Interested in attending ultrasound technician schools in New Mexico? It’s a great time to get started, since growth in the field is expected to be a whopping 27%. Diagnostic medical sonographers play an important role in healthcare. By using special equipment, they take images of the inside of the body. They work closely 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.
We’ll tell you about the options you have for school, as well as the job outlook and salary expectations for ultrasound technicians and related careers in New Mexico.
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New Mexico Ultrasound Career Outlook
In 2010 (the most recent year data is available), diagnostic medical sonographers earned an average of $66,500, which is a little higher than the national average of $64,400. Predicted growth in the field is expected to be much higher than average, with a 27% increase in employment expected in the decade spanning 2008 through 2018. Ultrasound techs typically work in surgical or general medical hospitals in New Mexico, but employment can also be found at physicians’ offices and private diagnostic medical imaging centers throughout the state.
Accredited Sonography Schools in New Mexico
The following schools have sonography programs that have been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP):
Central New Mexico Community College – Albuquerque, NM
Dona Ana Community College – Las Cruces, NM
Certification Requirements in New Mexico
New Mexico is one of only two states (the other is Oregon) to require a license to practice sonography in the state. The license is granted by the State of New Mexico, and the states charges a maximum of $100.00 to obtain the license, which is good for two years. You can read more about New Mexico’s requirements at SDMS.org/news/newmexicoarticle. Licensure is different than certification, which many employers will require as an addition to the state license.
To be competitive in the workforce, certification is something you’ll definitely want to consider. The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) is the primary organization offering certification for sonographers, and the only way to earn their certification is by taking and passing their exam. According to the ARDMS website, there is only one testing center in the state to take the exam, although there are several in neighboring states. 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.
In order to take the ARDMS exam, one of their prerequisites must be met. Probably the most common way to meet their requirements is to graduate from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), but this is certainly not the only way. Read through the requirements on the ARDMS website, and determine which will be the easiest one for you to meet.
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Salaries Across Careers and Metropolitan Area, 2010 Data
This table tells you about the average salary for diagnostic medical sonographers in New Mexico, where available, and compares them across similar careers. The information is compared within major metropolitan areas, as well as state and nation-wide.
|Metropolitan Area||Ultrasound Tech||Cardiovascular Tech||Radiology Tech||Surgical Tech|
|Eastern New Mexico||$65,500||unavailable||$46,200||$25,500|
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Survey
Ultrasound Technician Schools in Albuquerque
If you’re lucky enough to attend school in Albuquerque, you’ll find much to do in your time off from your studies. One of the most popular events in the city is the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, held each October. The famous balloon festival is said to be the most photographed event in the world. You can also go hiking on dormant volcanoes, mountain biking, golfing, or relaxing by a pool with a cold beer. Just keep in mind that alcohol can affect your body differently at the higher elevations found here!