With the medical field expanding at an unprecedented rate throughout the nation, there is plenty of opportunity for those who wish to become an ultrasound technician in Virginia. Ultrasound technicians are versatile healthcare support personnel who utilize diagnostic imaging equipment to conduct exams on patients at offices of other healthcare practitioners, hospitals and physicians offices. Among those interested in advancing into the healthcare field, this has become a good entry-level option as its training requirements are easier to satisfy and the job itself provides good exposure to other team members.
How to become an ultrasound tech in Virginia
Each of the four steps necessary to become an ultrasound tech in Virginia are analyzed below.
Step 1: Finish high school or earn your G.E.D.
Getting your high school diploma is a critical fundamental to finding work in any type of specialized position. Finding a career in the medical field is no different. And even in the cases when it is possible to gain employment without finishing high school, the jobs usually do not offer much in terms of pay or opportunities for growth.
Where ultrasound technician training programs are concerned, you will also discover early on that the majority of authorized training programs want students to supply proof of a high school diploma or G.E.D. before starting classes. So, no matter your professional career goal, make sure that you complete this first step.
Step 2: Register for an accredited ultrasound tech school in VA
As mentioned, ultrasound tech training in Virginia is regulated by two organizations: the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS). Only those graduates who finish their classes at a program approved by one of these bodies are able to challenge for certification in the state.
Step 3: Finish the training course and all mandatory training hours
Completing an accredited training program in Virginia is required to become an ultrasound tech. Successfully completing this step requires you to complete the number of hours of hands-on clinical training determined by your program.
You are not eligible to sit for any certification exam unless you have completed all of the mandatory hours.
Step 4: Get your RDMS certification
The official ultrasound tech certification tests administered in Virginia are the five major national tests. The exams include sections on each main area of knowledge you would’ve covered in your program.
All major national certification exams administered in Virginia are detailed below.
Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) from ARDMS – Undoubtedly one of the most-recognized, and most-respected of the national ultrasound technician credentials, the RDMS credential is provided by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).
Registered Cardiac Sonographer (RCS) from CCI – This national credential is recognized by most facilities, stands for a nicely balanced competency in ultrasound technology, and could qualify its recipient for opportunities chiefly in the area of cardiology.
Sonography Certification (S) from ARRT – The (S) from ARRT certificate is a nationally-recognized certification that certifies its holder for a broad number of roles in ultrasound and sonography.
Ultrasound tech salary and jobs in Virginia
Demand for ultrasound technicians is at record levels in not just Virginia, but throughout the whole U.S. Whereas the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 23% growth in brand new jobs for ultrasound technicians nationwide through the year 2026, the organization expects to find a 32% in Virginia. The bulk of new opportunities are expected to be created in hospitals and physicians offices.
The chance to work under physicians and other advanced healthcare professionals also makes working as a ultrasound technician an excellent path to other opportunities in medicine in Virginia.
The subsequent listing reflects specifics on ultrasound technician income in Virginia by location.
|Winchester, VA-WV MSA||Hourly||$25.90||$39.25||$48.27|
|Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division||Hourly||$23.04||$36.90||$48.76|
|Roanoke, VA MSA||Hourly||$25.13||$34.60||$45.54|
|Richmond, VA MSA||Hourly||$24.66||$33.27||$42.77|
|Lynchburg, VA MSA||Hourly||$25.40||$32.61||$39.78|
|Southwestern Virginia BOS||Hourly||$25.29||$31.15||$45.40|
|Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA||Hourly||$22.81||$30.72||$39.55|
|Southside Virginia BOS||Hourly||$25.17||$30.30||$41.99|
|Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA MSA||Hourly||$16.01||$29.31||$42.86|
|Charlottesville, VA MSA||Hourly||$18.86||$28.62||$37.90|
|Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA MSA||Hourly||$16.84||$25.30||$34.39|