How to Become an Ultrasound Technician in Louisiana

Diagnostic medicine is a growing field. Ultrasound technicians are essential to diagnostic medicine. In Louisiana, growth in the healthcare diagnostics fields will exceed most other sectors in the near future. Based on the predicted increase of medically under-served patients as a result of the enactment of the U.S. federal Affordable Care Act 2013, the demand for medical diagnostic services in Louisiana is expected to increase by 21% by 2020.

With a higher than national average growth forecast for demand of new ultrasound technicians in the state, students training to become ultrasound technicians will see an increase in opportunities. Schools designating certification for general sonography and related medical diagnostic practices provide the training required for ultrasound technicians to benefit from this bright employment outlook.

Requirements for Ultrasound Technician Certification
In Louisiana, students can seek ultrasound technician training to certify and license as a medical diagnostics specialist. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education (CAAHEP) provides the guidelines to higher education institution accredited programs. Students studying for a certification in ultrasound examination generally attend school for 1 to 2 years.

Ultrasound technician students completing a certification program take the Abdomen, Obstetrics-Gynecology and Ultrasound Physics (ARDMS) exam for completion. Ultrasound technicians in Louisiana can find employment in clinics, hospitals, laboratories, physician offices and public health facilities. Medical sonography equipment sales presents another viable career path for graduates of an ultrasound technician certification program.

Career Outlook for Ultrasound Technicians in Louisiana
Salaries paid to ultrasound technicians in Louisiana are lower than in most U.S. states. Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound Technicians make an average annual salary of $56,140, nearly $10,000 below the national average of $64,400 for the same role. Top compensation paid to ultrasound technicians in the state is over $75,000 annually, however.

In the forthcoming decade, it is predicted that Louisiana’s lower-income population of patients will present a better than expected opportunity for health professionals. Healthcare services such as ultrasound examination will be expanded to include a new population of uninsured individuals as a result of the Affordable Care Act provision.
At present, the state employs about 900 ultrasound technicians. This leaves exceptional room for employment and advancement of certified ultrasound technicians in Louisiana’s healthcare sector. Outpatient clinics and other service delivery facilities will increase the number of openings for ultrasound technicians into the future.

The career outlook for ultrasound technicians is also promoted by a predicted significant increase in employment in the state by 2020. Growth forecast for the Gulf Coast region of the state, which is currently assigned “medically under-served” status, will open up new opportunities for ultrasound technician program graduates. With such high growth projected, roles in diagnostic medicine will place in the top ten in terms of highest paid jobs not requiring a Bachelor Degree in the state.

CAAHEP Accredited Ultrasound Technician Certification Programs
The two top CAAHEP schools in Louisiana are Delgado Community College, New Orleans and Louisiana State University, Eunice. Students that have matriculated from a diagnostic medical technology program in the state are trained in general sonography. In 2012, enrollment in ultrasound technician certificate programs at the top two Louisiana institutions rose to more than 15,000 students. The following are the two top programs for ultrasound certification, with an emphasis in general sonography; and related career training in diagnostic medicine in Louisiana. Due to the predicted demand for new ultrasound technicians in the state, students seeking enrollment in a CAAHEP accredited medical diagnostics certification program should review the list of schools for update.

School Name: Delgado Community College
Address: 615 City Park Avenue, New Orleans, LA – 70119
Program: Accredited Certificate Program in General Sonography
Accreditation: CAAHEP Accredited

School Name: Louisiana State University-Eunice
Address: PO Box 1129, Eunice, LA – 70535
Program: Accredited Certificate Program in General Sonography
Accreditation: CAAHEP Accredited and ARRT Recognized