Due to the fact that significant job growth is expected both nation-wide and in the state of Utah when sonography career is in question, there are more and more young people interested in this medical field.
Medical sonography is a popular career choice not only because of the rewarding nature of the job but also because of the typically short training and education period.
Prior to start thinking about becoming a sonographer, it is significant to get familiar with the duties and responsibilities of these professionals and see if you are ready to fulfill them.
Diagnostic medical sonographers, commonly referred to as ultrasound technicians, are trained professionals who use sophisticated equipment to image the inside of the body.
They work with physicians who use those images to detect, diagnose, and treat disease, as well as monitor the health and growth of a fetus inside an expectant mother.
They need to possess technical skills combined with the following personal characteristics:
- Hand-eye coordination
- Compassion and empathy
- Ability to lift, push, pull over 50 lbs
- Staying calm under pressure
- Dexterity to operate equipment
- Listening and communication skills
- Knowledge of anatomy/physiology
- Ethical conduct
- Understanding of pathophysiology
- Ability to function as part of a team
Accredited Ultrasound Technician Schools in Utah
Whichever of these schools you decide to enroll, you will not regret your decision as all of them have met the CAAHEP Accreditation Standards and Guidelines by passing a series of program reviews, including a self-study review and a site visit.
The accreditation means that the school has reached the highest possible level of quality when sonography education is in question.
There are no CAAHEP accredited sonography programs in the state, but there are programs available in related fields, and the successful completion of one of these recognized Utah programs makes graduates eligible to sit for a certification examination:
- Dixie State University, Surgical Technology Program – 225 South 700 East St. George, UT 84770
- Mountainland Technical College, Surgical Technology Program – 2301 Ashton Blvd Lehi, UT 84043
- Stevens-Henager College, Surgical Technology Program – 1890 S 1350 W Ogden, UT 84401
- The University of Utah Hospital, Neurodiagnostic Technology – 50 N Medical Drive Room 3A342 Salt Lake City, UT 84132
How Long Does it Take to Become an Ultrasound Technician in Utah?
The length of education is affected by the degree you want to achieve:
- Certificate Program – takes approximately 1 year and it is considered suitable for current healthcare professionals or those who have already completed some type of higher education. This kind of education prepares students for entry-level sonography positions
- Associate Degree – takes approximately 2 years and results in an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree with a specialization in diagnostic medical sonography. This degree program prepares students to become a practicing sonographer
- Bachelor’s Degree – takes approximately 4 years and results in a Bachelor of Science Degree with a specialization in diagnostic medical sonography. Graduation makes students prepared to become a practicing sonographer and may provide them with more job opportunities due to the additional length of education and specialty training.
Ultrasound Tech Certification Requirements in Utah
Finishing your education at the university or college can make you eligible for entry-level positions and you can look for a job immediately.
However, some people decide to get a certificate after graduation, even though the state of Utah does not currently require it.
So as to be more attractive to employers and have a higher salary, ultrasound techs determine to get a state license or a particular credential.
It is a smart thing to consider if you want to be competitive in the job market and the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) is the most well-known and regarded certification organization.
To get the certificate, you must pass one of their tests at five testing centers in Utah, and several more in the surrounding areas.
You can find testing locations and their contact information easily on the ARDMS website at ardms.org, or by calling the testing company Pearson Vue at 1-877-258-9220.
However, to be allowed to sit for the exam, you must meet one of the prerequisites that the ARDMS has set forth and one of them is to graduate from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
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 Utah
Healthcare professionals are experiencing a great demand in the state, and Utah is not an exception.
This should continue to be the case as the population ages and needs more healthcare.
We are sure that there will job opportunities for those educated and trained in the medical field in the years to come, so now is the right time to get the sonography education.
Diagnostic medical sonographers in Utah earn a median salary of $87803, but those on top positions even reach $101320 per year.
Future sonographers have to be ready for the various working environment, as working hours may vary, with some settings requiring overtime, overnights, holidays, weekends, or on-call shifts.
Of course, all of these can also increase your hourly rate.
Becoming an ultrasound technician can open endless possibilities in your career and you can improve your salary potential by advancing your education.
Job growth in the state for ultrasound techs is predicted to be 45% by 2026.
The wages also differ among major cities in Utah, which can be seen in the table below.
Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of Ultrasound Technicians in Utah
City Name Salary Salt Lake City $88,070 Lehi $84,443 Provo $84,844 Sandy $87,829 Orem $84,844 Ogden $85,854 West Jordan $87,749 Layton $85,533 South Jordan $87,668 St. George $94,668