional conferences. This will help you stay informed about the newest developments and techniques in ultrasound technology.
Currently, Minnesota is home to 11 radiography programs accredited by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). These programs offer a variety of qualifications including a Certificate, an Associate’s, a Bachelor’s in Radiology Technology, or a combination of these.
Here is a list of the institutions offering these programs:
1. Century College, White Bear Lake
2. Dunwoody College of Technology, Minneapolis
3. Lake Superior College, Duluth
4. Mayo School of Health Sciences, Rochester
5. Minnesota State College, Winona, Detroit Lakes
6. Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Luverne
7. Northland Community & Technical College, East Grand Forks
8. Riverland Community College, Austin
9. St. Catherine University, Minneapolis
10. St. Cloud Hospital, St Cloud
11. Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Minneapolis
The current average yearly salary for a radiologic technologist in Minnesota is approximately $71,760, which equates to an average hourly wage of $34.50. This is higher than the national average annual salary for radiologic technologists, which stands at about $61,370. As with other states, the salaries of radiological technologists in Minnesota can fluctuate based on factors such as job responsibilities, employer, and experience level.
Rudy recommends the following next steps:
For an entry level position you need at minimum an associates degree which takes about 2 years. For better opportunities, a bachelors is advisable (4 years). You need to sit for a certification exam and some states require a license. You can also get different certifications for specializations.
If you want to move up in your profession, go into management of teach you should get your bachelors and masters.