Cardiac Sonography Degree Programs

A cardiac sonography degree program can teach you how to compare healthy and unhealthy hearts. Continue reading to find out how you can assist in diagnosing heart disease by operating ultrasound machinery to record images of the heart. Learn about degree programs, professional certification and the career outlook. Schools offering Diagnostic Medical Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is Cardiac Sonography?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), cardiac sonography is also known as echocardiography ( This specialization can also be considered part of the cardiovascular technician and technologist career field.

Degree LevelBachelor's and associate's
Common CoursesUltrasound physics, pathology, cardiovascular concepts, non-invasive techniques, dysrhythmias
Professional CertificationCardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) and the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS)
Job Outlook24% increase from 2014 to 2024

Source: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Degree Programs Are Available?

You might be able to find schools offering this concentration through 2-year and 4-year undergraduate degree programs. Completing these programs can result in an Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science or Bachelor of Science.

No matter what level of education you are pursuing, you won't be able to find any distance education programs. These programs require you to complete clinical work, practicum or laboratory courses. Your program can rely heavily on hands-on training with ultrasound technology and results analysis.

What Courses Can I Expect?

The main difference between these levels of education is the amount of elective, general education or pre-professional courses required. Both levels of programs will train you in sonography techniques for different age groups, detecting heart irregularities, interacting with patients through all stages of sonography procedures and how the heart works. Your program may also cover some electrocardiograph (EKG) techniques.

You can expect to take courses in ultrasound physics, pathology, cardiovascular concepts, non-invasive techniques, dysrhythmias, cardiovascular physiology, stress echocardiography, pediatric echocardiography and adult echocardiography. You can also expect to take general education courses in English composition, chemistry, mathematics, computer education and public speaking.

What Can I Do With My Education?

Your education may qualify you for a career as an echocardiographer or cardiac sonographer. Although it may not be required by your state of employment, earning certification may be required by your potential place of employment. Certifications are offered through the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) and the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). CCI offers the Registered Cardiac Sonographer (RCS) designation. ARDMS offers specialty exams for adult, fetal and pediatric echocardiography professionals that can result in the Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS) designation.

What Is My Job Outlook?

The BLS states that cardiovascular technician and technologist careers may increase 24% between 2014 and 2024. This growth may be caused by technological advancement and a greater concern of heart disease in the older population. The BLS also estimated that, as of May 2015, this career field earned a median salary of $63,630.

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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