(found 3 schools, updated in April 2017)
San Antonia, Texas is a comfortable blend of Old West and modern lifestyle. It is a festive city where residents enjoy strolling the River Walk, visiting with friends on home or restaurant patios, or attending events at historic sites like The Alamo. The city is renowned for its active creative arts community. Sonographers studying and working in San Antonia appreciate the fact the city actively promotes a healthy lifestyle. In fact, the San Antonio Parks & Recreation division has won national recognition for its excellent programming in park venues.
How to Become a Sonographer in San Antonio, Texas?
There are two well-recognized organizations offering graduated sonography students opportunities to earn a credential. They are the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography. A number of students choose to take the exams to earn registration at both organizations, earning an ARRT Certificate and an ARDMS Certificate as registered sonographers.
There are 3 schools offering ARRT-recognized ultrasound technician programs in San Antonio, Texas as of 2017. The schools are Saint Philips College, the College of Health Care Professions and Baptist Health System – School of Health Professions. There is an ARRT recognized program offered by Virginia College in Austin, Texas, which is 80 miles away. Austin also has the nearest CAAHEP-accredited ultrasound technician school as of 2017. All quality sonography schools can assist students with finding opportunities to apply for scholarships.
How to Earn Sonography Certification?
ARRT has two pathways to earning sonography certification.
The primary pathway certification in sonography is in a state of transition. Until December 31, 2014, students pursuing primary pathway certification must have completed an ARRT Recognized ultrasound technician programs within the prior three years. As of January 1, 2015, primary pathway certification in sonography will require the student to earn an academic degree before certification is allowed. The ARRT recognized program ensures that students obtain the necessary didactic and clinical training to meet ARRT competency requirements.
The second ARRT pathway is called the post-primary pathway in recognition of the fact these are ARRT certified students pursuing additional certification as a sonographer. The student must already be ARRT registered in Radiation Therapy, Radiography, Nuclear Medicine Technology or Magnetic Resonance Imaging. ARRT will also recognize ARDMS registration for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The pathway requires documentation of sonography clinical experience as prescribed by ARRT. Effective January 1, 2016, candidates for the post-primary pathway must also have completed at least 16 hours of structured education, meaning experience alone will no longer be enough.
Once the documentation and competency requirements are met on either pathway, the ARRT certification candidates must pass the ARDMS examination. The exam assesses the cognitive skills and knowledge needed to perform the typical job responsibilities of a sonographer. After certification, the professional can use the Registered Technologist (R.T.) credential.
Many Diagnostic Medical Sonographers choose to take the ARDMS SPI exam in addition to, or as well as, the ARRT certification exam. There are several ARDMS prerequisites, and students graduating from an ARRT recognized educational facility can qualify under prerequisite 1, prerequisite 3A, or prerequisite 3B:
- Prerequisite 1 requires a two-year allied health degree in a program that is patient-care related and 12 months of clinical ultrasound/vascular experience.
- Prerequisite 3A requires a Bachelor’s degree in any major and 12 months of clinical ultrasound/vascular experience.
- Prerequisite 3B requires a Bachelor’s degree in sonography or vascular technology but no clinical experience. The best option for a student depends on the person’s educational status.
Taking the ARDMS exam is a good decision because the certification is recognized globally. Most states do not require sonographers to be licensed, so employers rely on certifying organizations like ARDMS and CAAHEP to help with maintaining quality standards in the ultrasound technology profession. ARDMS is recognized as having the highest standards of excellence in sonography. Earning certification as a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer can lead to more job opportunities since employers in all fifty states recognize it as a sign of quality.
Career Overview of Sonographers in San Antonio, Texas
The average wages for sonographers in the San Antonio-New Braunfels metropolitan statistical area was $82,900 or $39.85 per hour as of May 2016. This represents a much higher wage than the national rate of $71,750 or $34.49 per hour. Sonographers are earning 52 percent more than the average hourly wage of $21.74 for all occupations in the local area as of May 2016.
The healthcare and bioscience industry is one of the largest employers in San Antonio. In fact, one out of every six people employed in San Antonio works in this industry. There has been steady industry growth over the last 10 years, and the growth is expected to continue per the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. Sonographers can find job opportunities in hospitals, physician offices, clinics, nursing homes, outpatient settings and other facilities. There is also a diversity of employment opportunities due to the fact that San Antonio has a large military healthcare delivery system, as well as a commercial one. | See Job Openings
Best Schools for Diagnostic Medical Sonography Study in San Antonio, Texas
School: Saint Philips College
Address: 1801 Martin Luther King Drive, San Antonio, TX 78203
Accreditation: ARRT Recognized
School: The College of Health Care Professions
Address: 4738 NW Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78229
Accreditation: ARRT Recognized
School: Baptist Health System – School of Health Professions
Address: 8400 Datapoint Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229
Accreditation: ARRT Recognized
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