Ultrasound Technician Schools in Pennsylvania
Guide to Pennsylvania Ultrasound & Sonographer Degree Programs
A diagnostic medical sonographer is one of the few healthcare occupations where there is no single set level of education that is required to obtain employment. Students can find several courses of study that range in time spans from one to four years to complete. However, in Pennsylvania the two and four year programs are more common and the student will leave the program with either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in this field. Sonography students can expect to take classes that concentrate in the areas of anatomy, physiology, patient care techniques, and medical ethics. Students will also learn to become skilled operators of different types of ultrasound equipment.
The sonographer is an important part of providing quality medical care to patients. Physicians rely on the results of ultrasound procedures to make decisions about the proper course of treatment for patients. The ultrasound technician must be an excellent communicator to be able to relay information in the correct medical terms to the physician and yet break down the process to be understandable for the patient. Other qualities that should be possessed by a sonographer are good hand-eye coordination, a high degree of technical skills, the ability to work independently, and a genuine interest in patient welfare.
Even after completing an ultrasound or sonographer degree program, students should expect to continue to make regular trips to the classroom. The nature of this career is that the technology is always changing and with it the skills of the sonographer need to be updated. Many employers will offer tuition reimbursement for those courses.
Pennsylvania Ultrasound & Sonographer Job Outlook and Salary
Over half of students graduating with degrees as diagnostic medical sonographers will find employment in either public or private hospital settings. Sonographers may also be employed by physicians to work at an office or by a diagnostic laboratory. The demand for skilled ultrasound technicians is expected to increase over the next several years. In Pennsylvania, higher numbers of sonographers will be needed in the more populated cities of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, but even regional areas like Erie and Harrisburg will see favorable employment opportunities. As in other areas of healthcare, those with more specialized skills will be in higher demand and will receive higher pay. Sonographers have several options when seeking to specialize including, but not limited to neurosonology, obstetrics and gynecology, or breast sonography.
Wages in Pennsylvania are competitive with those in the surrounding states with higher salaries being paid in the more urban areas. Sonographers in the state can expect to earn salaries in the range of $52,000 to $73,000 per year. Salaries will vary depending on the employee’s experience level, the education level attained, and the degree of specialization. In addition to becoming a registered diagnostic medical sonographer, careers in this field can be advanced through employment in research, education, technical consulting, or sales.