Diagnostic Medical Sonographers are instrumental in the care of their patients. The images they provide of the inside of the body are used by physicians to prevent, detect, and treat disease, as well as monitor the growth of a fetus. Growth in the medical imaging field is expected to be at 46% through 2022 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These projections make it a great time to pursue your education at one of the ultrasound technician schools in Arkansas. Below, we’ll tell you about the certification requirements in Arkansas, as well as the job outlook and the average salary you can expect to earn.
Due to the high cost of setting up a facility for ultrasound training, some communities cannot offer a program specific to diagnostic medical sonography. In those situations, students may wish to pursue a related career, which can be a good point of entry to the field of healthcare. Begin by requesting information from schools, and you’ll get the opportunity to ask questions to see if they offer the programs you’re looking for.
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Arkansas Ultrasound Career Outlook
Arkansas has a low level of education of its citizens, an aging workforce, and low per capita income. However, Arkansas also has a low level of debt and that, combined with a good labor policy, places Arkansas 12th in the nation in terms of economic growth. New employment opportunities are created for ultrasound techs as aging baby boomers need more medical care, or as they retire from their current positions.
Ultrasound technicians in Arkansas earned, as a median salary, $55,980 per year in 2013. Growth in the industry is expected to grow at a rate faster than normal, with a 41% employment increase expected by 2022.
Accredited Sonography Schools in Arkansas
There are many factors to consider when choosing your sonography program, and one of the most important is accreditation. The following medical sonography schools in Arkansas have all been approved by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) as of October, 2014:
Arkansas State University-Jonesboro – Jonesboro, AR
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences-Little Rock – Little Rock, AR
University of Arkansas Fort Smith – Ft Smith, AR
Certification Requirements in Alabama
While Alabama does not require their diagnostic medical sonographers to be licensed or certified, many states are considering moving towards licensure, so it’s smart thing to consider. Many employers do require professional certification, typically by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). The only way to earn certification is by taking and passing their exam. There are six locations in Arkansas to take the exam, and you can find them on the ARDMS website at ardms.org, or by calling the testing company Pearson Vue at 1-877-258-9220.
The easiest way to qualify to sit for the exam is to graduate from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Otherwise, you’ll need 12 months of full time clinical experience. You can read more about the testing prerequisites on the ARDMS website. Request information from several ultrasound technician schools in Arkansas, and do the research to make sure that they meet the certification requirements you’re looking for.
Arkansas’ Salary Outlook by Metropolitan Area (2013 data)
The following table compares median salaries for the major metropolitan areas of Arkansas
|Fort Smith, AR-OK||$55,100|
|Memphis, TN-MS-AR MSA||$59,100|
The median salary in Arkansas in 2013 was $55,980, which is less than the national average of $66,400.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, and Career OneStop
Things to do in Arkansas
Arkansas, also known as “The Natural State”, offers many activities for students looking to take a break from the books. If you enjoy the outdoors, there are many caverns, lakes, and forests to explore, or you can go digging for diamonds or quartz crystals. If you prefer city life, you can meet up with your friends at one of the many microbreweries, restaurants, and shops in Little Rock, or one of the many other larger cities in the state. Arkansas has the great combination of a positive employment outlook and fun recreational activities to offer students pursuing their ultrasound degree.