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Online Ultrasound Training Programs and Career Education

Online training programs in ultrasound technology, also called diagnostic medical sonography, are commonly offered in hybrid format. This type of career education is available through undergraduate certificate and degree programs.

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Essential Information

Diagnostic medical sonography, or ultrasound technology, is a medical technology by which sound waves are turned into visual images for the purposes of medical diagnosis. Typically, ultrasound programs offering online didactic courses will have clinical and laboratory components that students will be expected to complete in person. Ultrasound programs at the certificate and associate degree levels are often designed to prepare students to take field-specific national credentialing exams.

Certificate Programs

Certificates typically take about 1 to 2 years to complete, depending on the specialty the student chooses. These basic ultrasound specialties include general (abdomen, obstetrics and gynecology) and cardiovascular (vascular and echocardiography, or the heart). Along with learning how to operate technical equipment, students in an online ultrasound certificate-level program likely will take classes in basic human anatomy, physiology and pathology.

Associate Degree Programs

Often offered as an Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, students in this type of program complete theoretical and practical courses in ultrasound technology, similar to a certificate program. In addition, though, students also complete general education and foundational courses in biology, psychology, composition, humanities and college algebra. Programs at this level may be offered on a selective admissions basis.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Bachelor's degree programs can be found either entirely online or primarily online with the integration of clinical components. However, these types of programs are designed as degree completion options for existing ultrasound technology or related professionals, such as radiation therapists, nuclear medicine technologists or radiologic technologists. In addition to a few major courses, students typically complete classes in general education subjects. Degree options may include the following:

  • Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  • Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging Sciences

Online Learning Details

Courses offered via distance learning may be available in asynchronous formats, allowing students to login and complete studies at their own pace. Others may be synchronous, requiring students to participate online in live class sessions. Students typically access course content through a virtual instructional platform, such as Blackboard. In addition to accessing and submitting assignments, students can communicate with instructors and peers and review supplementary course materials, which often include instructional videos and lecture notes.

Professional Responsibilities

In most cases, sonographers work under the direct supervision of physicians when providing care to patients. They play crucial roles in both inpatient and outpatient environments. Ultrasound careers offer a challenging blend of hands-on patient care with the mastery of sophisticated technologies.

Sonographers are expected to explain to the patient, in layman's terms, about the ultrasound procedure, help promote healthy lifestyles, speak and behave in an ethical manner, and exhibit compassionate and empathetic communication abilities with fellow staff members and patients.

Career Information

The career outlook in the ultrasound field, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (, is expected to grow much faster than the average for all careers between the years 2012 and 2022. Ultrasound technicians can find work in clinics, hospitals and laboratories. In addition, job opportunities can also be found in education, administration or research.

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Popular Schools

Other Schools:

  • Areas of study you may find at George Washington University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
        • Athletic Trainer
        • EMT and Paramedic
        • Physician Assistant
        • Ultrasound and Sonography Technologies
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
  • Areas of study you may find at Grand Valley State University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
        • Athletic Trainer
        • Physician Assistant
        • Ultrasound and Sonography Technologies
      • Nursing Professions
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics