Ultrasound Certification and Certificate Program Overviews

Ultrasound certificate programs teach students to use sound waves to conduct sonographic examinations including abdominal, neonatal, cardiac and vascular exams. Students participate in internships or other clinical opportunities offered through these programs.

Essential Information

Students can earn a certificate in ultrasound after successful completion of a medical sonography certificate program or by passing an examination. After earning certification, individuals are prepared for entry-level work as ultrasound technicians. Depending upon the program, earning a certificate could take 18 months to two years. Educational prerequisites may include a bachelor's degree, completing an accredited health program or completing course prerequisites.

  • Program Levels in Ultrasound Certificate Program: Certification
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree; completion of an accredited health program or course prerequisites.
  • Program Length: 18 months to 2 years
  • Other Requirements: Continuing education

Certification in Ultrasound Technology

Classes in a diagnostic medical sonography program teach students about acoustic physics, which is used to produce images. Individuals could have the chance to participate in internships, clinical training and service learning for hands-on experience. Other program coursework could include the following:

  • Sonography
  • Cardiac ultrasound
  • Sonographic physics
  • Ethics
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Sonographic pathology

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, diagnostic medical sonographers could see a 39% employment increase between 2012 and 2022, which is faster than average compared to other occupations (www.bls.gov). This increase is attributed to an aging population and the growing use of ultrasound technology.

According to PayScale.com, the majority of ultrasound technicians earned between $29,180 and $65,586, as of May 2015. In the same reporting period, the site indicated that most individuals with 1-4 years of experience earned $47,000 annually while the majority of technicians with 5-9 years of experience made $58,000 per year.

Continuing Education Information

After obtaining an ultrasound certificate, ultrasound technicians may choose to become Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (RDMS) through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). ARDMS offers RDMS certification in several specialization areas, such as the abdomen and nervous system. Applicants must pass examinations in order to become certified and complete continuing education courses in order to remain certified. Certification can aid individuals in advancing their careers and when applying for jobs.

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