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Ultrasound Certification and Certificate Program Overviews

Ultrasound certificate programs teach students to use sound waves to conduct sonographic examinations. Get details on program requirements and courses as well as job outlook and certification info below.

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Essential Information

In an ultrasound certificate program, students learn about abdominal, neonatal, cardiac, and vascular sonographic exams. Students also participate in internships or other clinical opportunities.

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.


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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 26% employment increase between 2014 and 2024, 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 $30,279 and $73,557, as of January 2016. In the same reporting period, the site indicated that most individuals with 0-5 years of experience earned a median salary of $49,000 annually while the majority of technicians with 5-10 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.

Students can complete certificate programs in ultrasound technology within a 2-year period, preparing them to earn certification in diagnostic medical sonography. Careers in this field are expected to grow at a rate greater than that for other jobs through 2024.

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