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Interested in attending ultrasound technician school in Oregon? We’ll discuss accredited programs below, tell you about how the field is growing, what salary you can expect to earn as a diagnostic imaging technician, and what the certification requirements are in the state.

Due to the cost of setting up a facility for ultrasound training, some communities cannot offer a program specific to diagnostic medical sonography. In these situations, students may wish to learn about related programs, such as the ones listed below. Job growth is expected across the healthcare industry, so find a career that interests you and fits your long-term goals. Explore the list of schools, request information from them, and get your questions answered regarding the programs and degrees offered.

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Oregon Ultrasound Career Outlook

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has an estimated employment growth of just .3% by 2020 for diagnostic medical sonographers, which is essentially considered static job growth. It is the 2nd highest paying state for ultrasonographers, with an annual median salary of $84,780 (May, 2013 data), which is considerably higher than the national median of $66,410. Most diagnostic medical sonographers in Oregon are employed by general medical and surgical hospitals.

According to Oregon’s Workforce website (qualityinfo.org), “Workers must have an associate degree to gain the necessary skills for this occupation. However, those with a bachelor’s degree have a competitive advantage in this labor market.” With such a high employment outlook and the opportunity to earn some of the highest wages in the country, it makes sense to pursue your degree in Oregon.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013 data. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292032.htm

Accredited Sonography Schools in Oregon

Oregon does not currently have any ultrasound technician schools that have been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), which is the major accrediting body for sonography programs. However, there are programs in neighboring California and Washington that students can attend, or they may choose to pursue another health technician education within the state.

Certification Requirements in Oregon

Oregon’s Board of Medical Imaging has declared that “persons practicing in Oregon in diagnostic medical imaging modalities must have a current two-year license or permit from the Oregon Board of Medical Imaging (OBMI)”.   As of As of January 1st, 2014, the OBMI requires that practicing sonographers either:

(A) Holds a credential issued by a credentialing organization in a medical imaging
modality recognized by the board.
(B) No later than December 31, 2010, passed the examination of the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists after being sponsored for the examination by the State of Oregon. (www.oregon.gov/obmi/Pages/index.aspx)

To fully understand the change in the law, and to apply for the Oregon state license, please visit oregon.gov/OBMI.

Most employers also 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 Oregon 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. Request information from several ultrasound technician schools in Oregon, and do the research to make sure that they meet the certification requirements you’re looking for.

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Salaries Across Careers and Metropolitan Area, 2012 Data

Metropolitan Area Ultrasound Tech Cardiovascular Tech Radiology Tech Nuclear Medicine Tech
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA $84,400 $65,100 $66,500 $83,600
Bend, OR $77,900 unavailable $58,700 unavailable
State wide average $82,600 $68,800 $63,500 $81,100
Salem, OR $80,600 unavailable $64,300 $unavailable

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, http://www.careerinfonet.org/Occ_Intro.asp?id=1&nodeid=1

Things to do in Oregon
Oregon is a beautiful state, with many activities to pursue, regardless of the city in which you choose to attend ultrasound technician school. If you love the outdoors, Oregon offers fine beaches, world class skiing and mountain climbing, and everything in between. Portland, Oregon’s most populous city, offers big-city amenities with a college town feel. It’s been on the top ten of everything from “Least expensive cities” to “Best places to live”, and combines breath-taking scenery and a laid back feel with a fun and friendly social scene. Pursuing your education in Oregon combines the best of many worlds. Request information from schools today to get started!

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Article by Wendy Fanello. Read more of her work on UltrasoundSchoolsInfo.com & follow her on Google+.