Diagnostic medical sonographers play an important role as they use special equipment that uses sound waves to produce images of the inside of the patient’s body.
In the majority of cases, they work closely with physicians and provide them with these images that are used to prevent, diagnose and treat disease, as well as monitor the health of the fetus, meaning that somebody’s life might depend on sonographers work.
That is the reason why not everyone can become a sonographer, even though sonography is becoming increasingly popular because of the high salary, short education and training period, and the fact that job growth is expected to increase by 19.5% by 2026 in Louisiana.
In our article, we further discuss each of these topics, as well as connect you with accredited schools so that you can start your career as a sonographer.
Accredited Ultrasound Technician Schools in Louisiana
The primary accrediting body for sonography programs is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
So that a school can become accredited by CAAHEP, it has met DMS Accreditation Standards and Guidelines.
The program and school must have passed a series of program reviews, including a self-study review and a site visit before they are given the accreditation.
The purpose of these reviews is to make sure that the school can offer quality education to its students.
If you manage to successfully complete one of a recognized Louisiana DMS programs, you will earn eligibility to sit for the ARDMS Sonography Principles & Instrumentation (SPI) exam, as well as a specialty exam.
It is important to pass both of their exams, so as to be allowed to receive professional certification in diagnostic medical sonography.
Furthermore, those currently enrolled in or accepted to a CAAHEP accredited program are eligible to apply for the UltrasoundSchoolsInfo semi-annual $1,000 scholarship to use that money for tuition costs and other educational expenses.
The Louisiana schools below have all been accredited by CAAHEP and offer certificates or degrees in diagnostic medical sonography, so whichever you choose you will not regret your decision:
- Baton Rouge Community College – 201 Community College Drive Baton Rouge, LA 70806
- Delgado Community College – 615 City Park Avenue New Orleans, LA 70119
- Louisiana State University – PO Box 1129 Eunice, LA 70535
Ultrasound Tech Certification Requirements in Louisiana
If you want to become a more attractive candidate when applying for a job in the state of Louisiana, you can achieve this by acquiring a certification.
Actually, it is a fact that Louisiana does not currently require their diagnostic medical sonographers to be licensed or certified, but many states are discussing making the move toward required licensure, causing more and more employers to seek workers who possess it,
The certification from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) can be earned by taking and passing their exam.
You will first need to meet their prerequisites, and only then you can take the exam at one of the various testing locations in Louisiana:
- 2800 Veterans Memorial Blvd STE 256, Metairie, LA 70002
- 5555 Hilton #430, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
- 920 Pierremont Rd, Shreveport, LA 71106
- 4000 S Sherwood Forest Blvd #503, Baton Rouge, LA 70816
Prerequisites include either graduating from a CAAHEP accredited school or 12 months of full-time clinical experience.
It is our suggestion to request information from several ultrasound technician schools in Louisiana to ensure that they meet the certification requirements prior to deciding which one to attend.
Once you are ready to apply for an ARDMS examination, you should log in to MY ARDMS and choose Apply Online.
Then, you need to complete the online application form and submit payment.
The required supporting documentation must be submitted within 21 days of applying online by uploading it into your MY ARDMS account.
Documentation required with the application is:
- Copy of an official transcript from a two-year allied health education program with a state-specific number of credits.
- Copy of education program certificate, certification, or license.
- Letter from a supervising physician, ARDMS-Registered sonographer/technologist, or the educational program director indicating a minimum of 12 months of full-time clinical/ vascular experience.
- Signed and completed clinical verification (CV) form for each appropriate specialty area(s)
- Copy of non-expired government-issued photo identification (ID) with signature
You can also earn your certification through Cardiovascular Credentialing International, which requires you to fulfill two years of non-invasive cardiovascular technology employment.
Furthermore, if you have attended a non-accredited program, then you will need to provide proof that you have completed 800 clinical hours.
The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists also provides a sonography certificate in vascular sonography or breast sonography.
Upon completing your certification, you will need to renew your license every two years by earning the approved 24 continuing education credits, so your training and education do not end with your reaching a certificate.
Ultrasound Techs Salary And Job Outlook In Louisiana
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary for sonographers in Louisiana is $88783 but those with the highest level of knowledge can earn up to $102451.
There are various factors that can affect how much money you will earn.
Where you work, your education, certification from the ARDMS, and location of your employer will make your salary range from $78623 to even $102451.
How your education can affect your earnings is shown through the following figures:
- Ultrasound Technician Salary in Louisiana – 20% expected job growth by 2026, $58,040 per year
- Echo Tech Salary in Louisiana — 20% expected job growth, $41,630 per year
- Vascular Sonographer Salary in Louisiana – 20% expected job growth by 2026, $41,630 per year
- MRI Technologist Salary in Louisiana — 10% expected job growth, $55,610 per year
- Cardiac Sonographer Salary in Louisiana – 20% expected job growth, $41,630 per year
- Radiology Tech Salary in Louisiana — 9% expected job growth, $49,360 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018)
How much you can earn depends on the facility you work in, as outpatient care centers tend to pay the most.
On the other hand, there are hospitals that have the highest employment numbers, but salaries are not too high.
In addition, diagnostic medical sonography is one of the highest paying careers available with just an Associate’s Degree, but earning a Bachelor’s Degree will make you eligible for higher-paying positions as well.
Geographic location also impacts your salary and we offer you the mean annual wages for several major cities in Louisiana.
Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of Ultrasound Technicians in Louisiana
City Name Salary New Orleans $92,002 Baton Rouge $86,169 Shreveport $85,206 Lafayette $85,147 Lake Charles $83,980 Kenner $91,952 Bossier City $85,206 Monroe $84,761 Alexandria $82,110 New Iberia $84,653
Regional Salary in Louisiana
Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary Alexandria, LA 50 $62,700 $30.15 $81,130 $46,400 Baton Rouge, LA 250 $68,830 $33.09 $92,290 $50,180 Houma-Thibodaux, LA 40 $66,950 $32.19 $81,990 $52,630 Lafayette, LA 130 $66,950 $32.19 $84,860 $40,590 Lake Charles, LA 50 $59,820 $28.76 $86,020 $43,760 Monroe, LA 60 $68,600 $32.98 $83,160 $52,210 New Orleans-Metairie, LA 640 $61,420 $29.53 $80,360 $52,000 Shreveport-Bossier City, LA 90 $67,660 $32.53 $85,170 $40,470
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.