Associate Degree in Ultrasound Technology

Ultrasound technicians use special imaging equipment to take internal pictures of medical patients to help physicians diagnose injuries and illnesses. Learn more about the available programs, the common course topics, career opportunities and industry statistics. Schools offering Diagnostic Medical Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Associate's Degree Programs Are Available in Ultrasound Technology?

Ultrasound technology programs are often found as diagnostic medical sonography programs. These are 2-year programs that can result in an Associate of Applied Science degree. You will most likely find these programs at technical and community colleges.

Distance education programs for this level of education aren't available. Many programs may require you to complete hands-on training through clinical work. Hands-on training programs can train you to use echocardiography, in addition to Doppler and ultrasound equipment. Clinical work can also teach you to work with patients and physicians.

Programs Available Diagnostic medical sonography, ultrasound technology
Online Options None, as much hands-on work is involved
Common Courses Echocardiography, neurosonography, vascular imaging
Career Opportunities Sonographer, ultrasonographer, ultrasound technician
Certification Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS), Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI)
Job Outlook (2014-24) 24% growth (for diagnostic medical sonographers)*
Annual Median Salary (2015) $68,970 (for diagnostic medical sonographers)*

Source: *U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Can I Expect?

These programs teach you how to prepare patients for procedures, know where to look for maladies and recognize healthy organs. Expect to take courses in reviewing ultrasound results, ultrasound physics, echocardiography, cross-sectional anatomy, neurosonography, gynecological sonography and vascular imaging. You may also learn how to scan various body areas, including the abdomen, breasts and pelvis. Your program may also require you to complete general education courses in English composition, humanities, general physics, mathematics, communications and psychology.

What Can I Do With My Education?

An associate's degree program in this field can prepare you for a career as a sonographer, ultrasonographer, ultrasound technician or diagnostic medical sonographer. If you want to advance your knowledge or career, you can either complete a bachelor's degree program or earn a specialized certification. A bachelor's degree may prepare you for leadership positions in this field.

The main certification for this field is the Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) designation; this can be earned through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). You can earn a specialized ARDMS certification for being proficient in breast, abdomen or nervous system imaging. If your program offered courses and you have experience in vascular sonography, you may also be able to earn certification from the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI).

What Is My Job Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job openings for this field are expected to increase 24% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). This growth may be caused by advancing technologies and an aging population. The BLS also estimated that, as of May 2015, diagnostic medical sonographers earned an annual median salary of $68,970.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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