If the healthcare field is the one that interests you, one of the most promising and rewarding careers that you can start is sonography, and below you can find more information on how to become a qualified ultrasound technician in New Mexico.
Prior to making any decisions, you should get familiar with ultrasound technicians’ duties and obligatory skills.
Actually, these professionals are essential to the treatment team, as they work closely with patients, doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff.
Then, ultrasound technicians, also known as diagnostic medical sonographers, have to be specially trained to operate machines and computers to administer image scans.
Besides being trained to take these images, they need to know how to read them so as to help in the timely diagnosis of patients with an illness or injury.
Technical skills are essential, but ultrasound technicians should have other personal characteristics as well, such as good communication skills, both written and verbal, as they will need to communicate with other staff and keep written records.
Now, in case you believe that you can manage to do all these activities during the course of the day, you should consider enrolling in one of the accredited New Mexico sonography programs and begin your path towards your new job.
Accredited Ultrasound Technician Schools in New Mexico
It was our aim to provide you with a list of schools that have met the CAAHEP DMS Accreditation Standards and Guidelines by passing a series of program reviews, including a self-study review and a site visit and we have managed it.
You can choose to successfully complete one of these recognized New Mexico DMS programs and make yourself eligible to sit for the ARDMS Sonography Principles & Instrumentation (SPI) examination:
- Central New Mexico Community College – 525 Buena Vista Dr. SE Albuquerque, NM 87106
- Dona Ana Community College – 3400 S Espina St MSC 3DA PO Box30001 Las Cruces, NM 88003
The length of your education will depend on the level you want to reach:
- Certificate programs: Two to three semesters in duration, totaling 30 to 45 credits
- Associate’s degree programs: Four semesters of study and 60 to 70 credits
- Bachelor’s degree programs: Eight semesters and 120 to 130 credits
Choosing the right program that is the most suitable for you is important.
In New Mexico, many ultrasound technician programs offer a combination of online and in-class courses, as well as a part-time and full-time status to meet students’ individual needs.
You will also have an opportunity to specialize in areas within the radiology field, such as cardiac imaging or prenatal ultrasounds.
Some of the courses you will need to attend are:
- Medical Terminology
- Orientation to Diagnostic Medical Sonography
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Cross-Sectional Anatomy
- Abdominal Sonography
- Sonographic Principles
- Sonographic Instrumentation
- Sonography Seminar
Furthermore, programs consist of clinical courses as well so that students gain hands-on experience in patient care and working in a clinical setting, and become ready to work immediately after being employed.
Ultrasound Tech Certification Requirements in New Mexico
New Mexico is another one of only four states (Oregon, North Dakota, and New Hampshire) that requires a license to practice sonography.
The license is granted by the State of New Mexico, and the state charges a maximum of $100.00 to obtain the license, which has to be renewed every two years.
It is worth noting that licensure is different than certification, which many employers will require as an addition to the state license.
The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) is the primary organization offering certification for sonographers.
You can earn your certification by taking and passing their exam and there is only one testing center in the state of New Mexico.
You can take the exam in several neighboring states as well and you can easily find the locations and contact information on the ARDMS website at ardms.org, or by calling the testing company Pearson Vue at 1-877-258-9220.
However, you should not get in touch with them unless you have met their prerequisites.
Meeting their requirements is possible if you have graduated from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or if you have gained 12 months full 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
Ultrasound Techs Salary And Job Outlook In New Mexico
In New Mexico, diagnostic medical sonographers earn a median salary of $84705.
The most important fact, besides a stable and promising salary for future sonographers, is the predicted growth in the field.
It is expected to be much higher than average, with a 29% increase in employment expected in the years to come.
Ultrasound techs typically work in surgical or general medical hospitals or they can also be employed at physicians’ offices and private diagnostic medical imaging centers throughout the state.
In New Mexico, as in every other state, salaries may vary depending on numerous factors, and one of them is education and certification:
- Ultrasound Technician Salary in New Mexico – Expected growth of 29% between 2014 and 2024, $67,880 per year
- Echo Tech Salary in New Mexico — Expected growth of 26%, $51,480 per year
- Vascular Sonographer Salary in New Mexico – Expected growth of 26%, $51,480 per year
- MRI Technologist Salary in New Mexico — Expected growth of 14% between 2014 and 2024, $69,750 per year
- Cardiac Sonographer Salary in New Mexico – Expected growth of 26%, $51,480 per year
- Radiology Tech Salary in New Mexico — Expected growth of 8% between 2014 and 2024, $58,170 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017)
Also, salary may vary in various cities in New Mexico, as it is shown in the table below.
Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of Ultrasound Technicians in New Mexico
City Name Salary Albuquerque $87,137 Las Cruces $78,774 Santa Fe $87,578 Rio Rancho $86,859 Roswell $81,276 Farmington $85,967 Alamogordo $82,666 Clovis $82,096 Hobbs $79,951 Carlsbad $81,276