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How to Become an Ultrasound Technician in Pennsylvania

For those of you that are pursuing a career as an ultrasound technician, certification standards vary by state. This particular post will detail the requirements and other information for the state of Pennsylvania.

Requirements

Pursuing a career as an ultrasound technician in the state of Pennsylvania is extremely simple. To begin, the main requirement to being hired as a technician is the completion of an ultrasound technician program. To enter a program, you must either complete your GED or have your high school diploma. There is no other prior education or certification that one must attain to enter into an ultrasound technician program.

Prior Education and Training

For any career, some form of training or education is necessary. This is also true of ultrasound technician careers. Most ultrasound technician programs can be fulfilled either at a local community college or technical school. The educational programs typically can be fulfilled in two years, which at the end of the two years, the students receives an ultrasound technology certificate or a Bachelor’s Degree in ultrasound technology. At these programs, students will learn the necessary tools to perform the duties of a ultrasound technician and to excel at their career, regardless of what path they take.

Certification

The state of Pennsylvania is perhaps one of the few states that does not require students to receive a formal certificate. However, when receiving an education, students have the option of either completing a certificate program that gives them the ability to work as an ultrasound technician, or to complete a formal degree, at which no other education is necessary. It should be noted though, students that do decide to undergo the process of a formal degree do have higher earning power and possibly a better chance at being hired.

How to Become Certified Through an Organization

One of the best ways to increase one’s earning power and chances of being hired as an ultrasound technician is to receive certification through an organization. One of the most popular and beneficial options is to do so through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography. To receive this voluntary certification, a course must be taken, followed by an exam. Those that pass the exam will receive the voluntary certificate. In addition to this certificate, this organization also has many other opportunities that can help you add to your resume to further your skills and your career.

Continuing Education Requirements

There are no continuing education requirements. However, students looking to further their skills and careers can also look into advanced degree options after consulting with their place of employment to see what advanced degrees will supplement their current knowledge well.

Salary Range

The salary for an ultrasound technician can range greatly. Factors depend upon education, experience, and employer. The salary can range from anywhere between $35,000 to $62,000, with the median being $50,000 per year.

Tasks Allowed to Perform

Ultrasound technicians perform very specific duties. The ultrasound technician utilizes special equipment to help diagnose a patient’s medical issues. There are a number of branches of sonography that ultrasound technicians can get into such as gynecology, cardiac, neurosonography, breast sonography, and vascular sonography. Technicians will also work with other medical professionals to help record patient’s medical progress and even to perform consulting.

How Long Do Certification Programs Take

There is no certification program needed. However, if one does do a certification program, it takes two years at a community college to complete. On the other hand, for those pursuing a Bachelor’s degree, the program can take four years. Depending on which option one takes, the salary can increase drastically. For this reason, it is recommended that students choose a Bachelor’s degree, rather than an associates degree. In addition, one can also gain supplemental education to help further their career and salary. The State of Pennsylvania has many programs available, and the market outlook for individuals that are looking to enter this career is very positive.