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Ultrasound Technician Schools in Florida - FL

Also referred to as diagnostic medical sonographers, ultrasound technicians play an integral role in monitoring, diagnosing and treating medical conditions. They may be best known for using high-tech equipment to measure and observe the growth of babies prior to birth, but technicians can do so much more. These professionals may also be called upon to provide images of blood vessels, the heart, abdomen, reproductive systems and other major organs.

A look at ultrasound technician schools in Florida

Florida ultrasound technician schools may offer certificates, associate degrees or bachelor's degrees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov), certificates may be best for those who already have hands-on experience in the medical sector. For those new to the field, an associate degree may be more appropriate for most entry-level jobs.

An associate degree can typically be earned in two years and may include a mix of classroom study, hands-on experience and professional observation. The curriculum may include the following coursework.

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Fundamentals of sonography
  • Abdominal sonography
  • OBGYN sonography
  • Echocardiography
  • Externship

Ultrasound technician schools in Florida may be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as well as the Commission on Accreditation of the Allied Health Education Program.

Certification and licensure for Florida ultrasound technicians

Under Florida law, ultrasound technicians and diagnostic medical sonographers do not have to be licensed or state certified.

However, technicians may choose to become voluntarily certified by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography. The ARDMS offers five credentials that cover ten specialties including obstetrics and gynecology, vascular technology and fetal echocardiography. Prerequisites vary depending on the credential sought, but applicants must, at a minimum, graduate from an accredited program and pass an examination.

Career outlook and salary for Florida ultrasound technicians

According to government data, job prospects should be bright for graduates from Florida ultrasound technician schools. The BLS says Florida has the second highest level of employment for diagnostic medical sonographers in the nation. Meanwhile, Projections Central, a website featuring employment statistics, reports job growth for diagnostic medical sonographers is expected to be nearly 43 percent from 2012-2022. That's somewhat higher than the BLS's estimate for overall growth in the field, pegged at 39 percent nationwide from 2012-2022.

While job openings may be plentiful in Florida, graduates could earn slightly less than their counterparts elsewhere. As of May 2013, the BLS noted the average national wage for diagnostic medical sonographers was $67,170 per year. However, the average for Florida sonographers was $59,960 annually.

Sources:

Credentials & Examinations, American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography, http://www.ardms.org/credentials_examinations/

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/diagnostic-medical-sonographers.htm#tab-1

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/CURRENT/oes292032.htm

Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Broward College, http://www.broward.edu/academics/programs/ultrasound/Pages/default.aspx

Long Term Occupational Projections, Projections Central, http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm

May 2013 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Florida, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2013/may/oes_fl.htm#31-0000

Radiologic Technologist FAQs, Florida Department of Health, http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/radiation-control/radtech/radtech-faq.html#question_18

So you want to be a sonographer…, Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, http://www.sdms.org/career/career.asp

Ultrasound Technologist Schools