Ultrasound Technician Schools in West Virginia (WV)
By Dianne J. Crouse | Updated On April 25, 2017.
West Virginia is home to the Blue Ridge Mountains along with many caverns and mountains. While the state has gotten a bad reputation in the past for having a high level of obese residents, there is a significant amount of healthcare throughout the state. Doctors are using state of the art technology to help with diagnosing patients and part of the diagnostic tools includes ultrasounds. With this technology, more people are able to start careers in the medical field by attending West Virginia ultrasound technician schools.
Sonography Education in West Virginia
There are five ultrasound technician schools in West Virginia offering accredited programs, making it easy for students to get an education in sonography. The Ross Medical Education Center and the Medical Career Institute are two of the most popular choices for students. In addition to these, there are also several other physical schools and even more online programs for students.
A certificate program can be sought at many of the technical schools. This will only take about 12 months to complete. In addition, there are associate degrees and bachelor degrees in sonography – which take 2 and 4 years to complete, respectively. The certificate or degree sought will depend upon a person’s career goals. Regardless of which one, a person will learn in the classroom as well as in the field.
The cost for sonography schools in West Virginia can vary dramatically. Additional costs that are often overlooked when budgeting are books, lab fees, room/board and uniforms for when clinicals start. Depending upon whether one stays on campus or not, these additional costs can get even higher. So it is imperative to find out admissions costs for each training facility since it varies by so much.
Graduation rates are high in comparison to other majors, even in the medical career field. The actual graduation rate will depend upon the school and is something that each school will disclose when asked about it.
The cost of a sonography school can be reduced by applying for scholarships and grants. The FAFSA should be completed to apply for federal grants. Then there are scholarships by minority as well as for merit-based and need-based. Others to apply for include SDMS scholarships and the Trudy Dubinsky Memorial Scholarship.
Career Outlook for Sonographers in West Virginia
The outlook for sonographers in West Virginia is high. Although the annual salary, as estimated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is only $58,180, the cost of living is relatively low in the state. This salary is approximately $10,000 lower than what the median salary is across the United States, though many individuals will still attend West Virginia sonography schools so that they can find employment easily.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, growth around in the state of WV is estimated at around 29.2 percent between 2014 - 2024. This is a significant amount of growth in comparison to other career fields. The majority of people who graduate from a sonography school are going to find opportunities in one capacity or another as an ultrasound technician. Some may work in hospitals while others may work at health clinics or doctors’ offices alongside a physician.
As technology continues to increase in the sonography industry, more doctors are using the sonography equipment in their own practices – which means that hospitals and laboratories are not the only ones to use the technology any longer. Throughout some areas of West Virginia, there is even a shortage of sonographers – which means more people need to begin attending sonography schools in West Virginia to receive an education and work within this career field.
A successful career in sonography is only a year away for most – and a maximum of four years depending upon the degree that a person wants.
Ultrasound Technician Programs in West Virginia
BridgeValley Community and Technical College - South Charleston, WV
St. Mary's Medical Center - Huntington, WV
United Hospital Center, Inc. - Bridgeport, WV
University of Charleston - Beckley, WV
West Virginia University Hospitals - Morgantown, WV
References & Resources
Employment Figures and Salaries courtesy of US Dept. of Labor and Projections Central
West Virginia Medical Imaging & Radiation Therapy Technology Board of Examiners