Ultrasound Technician Schools in Virginia
Guide to Virginia Ultrasound & Sonographer Degree Programs
The number of available jobs in the healthcare industry is expected to rise significantly over the next few years. If you would like to make a career change and become part of a healthcare team, consider training to be an ultrasound technician or a medical diagnostic sonographer. This position is unique in patient treatment as it is a non-invasive procedure. That means that you will be a key player in the system, but you don’t have to deal with the injections, intravenous lines, or the blood that is part of the daily routine of many other healthcare workers.
Before you enter in a degree program to become a sonographer, there are some factors to consider. This is a position that can be very stressful. You may be the first person to see problems with the internal structures of a patient’s body. You must maintain your composure at all times even in the face of a difficult situation. The ultrasound technician must have a caring and compassionate nature that puts the patient at ease. You must also be technically competent to capture the correct images for the attending physician.
Virginia offers three quality programs for ultrasound technicians and sonographers. Students can choose from programs at a community college, a university, or a medical center. Most of these programs will take anywhere from one to four years to complete, depending on the certification or degree you wish to obtain. Most employers will look more favorably upon candidates who have earned either an associate’ or bachelor’s degree, but there is currently no minimum educational requirement in Virginia.
Virginia Ultrasound & Sonographer Job Outlook and Salary
Those graduating from an accredited Virginia program in sonography can expect to find a number of available jobs. The demand for qualified sonographers continues to exceed the supply in this state, especially in the more urban population centers. Ultrasound technicians can expect to find employment in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, private physicians’ offices, public clinics, and laboratories. Work may also be available as part of a mobile imaging service team that travels to different offices and clinics to provide quality care. Most sonographers will be asked to work a 40 hour week, but there are opportunities for part-time work in this career. Depending on the setting of the employment, the ultrasound technician may need to work on evenings and/or weekends.
After completing your education, you can expect to earn a decent living as an ultrasound technician. The average annual salary for a full-time sonographer in Virginia ranges between $52,000 and $73,000. Ultrasound technicians can expect to receive a benefits package that will likely include health insurance, retirement benefits, and vacation time. Salaries are dependent on the experience, education, and specialization of the sonographer. Opportunities for advancement in this career may be found in gaining specialized skills or entering into research, consulting, education, and sales.