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Medical Sonography: Educational Requirements, Job Duties & Outlook

Demand for healthcare workers is soaring. Did you know you can get a high-paying job in the medical field in less than two years?

Medical sonography could be the career you’re looking for.

Medical sonography is another name for ultrasound technology. Diagnostic medical sonography is used during pregnancy. Other uses include examining organs, muscles, breast tissue, and the brain.

Learn more about how to get started as an ultrasound tech and what sonography careers could hold for you.

Getting a Degree in Medical Sonography

You can choose one of several pathways toward your new career in medical sonography. The best option depends on how soon you want to start working and your career goals.

Medical Sonography Certificate

You can get started quickly with a sonography certificate program. A certificate or diploma program usually takes between 12 and 18 months. It includes classroom instruction and hands-on clinical education.

Associate Degree in Sonography

You can complete an associate degree in diagnostic medical sonography at a community college or other accredited institution. The program usually lasts between 18 and 24 months. It gives you classroom and clinical training.

The curriculum includes general courses as well as classes specific to ultrasound technology. Classes may include:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Patient Care
  • Sonography Physics and Instrumentation

You’ll also take courses related to the different types of sonography, such as cardiac, vascular, and obstetrical sonography.

Bachelor’s Degree in Sonography

An associate degree in sonography will give you the training and knowledge you need to be successful. If you intend to move into management, though, you may want a bachelor’s degree. The longer program gives you more opportunities to explore different specialty areas.

A bachelor’s degree usually takes four years to complete. You may finish sooner if you enter the program with an associate degree.

Certification and Licensure

Many employers and some states require certification to work as an ultrasound tech. The two most prominent organizations that offer certification are:

  • American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS)
  • American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT)

You’ll need to pass two exams to earn certification. The first is the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation exam. The second is a specialty examination over an area of practice, like abdomen or echocardiography.

Currently, the only states that require a license to work as an ultrasound tech are:

  • Oregon
  • North Dakota
  • New Mexico
  • New Hampshire

These states also require certification.

What You’ll Do as an Ultrasound Tech

Sonography careers give you the opportunity to help patients in a variety of settings. A diagnostic medical sonographer can work in facilities such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Outpatient facilities
  • Imaging centers

You’ll often work as part of a team. You use ultrasound technology to make visual images of organs, tissues, or blood flow inside the body. These images help doctors diagnose medical conditions and treat diseases.

Career Outlook for Diagnostic Medical Sonography

The demand for ultrasound techs is strong. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment is projected to grow at a higher-than-average 10%.

The salary for medical sonography is very competitive. The median pay in 2021 was $75,380 a year. This is one of the highest-paying jobs you can get with a two-year degree.

Start Your Career in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Medical sonography is a rewarding career. You can help patients and earn a good living. The right educational program will help you get started.

Healthcare Career College is California’s top school for ultrasound technicians. You can earn a diploma in 19 months or an associate degree in 24 months. You’ll get the hands-on training and technical knowledge you need to be successful.

Our job placement services will help you find a rewarding job once you graduate.

Schedule an information session with one of our Admissions Advisors today. We hope you’ll find that Healthcare Career College is the right fit.