What Schooling Is Required for a Career As an Ultrasound Tech?

There are three levels of schooling that may lead to a career as an ultrasound tech. An aspiring ultrasound tech may choose to complete a formal education program in the field leading to a certificate, associate's degree, or bachelor's degree. Get more info about these education options in this article. Schools offering Diagnostic Medical Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Education for Ultrasound Techs: Overview

Ultrasound techs generally need some form of education, such as an associate's degree or postsecondary certificate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). The BLS goes on to say that employers may require potential job candidates to have professional certification, for example through the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS). Educational opportunities can be found in hospitals, technical institutes, or colleges (two-year and four-year). The program should be accredited by the CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Education Program). There are three levels of schooling open to students interested in becoming an ultrasound tech.

Important Facts about this Occupation

Work Environment May work in dimly lit rooms; must be able to stand for long periods; may be required to lift or move patients; may be required to work evenings, weekends, overnight
Similar Occupations Cardiovascular technologists and technicians, vascular technologists, medical laboratory technologists and technicians, radiologic and MRI technologists
Median Salary (2018) $72,510 (for diagnostic medical sonographers)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 23% (for diagnostic medical sonographers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Bachelor's Degree

Institutions, generally four-year, may offer a bachelor's degree in diagnostic medical sonography or ultrasound. Aspiring ultrasound techs who opt to complete a baccalaureate degree receive a solid background in the sciences, education in the liberal arts, and hands-on clinical experience. Graduates may go on to graduate school or enter dental or medical studies. Students develop diagnostic and scanning abilities along with research and administration skills.

Associate's Degree

Associate's degrees programs include classroom training in anatomy, gynecological, obstetrical and abdominal sonography, pathophysiology, and ultrasound physics, properties, and principles. An associate's degree program also includes a clinical practicum.


Certificate programs are available for individuals with bachelor's degrees in a related area. Certificate programs are also open to students registered in one of the allied health areas, such as nursing, radiography, physical therapy, nuclear medicine, or respiratory therapy. Certificate programs vary in length according to the institution and include classes and clinical training.

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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