A-B Tech Community College has added a new Cardiovascular Sonography degree to its Allied Health curriculum. Cardiovascular sonography is a growing, in-demand field that pays an average salary of $70,000 a year. A-B Tech’s program is designed to qualify graduates for hundreds of job openings in Western North Carolina and thousands of jobs nationwide.
Cardiovascular sonographers, also known as echocardiographers, are trained to use imaging technology to assist physicians in identifying heart problems. With heart disease already the leading cause of death nationwide and projected to increase along with the aging population, cardiovascular sonographers will be vital to the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.
“We constantly survey the local healthcare market to determine if there are needs that our current programs do not address,” said Jon R. Wiener, dean of A-B Tech’s Allied Health Division. “Mission Hospital and other healthcare providers identified a pressing need for cardiovascular sonographers as more aging patients experience heart issues.”
Employment opportunities in the profession have increased more than 60 percent in Buncombe, Madison, and Henderson counties over the last five years and will continue to experience faster-than-average job growth locally and nationally for the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The two-year degree program includes coursework in A-B Tech’s state-of-the-art Ferguson Center for Allied Health and Workforce Development and clinical training in hospitals and medical offices throughout the region. The program also offers a one-year diploma for current medical sonographers.