Vascular Ultrasound Training, Schools and Certification

Vascular ultrasound technicians help doctors and nurses analyze patients' hearts, and they also assist patients with their cardiac health. Learn about certificate and degree programs in ultrasound and sonography, and review the eligibility requirements and examination process for certification. Get more info about what you'd do as a vascular ultrasound technician. Schools offering Diagnostic Medical Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

A vascular ultrasound is another name for a cardiac ultrasound, which is used to examine a patient's cardiac system, including the heart, veins and arteries. Training in vascular ultrasound can be accomplished through specific programs in vascular technology or through a combination of general sonography coursework and specialized on-the-job training.

Degrees Associate of Applied Science in Vascular Ultrasound Technology, Associate of Science in Cardiovascular Technology, Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Bachelor of Science in Vascular Technology
Certificates Vascular Technology Certificate, Certificate in Vascular Ultrasound
Certification Voluntary certification available through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography

What Training and School Programs Are There?

Vascular ultrasound training may occur at the certificate, associate's and bachelor's level. You may choose to enroll in general programs in allied health, such as diagnostic medical imaging, and then use your work experience to gain skills in vascular ultrasound. Training specifically in vascular ultrasound may last 1 to 4 years, depending on the degree level obtained. Some programs offer online studies. Schools that offer certificate and degree programs in vascular ultrasound include:

  • Ferris State University
  • The University of Kansas
  • Rush University
  • Lewis University
  • Grossmont College
  • Lackawanna College
  • Alvin Community College
  • Oregon Institute of Technology
  • Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

What Courses Will I Take?

Programs typically include a mix of courses in the applied sciences, anatomy and physiology, along with laboratory and patient-based experiences. You can also expect to take courses in ultrasound physics, medical terminology and communications. Other courses taken in a vascular ultrasound or sonography program include:

  • Abdominal sonography
  • Vascular technology
  • Vascular anatomy
  • Venous procedures

How Do I Obtain Certification?

There are two tiers of certification for vascular ultrasound technicians. The first tier requires that you're eligible for the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation exam (SPI). There are numerous pathways to this initial level of certification.

According to the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS), the institution that provides the SPI exam, you may attend an accredited certificate or degree program specifically in diagnostic medical sonography, diagnostic cardiac sonography or vascular technology. Alternatively, you may attend a program lasting a minimum of two years in any allied health field then gain at least one year of experience in vascular sonography or ultrasound. A third pathway is obtaining a bachelor's degree in any field, followed by one year of experience in vascular sonography or ultrasound.

Once you complete the SPI, the second level of certification is the ARDMS Vascular Technology exam (VT). This certifies you as a Registered Vascular Technician (RVT). Reviewing the RVT eligibility requirements on the ARDMS website highlights the specific courses and training you should focus on within your school and training programs ( You can help yourself by investing in courses related to these sections that are typically on the VT exam: heart anatomy, venous (veins and arteries) anatomy, heart illnesses and diseases, cardiac damage assessment, interpreting ultrasound image and abdomen physiology.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools