The field of diagnostic medical sonography is growing rapidly. Pursuing your education at one of the ultrasound technician schools in Illinois will help put you in a position for a solid education combined with the ability to earn one of the highest salaries available with just an Associate’s Degree.
How to Become an Ultrasound Tech in Illinois
- Find the right program. It’s important to choose an accredited program to apply to, preferably one that has been accredited by the CAAHEP. This will ensure that the education meets or exceeds industry standards. Illinois has 10 programs across the state that have received this recognition.
- Get your degree. To qualify for entry-level positions, you must have at least an Associate of Science degree in DMS. Some Universities offer Bachelor’s degrees in sonography, or accelerated certificate programs for those who already hold a degree in patient care.
- Receive your credentials. You need to receive your RDMS credential in order to be considered for most jobs. Graduating from a CAAHEP accredited program or receiving your Bachelor’s degree will qualify you to sit for the exam administered by the RDMS.
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Why Should You Choose a CAAHEP Accredited Diagnostic Sonography Program?
A school or program becomes accredited once it has undergone rigorous review by an outside agency. This is a testament to the quality of the education that the institution provides. The primary accrediting body in sonography and medical imaging is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). A school or program must meet the CAAHEP DMS Accreditation Standards and Guidelines by passing a series of program reviews, including a self-study review and a site visit, to become accredited.
The successful completion of a CAAHEP accredited Illinois DMS program is the most comprehensive and direct way students can earn eligibility to sit for the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography’s Principles & Instrumentation (SPI) exam, as well as a specialty exam. Passing both of their exams will allow you to receive professional certification in diagnostic medical sonography.
If you’re currently enrolled in or have been accepted to a CAAHEP accredited program, you’re also eligible to apply for the UltrasoundSchoolsInfo $1,000 scholarship. Click here to learn more.
Accredited Ultrasound Technician Schools in Illinois in 2024
The following ultrasound technician schools in Illinois have all been accredited by CAAHEP and offer degrees or certificates in diagnostic medical sonography as of September 2023:
|College of DuPage
425 Fawell Blvd
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
|Associate Degree in DMS with both General and Vascular training. Advanced certificate in General and Vascular sonography also available for those who qualify.||Prerequisite courses, entrance exam, and direct patient contact hours are required for application.||Applications are due by May 17th|
1200 W Algonquin Rd
Palatine, IL 60067
|Associate in Applied Science DMS||Prerequisite courses, plus a valid National League for Nursing (NLN) pre-admission score report||Applications due by February 1st|
|John A Logan College
700 Logan College Drive
Carterville, IL 62918
|18-month, full-time AAS Cardiac sonography career program||Prerequisite courses and a pre-application exam||Applications due by March 31st|
|Joliet Junior College
1215 Houbolt Rd
Joliet, IL 60431
|AAS in General diagnostic medical sonography||Prerequisite courses and completion of Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS)||Applications due by March 31st|
2400 N Rockton Ave
Rockford, IL 61103
|15-month certificate in General sonography||Associate of Science or Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.||Applications accepted year-round|
|Northwestern Memorial Hospital
541 N. Fairbanks Ct
Chicago, IL 60611
|18-month certificate program in General sonography||Prerequisites vary depending on certificate path chosen.||Applications due March 1st|
|Rockford Career College
1130 S Alpine Rd #100,
Rockford, IL 61108
|19-month AAS in ObGyn or Abdominal-Extended sonography||High school diploma and certain course prerequisites..||Visit the school’s website to apply.|
600 S. Paulina St
Chicago, IL 60612
|Bachelor of Science in Vascular Ultrasound||Minimum of 60 semester or 90 quarter hours at a college of university, to include certain course requirements.||Applications are accepted year-round|
|Southern Illinois University
1365 Douglas Drive
Carbondale, IL 62901
|Bachelor’s degree in General sonography||The sonography program at SIU is Competitive Admission Process, with points awarded for various accomplishments||Applications are due by February 1st.|
2000 Fifth Avenue
River Grove, IL 60171
|Associate in Science degree or Certificate in DMS||Must hold active status with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) or certification with the Nuclear Medicine Technology Board||Download the application checklist|
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Illinois Student Scholarships
Financing your education is one of the biggest concerns for most students and their families. The information can be overwhelming, as are the cautions on how to avoid scams. Learn more by visiting our Financial Aid Portal.
Below are just a few of the scholarships available to those students who qualify in Illinois:
|Scholarship||Award Amount||Eligibility Requirements||How to Apply|
|AAUW Return to Learning Scholarships||$5,000||Scholarship is offered to female students to assist in paying for an undergraduate or masters degree, or a certificate program.||Visit the AAUW website to learn more.|
|Ultrasound Schools Info||$1,000||Aspiring sonographer currently enrolled in/accepted to a CAAHEP accredited DMS program.||Ultrasound Schools Info
Attn: Scholarship Committee
PO Box 3026
Bellingham, WA 98227
|Illinois Hospital Research & Educational Foundation Scholarship||$1,000 or more||Attend an accredited hospital care related institution, possess a minimum 3.5 GPA, and reside in Illinois.||Complete the form.|
|Horatio Alger Association Career and Technical Scholarships||Up to $2,500||Awarded to students who have overcome adversity and are pursuing a career or technical degree at an accredited non-profit institution.||Complete the application.|
Is Sonography a Good Career Choice in Illinois?
Yes, a career as an ultrasound tech can be a great choice! Find out if it’s for you with our self-assessment.
- Job Growth and Availability: There were over 3,150 working sonographers in Illinois in 2020, and this number is expected to increase by 14% by 2030 (O*Net).
- Salary: Illinois’ sonographers earned a man annual salary of $86,540 in 2022 (BLS).
- Education: Most entry-level jobs require just a 2-year Associate of Science in DMS degree. There are 8 accredited ultrasound schools across the state of Illinois.
How Much Do Ultrasound Techs Make in Illinois?
According the the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary for sonographers in Illinois is $86,540 in 2022, or $41.61 an hour. Those at the top of their profession with earnings in the 90th percentile earned a mean annual salary of $103,030, while those in the lowest 10th percentile earned up to $66,280 a year in Illinois. Conditions in your area may vary.
Where you work, your years of experience, and whether or not you are ARDMS certified all directly affect how much you can earn. For example, those who work in outpatient care centers tend to earn more than their counterparts. In addition, an Associate Degree is required for entry-level sonography positions where you can earn a base wage, while receiving a Bachelor’s Degree may open you up to higher paying positions.
Location can also impact your salary. The following table shows how much ultrasound techs earn in different areas of Illinois: (conditions in your area may vary)
|Metropolitan Area||2022 Mean Salary|
Ultrasound Tech Certification Requirements in Illinois
The state of Illinois does not require certification to be an ultrasound technician. However, most employers prefer or require professional certification by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).
The only way to earn ARDMS certification is by taking and passing their exam. In order to qualify, you must meet one of their prerequisites.
Additional Certification Information
Medical Imaging Organizations
It’s common to find organizations designed to benefit the members in a specific profession. In sonography, there are national and state-level associations that may help you in a variety of ways. Networking opportunities, continuing medical education (CME) credits, and helping you stay current on the ever-changing technologies are some of the reasons why you may consider joining an organization. Most have annual membership fee requirements.
Below are a few of the organizations available to medical imagers in Illinois:
- Illinois State Society of Radiologic Technologists (ISSRT)
- Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA)
- Illinois Primary Healthcare Association
Ultrasound Technician Schools in Chicago
Chicago, sometimes referred to as “the city that works”, has a positive employment outlook. The Chicago/Naperville/Elgin metro area has the 3rd highest employment level in the country for ultrasound technicians (BLS, 2021). In addition, the mean annual salary for registered sonographers in the Chicago area is $85,190.
Pursuing your degree at a sonography school in Chicago should pay off with good employment opportunities, as health care has been identified as the third fastest growing industry in the city.
There are two CAAHEP accredited sonography programs in Chicago: Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Rush University.
Limited English Proficient (LEP) Individuals
It is estimated that almost 21% of individuals in the United States speak a language other than English at home, according the the US 2020 Census. As a result, the healthcare industry is concerned that Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals, who are the fastest growing population in the country (US Department of Education), may not be receiving optimal health care in the US.
The 1.2 million citizens in Illinois who speak English as a 2nd or 3rd language may have difficulty understanding the information presented to them by their physician, nurse, or other healthcare provider. Healthcare providers who speak a second language may have increased job opportunities available to them because Illinois has traditionally been a destination-state for immigrants, and the demand for bilingual healthcare workers is increasing.
- Getting started
- Sonographer overview
- What makes a great sonographer
- Allied Health Careers & Education
- Other jobs in healthcare
* In some cases, salary and employment figures are based on a national average and may vary by location. Conditions in your area may vary.