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What Degree Levels Can I Earn in Ultrasound Technology?

Ultrasound technology professionals use sound waves from an ultrasound machine to view internal organs on a computer monitor. To find out more about what degree programs are available in ultrasound technology, read on.

Overview of Levels Available

Degrees in ultrasound technology are offered at the associate, bachelor's and master's degree levels. A program in ultrasound technology, regardless of degree level, should be accredited and allow graduates to take the credentialing or registration exam for their profession.

Important Facts About a Degree in Ultrasound Technology

Concentrations Options include vascular technology, echocardiography and breast ultrasound
Online Availability A few accredited hybrid programs are available
Possible Careers Diagnostic medical sonographer
Cardiovascular technologist
Vascular technologist
Continuing Education Required to maintain certification from ARDMS
Median Salary (2018)$72,510 (Diagnostic medical sonographers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)23% (Diagnostic medical sonographers)

Associate

An associate degree in ultrasound technology is generally two years in duration. Students are required to complete a clinical practicum. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) should accredit the program. A good program should also result in graduates being eligible to take the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) national certification exam. Courses in the program may include:

  • Diagnostic ultrasound
  • Medical ultrasound instrumentation and physics
  • Breast imaging with ultrasound
  • Neurosonography
  • Ultrasound case studies
  • Pathophysiology
  • Patient care

Bachelor's

Degrees in ultrasound technology at the bachelor's level include Bachelor of Science in Vascular Ultrasound Technology or Bachelor of Science in Sonography (Ultrasound), where students study cardiac, vascular and general ultrasound. Some programs allow students to take ARDMS' credentialing exam in the year before they complete their degree. Students take courses in:

  • High-resolution sonography
  • Pelvic sonography
  • Physics of ultrasound
  • Vascular technology
  • Echocardiography
  • Healthcare ethics
  • Innovations and trends in healthcare

Master's

Only a few schools currently offer a master's degree related to ultrasound technology. Like associate's and bachelor's degree programs, the graduates of these programs may be eligible to seek certification through ARDMS, although confirming eligibility is advised. These programs consist of classes and a clinical practicum. Students take courses in:

  • Medical ethics
  • Clinical ethics
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Ultrasound physics
  • Ultrasound instrumentation
  • Superficial organs ultrasound