The state of Washington has three schools with ultrasound programs accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). All are public, community-based colleges, named after the city in which they are based. The name of the institutions are Bellevue College, Spokane Community College, and Tacoma Community College.
SONOGRAPHY EDUCATION IN WASHINGTON
Each school offers an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. (Bellevue refers to its program as the Associate of Arts in Diagnostic Ultrasound.) At Bellevue students can choose from three specialties: General, which focuses on the abdomen and obstetrics & gynecology (OB/GYN); vascular technology, which concentrates on the vascular system; and echocardiography, which concerns medical imaging of the heart. The associate ultrasound degree program is designed for completion in seven semester quarters (two Fall, two Winter, two Spring, and one Summer), and the curriculum consists of 109 to 112 credits, depending on the school. Bellevue also offers the option to get a Certificate of Completion in Breast Ultrasound. Designed for completion in three quarters instead of seven, the certificate program is for mammographers or aspiring ultrasound technicians who wish to acquire skills in breast ultrasound scanning. For completion of the program, students need to take three courses, totaling eight semester credits. They are: "Ultrasound Physics for Mammographers," "Breast Ultrasound for Mammographers," and "Ultrasound Equipment/Knobology for Mammographers."
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SALARIES FOR SONOGRAPHER
Sonographer in Washington are generally better paid than their counterparts in other parts of the United States. According to a 2012 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), diagnostic medical sonographers in Washington made a median annual salary of $80,500 ($38.71 per hour), which is much higher than the national median salary of $65,900 ($31.66 per hour) for the profession. That year, the bottom 10 percent of sonographers in Washington made $63,800 ($30.67 per hour), while the top 10 percent made $97,000 ($46.63 per hour). The BLS expects a 23 percent growth in job opportunities for sonographers in Washington between 2010 and 2020; the agency estimates the number of professionals in the state at 1,300.
LIST OF DIAGNOSTIC MEDICAL SONOGRAPHY PROGRAMS
Bellevue College (Bellevue, WA) Spokane Community College (Spokane, WA) Tacoma Community College (Tacoma, WA)
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