Prior to deciding whether this career is really the one that suits you best, it is necessary that you get familiar with the duties and qualifications that you must possess so as to be a successful sonographer.
Actually, diagnostic medical sonographers play a vital role in the care of their patients, considering the fact that they use special equipment that uses sound waves to produce images of the inside of the body.
You can expect to work closely with physicians, and not only take but also analyze these images in order to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease.
Sonography is a very attractive career within the healthcare industry because of the high salary, short education, and training period.
Furthermore, job availability for sonographers in Maryland is expected to increase by 14.6% by 2026 causing more and more people to get involved in this field.
In our article, we will discuss all the things you need to know as well as connect you with accredited ultrasound technician schools where you can receive the high-quality education you need to become a sonographer.
Accredited Ultrasound Technician Schools in Maryland
The main organization that accredits sonography programs is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
So that a school can receive accreditation from CAAHEP, it needs to meet the DMS Accreditation Standards and Guidelines, that is, pass a series of program reviews, a self-study review, and a site visit.
Accreditation proves that the school is able to provide a high-quality education to its students as they prepare to enter the healthcare workforce and it is our suggestion to enroll in only those schools that have it.
The successful completion of a recognized Maryland DMS program makes you eligible to sit for the ARDMS Sonography Principles & Instrumentation (SPI) exam, as well as a specialty exam.
Passing both these exams will allow you to receive professional certification in diagnostic medical sonography.
These are Maryland schools that have all been accredited by CAAHEP and offer degrees or certificates in diagnostic medical sonography:
- Howard Community College – 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway Columbia, MD 21044
- Montgomery College – 7600 Takoma Ave. Takoma Park, MD 20912
- Johns Hopkins Hospital – 111 Market Place Suite 830 Baltimore, MD 21202
- University of Maryland, Baltimore County – 1450 S Rolling Road Baltimore, MD 21227
Future students can decide to complete either a degree or non-degree program.
Non-degree programs take a year to complete by attending a school that is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health while getting your associate or bachelor’s degree in ultrasound technology would require a longer period of studies and will increase your chances of career advancement and a higher pay grade.
Before you can enroll in any program, you should get familiar with certain prerequisites, such as passing courses in physiology, medical terminology, and anatomy which you need to meet.
During ultrasound technology studies, you will have both classroom instruction and clinical training and you may be learning subjects like ultrasound physics, pathophysiology, and vascular ultrasound.
Clinical training requires six months of hands-on experience with imaging equipment.
Ultrasound Tech Certification Requirements in Maryland
As the majority of the states, Maryland does not require ultrasound technicians to possess licensure or certification.
Due to the fact that those who possess it are given preference when applying for a job, many people decide to make themselves more attractive to employers who do prefer professional certification by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).
This is an organization that provides the most highly regarded certification for sonographers, and you can earn their certification by taking and passing their exam, once you qualify for it.
The exam can be taken at one of the various testing locations in Maryland:
- 8401 Corporate Dr #250, Hyattsville, MD 20785
- 4350 E W Hwy #525, Bethesda, MD 20814
- 9891 Broken Land Pkwy, Columbia, MD 21046
- 3108 Lord Baltimore Dr # 103, Windsor Mill, MD 21244
- 716 Maiden Choice Ln #201, Catonsville, MD 21228
- 927 Eastern Shore Dr, Salisbury, MD 21804
Besides graduating from a CAAHEP accredited school, the second way to qualify for this exam is 12 months of full-time clinical experience.
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
Another kind of certification you may choose to earn is a sonography certificate through The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, which specializes in vascular sonography and breast sonography.
So as to get this license, you will need to have an understanding of ultrasound physical principles, sonography procedures, and patient care.
Cardiovascular Credentialing International also provides you with a certificate once you have completed two years of employment as a non-invasive cardiovascular technician.
You will need to renew your licenses every two years by taking 24 continuing education credits through an approved program.
Ultrasound Techs Salary And Job Outlook In Maryland
Upon getting a proper education and certification, each person would like to find a job and earn a decent salary.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary for sonographers in Maryland is $95554, but it can vary depending on where you work, whether or not you possess certification from the ARDMS, and what kind of degree you have.
Outpatient care centers tend to pay the most, while hospitals, which have the highest employment numbers, do not offer high salaries.
If you know that diagnostic medical sonography is one of the highest paying careers available for Associate’s Degree holders you may want to stop your education there, but have in mind that earning a Bachelor’s Degree will open you up to higher-paying positions as well.
Geographic location can affect your salary as well which is shown in the table below.
You can see how the mean annual salary differs among various areas of Maryland.
Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of Ultrasound Technicians in Maryland
City Name Salary Baltimore $95,270 Frederick $99,183 Gaithersburg $102,286 Bowie $102,348 Rockville $102,440 Hagerstown $93,868 Annapolis $97,946 College Park $102,564 Salisbury $98,597 Cumberland $85,039