Becoming a Sonographer in Iowa: What to Know

Part of the mid-western United States, Iowa was introduced into the country in 1803 via the Louisiana Purchase. It was admitted to the Union on December 28, 1846, making it the nation’s 29th state. Today, Iowa is known as the main agricultural producer in the U.S., partly accounting for its nickname “Food Capital of the World.” Des Moines is Iowa’s capital and largest city.

Sonography Education in Iowa

There are two sonography schools in Iowa: Allen College and Mercy College of Health Sciences. Allen College, which is located at Waterloo, offers the more advanced program, with its Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHS) in Diagnostic Medical Sonography degree. Allen College estimates the time for BHS completion at 21 months, with the curriculum split into five semesters. Sonography students must earn at least 124 credits to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. Also available are an 80-credit certificate option and an opportunity to combine the BHS with an Associate’s degree in Radiology.

The other option for Iowa sonography schools is Mercy College, which is based in Des Moines and is solely dedicated to health care education. Mercy offers the Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. It can be completed in two years, and its curriculum is split into six semesters. Sonography students at Mercy have two tracks to choose from: General and Cardiovascular.

Career Outlook for Sonography in Iowa

As of 2013, there isn’t any word on any additional Iowa sonography schools being established in the future. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Iowa’s unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in December 2012, which makes it the fourth lowest in the U.S. Graduates from sonography schools in Iowa can expect to make a median annual salary of $57,400, according to a 2011 BLS report; this is lower than the national median of $65,200. The BLS anticipates a 17 percent increase in job opportunities in Oregon for sonographers between 2008 and 2018. Major employers of sonographers in Iowa include University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, Genesis Medical Center East, Iowa Methodist Medical Center, Mercy Medical Center and Saint Luke’s Hospital.

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