About Ultrasound Tech Education

Most ultrasound technician education programs run between two and four years in length, and some training programs lead towards a degree in the field. If you want to work as an ultrasound technician or sonographer, you will need to complete a specialized ultrasound technician training program and make sure you fulfill all educational and training requirements. There are just over 170 accredited ultrasound tech programs available in the United States. When you are searching for a program, it's important to make sure that the program has been accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Once you've completed your training from an accredited institution, you can proceed to get professional certification from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).

Ultrasound Technician Education Training Programs

Since ultrasound technology is always evolving and changing, it's important for ultrasound technicians to enroll in an ultrasound technician education program that gives students a chance to use the latest equipment and learn about some of the latest computer systems, software and technologies used in a medical setting. Most training programs do include a clinical component where the student must complete a certain number of hours of hands-on training. In this part of the program, the student is able to develop the necessary skills for operating complex machinery.

Enrolling in an Ultrasound Technician Education Program

Most ultrasound technician education programs are available through:

  • Area community colleges
  • U.S. military offices and training centers
  • Area hospitals
  • Four-year colleges and universities
  • Schools offering correspondence courses
  • Schools offering online courses

Students enrolled in these training programs typically take a variety of courses, including medical ethics, physiology, patient care, anatomy and physics.

Most training programs prepare students to use different types of ultrasound machines, understand basic clinical procedures, and also develop communication skills so that the technician can communicate effectively with patients, radiologists, nurses and physicians. Some education programs are designed to focus on just one area, such as vascular sonography, cardiac sonography or obstetrics and gynecology sonography.

Furthering Your Ultrasound Technician Education and Career

After you have successfully completed an accredited ultrasound technician education program, you can obtain certification from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonograpy. Ultrasound technicians and sonographers who want to obtain certification need to pass an exam that demonstrates their ability to use various types of equipment to produce accurate images of different body parts. Students may be eligible for other certification programs and credentials based on the specialization. If you have already completed some training in a related medical field, you may also be eligible for obtaining credentials from a credentialing agency.

Neurosonography, abdominal ultrasound, gynecological sonography and obstetric sonography are some of the concentrations or specialties to consider during your career. Keep in mind that salary prospects and positions may be more attractive for those who have credentials beyond the degree, and for those who specialize in a certain area.

If you wish to further your ultrasound technician education, consider taking advanced training courses at a local technical college or medical training facility, completing on-the-job training by your employer, or by taking a correspondence or online course related to the field.