How to Become a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer in Illinois. Explore medical imaging education and career opportunities near you.
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. There are over 2,900 working sonographers in the state, and Illinois has the 5th highest level of employment for techs in the nation. Start your career research here, and connect with one of the CAAHEP accredited Sonography schools in Illinois listed below to help you get started.
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.
Connect with Educational Programs near You
CAAHEP Accredited Diagnostic Sonography Programs
To be accredited means a school or program has undergone rigorous review by an outside agency. This is a testament to the quality of the education that the institution provides. In medical sonography, the most widely recognized and respected accrediting agency is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Each of the schools listed below has met the CAAHEP DMS Accreditation Standards and Guidelines by passing a series of program reviews, including a self-study review and a site visit.
The successful completion of one of these recognized Illinois DMS programs is the most comprehensive and direct way students can earn eligibility to sit for the ARDMS Sonography Principles & Instrumentation (SPI) examination. The school can offer CAAHEP accredited programs in several different concentrations, including general sonography, cardiac sonography, and vascular sonography.
Accredited Ultrasound Technician Schools in Illinois in 2020
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 January 2020:
|Institution Name||Location||Program Director||Programs|
|College of DuPage||425 Fawell Blvd
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
|Melissa McKirdie BA, RDMS, RVT||General, Vascular|
|Harper College||1200 W Algonquin Rd
Palatine, IL 60067-7398
|Kelly Hamontree MS, RDCS||General, Cardiac|
|John A Logan College||700 Logan College Drive
Carterville, IL 62918
|Valerie Newberry PhD Ed, RDCS, RVT||Cardiac|
|Joliet Junior College||1215 Houbolt Rd
Joliet, IL 60431
|Elena Miller MS, RDMS, RVT||General|
|Northwestern Memorial Hospital||541 N. Fairbanks Ct
Chicago, IL 60611
|Casey Clarke BSRT, RT(R), RDMS, RDCS||General|
|Rush University||600 S. Paulina St
Chicago, IL 60612
|Jacqueline Ortiz MA, RVT||Vascular|
|Southern Illinois University||1365 Douglas Drive
Carbondale, IL 62901
|Shannon Anderson MSEd, RDMS, RVT, RT(R)||General|
|Triton College||2000 Fifth Avenue
River Grove, IL 60171
|Debra Krukowski BS, RDMS, RT(R)||General|
Ultrasound Tech Certification Requirements in Illinois
Obtaining professional certification as a sonographer is an important indicator of the quality of education, level of training, and dedication to the field.
Requirements for Ultrasound Technician Certification in Illinois
The state of Illinois does not legally 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. There are many locations throughout Illinois to take the exam, and you can find them on the ARDMS website at ardms.org, or by visiting the website for the testing company, Pearson Vue.
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).
Additional Certification Information
How Much Do Ultrasound Techs Make in Illinois?
The median salary for sonographers in Illinois is $76,590, or $36.82 an hour. Those at the top of their profession, in the top 90% percentile, can earn over $100,000 per year. The starting salary for ultrasound techs in Illinois is $52,560.
Where you work, your years of experience, and whether or not you are ARDMS certified all directly affect how much you can earn. Those who work in outpatient care centers earn more than their counterparts.
In 2016 there were over 2,500 working sonographers in Illinois. By 2026, that number is expected to grow by 12%, which would result in about 300 additional jobs. Sonographers will be needed to not only fill those positions, but to help fill those vacated by practitioners who are approaching retirement age.
The following table shows how much ultrasound techs earn across Illinois:
|Metropolitan Area||Median Salary|
|Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL||$70,580|
|St. Louis, MO-IL||$68,770|
Medical Imaging Organizations
Regardless of the profession, it’s common to find organizations and associations designed to organize and benefit the members of that profession. In sonography, there are national and state-level organizations that can help in a variety of ways. Networking opportunities, the offering of continuing medical education (CME) credits, and helping you stay current on the ever-changing technologies are some of the reasons why you might want to consider joining an organization. Most have annual membership fee requirements.
Below are a few of the organizations available to medical imagers, specific to the state of Illinois:
Ultrasound Technician Schools in 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. The Chicago/Naperville/Elgin metro area has the 2nd highest employment level in the country for ultrasound technicians.
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. The average salary for registered sonographers in the Chicago area is $79,490.
Shop along Chicago’s “Magnificent Mile”, an eight-block stretch of North Michigan Avenue, offering every kind of shop imaginable. Explore art and architecture in Millennium Park, catch an amazing view of the city at the Sears Tower, or go see the Bulls play at the United Center.
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, may 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.
Frequently asked questions
How do I become an ultrasound technician in Illinois?
A two-year associates degree in diagnostic medical sonography is the minimum required to become a sonographer. If you currently hold an A.A.S. degree in a related healthcare field, then you may have the option of pursuing a one-year sonography certificate. If you get your degree from a CAAHEP accredited sonography program, then you will be eligible to sit for the ARDMS exam and become a registered 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. If the right circumstances apply, then a 12-18 month certificate program might be an option. Some people also decide to pursue 4-year bachelors degrees.
How do I know if a career in DMS is right for me?
That’s a good question to ask. The coursework for DMS is rigorous, as are the clinicals. Before you even begin a program, you might want to see if you can job shadow or speak with a sonographer to get a grasp of what the job is really like. Alongside the strong technical, detail-oriented skills that you’ll need, the soft skills are equally important. Visit our article on the qualities necessary to be a successful sonographer to see if it’s truly the right field for you.
What other jobs can I get in healthcare?
There are many specialties available within sonography, and there are also a wide variety of careers to choose from within Allied Health. They all have different levels of requirements and training, and we’ve reviewed some of them for you here.
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS)
Illinois Department of Labor
John A. Logan College