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Illinois Sonography School Guide

Illinois is expecting very strong job growth in the healthcare industry.

Our guide to a sonography career in Illinois starts with providing you with the resources you’ll need to research the field, as well as connecting you with programs in your area.

Pursuing your education at one of the ultrasound technician schools in Illinois will help to put you in a position for a solid education combined with the ability to earn an above average salary.  The median annual income for medical sonographers in 2013 in the Chicago Metropolitan area was $70,960, which was higher than the national median salary of $66,410.  Employment through 2022 is expected to increase 46%.

Below you will find programs for medical sonography, as well as those for related careers. Take a moment to request information from a school, and you’ll have the opportunity to speak with a representative to have your questions answered, and to make sure that their programs align with your long-term career goals.

5 Programs Found

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sonographer with patient

Illinois Healthcare Career Resources

Significant job growth in the healthcare industry is expected in Illinois, with job growth specific to sonographers expected to be 46% in the decade spanning 2012 to 2022. General medical and surgical hospitals offer the highest level of employment in sonography. The Chicago-Joliet-Naperville metropolitan area has the 2nd highest employment in medical imaging in the country (BLS).

Start by requesting information from schools to ensure that they have the programs you’re looking for. You’ll have an opportunity to ask questions, so be prepared with a list before you make that call.

A sonography degree prepares you for a variety of job functions from introducing future parents to a first look at their baby to identifying abnormalities, such as tumors, growing inside a patient’s organs.

Learning Options

Benefits of an Ultrasound Degree

  • An associates degree will help prepare you for entry level sonography positions.
  • You can typically complete your program in two years.
  • Prerequisites are typically only a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • It provides a solid foundation from which to build your career.

Start the Application Process

Certification Requirements in Illinois

Illinois state flagIllinois does not require certification to be an ultrasound technician. However, most employers require professional certification by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). The only way to earn certification is by taking and passing their exam. There are many locations throughout Illinois 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, which is not easy to get when you are not ARDMS certified. A bit of a catch-22, but a reality in today’s working environment. Request information from several ultrasound technician schools in Illinois, and do the research to make sure that they meet the certification requirements you’re looking for.

Additional Certification Information

Frequently Asked Questions

What does an ultrasound technician do?

There’s much more than just imaging internal organs. Learn more at: ultrasounddchoolsinfo.com/ultrasound-technician. Get a complete job description, as well as first-hand accounts of what it’s like to be a sonographer.

How do I get started?

We’ll walk you through all of the steps, starting when you’re still in high school or before you’ve started any formal post-education program, all the way through finding a job and advancing in your career. Get Started Now.

How long do I have to go to school?

Most degree programs are completed within two years.

How do I know if it’s right for me?

In order to be successful in the field, you’ll need more than just technical knowledge. Here’s how you’ll know if you’ve got what it takes.

What other jobs can I get in healthcare?

There are many careers available within the healthcare industry, and we’ll introduce you to many of them here.

City Spotlight: Chicago

Ultrasound Technician Schools in Chicago

Chicago

Chicago, sometimes referred to as “the city that works”, has a positive employment outlook in a city of 9.3 million people. Over 65% of the state’s population lives in the Chicago Metropolitan area, or “Chicagoland” as it’s commonly referred to. Pursuing your ultrasound degree in Chicago should pay off with good employment opportunities, as health care has been identified as the third fastest growing industry in the city.

A November, 2013 article in the Chicago Tribune stated that sonographers are “often trained through an associate’s degree program, these health care workers are highly paid, and demand for them is expected to soar during the years to come”.

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Accredited Ultrasound Technician Schools in Illinois

Accreditation of a program or institution is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing your sonography program. The following ultrasound technician schools in Illinois have all been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), as of September, 2014:

College of DuPage – Glen Ellyn, IL
Website: www.cod.edu

Harper College – Palatine, IL
Website: www.HarperCollege.edu

John A. Logan College – Carterville, IL
Website: www.jalc.edu

Northwestern Memorial Hospital – Chicago, IL
Website: www.nmh.org

Rush University – Chicago, IL
Website: www.rush.edu

Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, IL
Website: www.siu.edu

Triton College – River Grove, IL
Website: www.triton.edu

What You Can Expect to Earn in Illinois

The following table compares the median salary for sonographers across the major metropolitan areas of Illinois, as of May, 2013:

Metropolitan Area 2013 Median Salary
Champaign-Urbana, IL $65,400
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL $72,300
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL $49,500
Peoria, IL $55,900
Rockford, IL $69,900
Springfield, IL $66,600
St. Louis, MO-IL $66,700

Career One Stop, http://www.careerinfonet.org/occ_rep.asp?next=occ_rep&Level=Overall&optstatus=111111111&jobfam=29&id=1&nodeid=2&soccode=292032&stfips=17&x=36&y=12

Limited English Proficient (LEP) Individuals

A significant percentage of the U.S. population does not speak English as their first language. For Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals, this can prove to be a barrier to obtaining quality medical care.

In Illinois, 1.2 million citizens, who speak English as a 2nd or even 3rd language, have difficulty understanding the information presented to them by their physician, nurse, or other healthcare provider. Healthcare providers who speak a second language can have increased job opportunities available to them, especially in Illinois, which is traditionally a destination-state for immigrants.

All job growth and salary statistics provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, unless otherwise noted: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292032.htm

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* Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information


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