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Echo Sonographer Training and Education Program Summaries

Aspiring echo sonographers gain the necessary skills through an Associate of Science in Echocardiography or an Associate of Science in Cardiovascular Technology program. Details on these programs follow, along with career and certification info.

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Essential Information

In Associate of Science in Cardiac Sonography and Echocardiography programs, students learn how to conduct ultrasound examinations of the heart, locate damage to heart tissue, determine the size of a heart and administer medication to patients. Clinical rotations are a large part of these programs. Newly enrolled students need to have a high school diploma, current CPR certification and up-to-date immunizations. Graduates may pursue professional certification.


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Associate's Degree in Cardiac Sonography and Echocardiography

Associate's degree programs in cardiac sonography and echocardiography provide extensive clinical training, in addition to classroom lectures on theory and anatomy. Along with cardiac sonography instrumentation and physiology, some courses in these programs usually include:

  • Clinical cardiac sonography
  • Allied health science
  • Sonography physics
  • Electrophysiology
  • Echocardiography clinic
  • Professional development

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, ww.bls.gov), cardiovascular technologists and technicians held about 51,400 positions in the United States in 2015; echo sonographers were among that number. In May 2015, the BLS reported that the median annual salary earned by cardiovascular technologists and technicians was $54,880. The BLS states that employment in the field is projected to rise 22% between 2014 and 2024.

Certification

Individuals are required to complete an accredited associate's degree program and sit for a national examination before they can gain certification in echocardiography. One organization to offer certification is the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).

Through in-class and hands-on training, associate's degree programs in cardiac sonography and echocardiography teach aspiring cardiovascular technologists and technicians the fundamentals of ultrasound imaging, medical terminology, anatomy and diagnostic laboratory procedures.

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