Ultrasound Technology Associates Degree Programs
Get detailed information about associate's degree programs in ultrasound technology. Read about prerequisites, course topics and continuing education options. Find statistics regarding employment outlook and salaries for professionals in this field.
Ultrasound technology, which is also known as diagnostic medical sonography, is the practice of using high frequency sound waves to create images of structures, organs and blood flow within the body. Those interested in entering this field must complete an educational program in diagnostic medical sonography or ultrasound technology, most often at the associate degree level. Graduates are typically awarded an Associate of Applied Science.
Students enrolled in this type of program work in classrooms, laboratories and clinical settings, often completing internships or practical experiences to gain hands-on experience with the equipment used in the field. Programs often include both broad or specialized study in obstetrics and gynecology, abdomen, vascular technology and fetal echocardiography.
Ultrasound technology associate's degree programs are generally found at 2-year technical and community colleges. Applicants must possess a high school diploma or the equivalent. Some programs require students to complete prerequisite coursework in relevant fields, including physics, biology and algebra. ACT or SAT scores are typically not required.
Courses in ultrasound technology associate degree programs introduce the concepts of the field and survey the skills necessary for careers in patient care.
- Human anatomy and physiology
- Medical terminology
- Introduction to patient care
- Principles of ultrasound technology
- Sonography for the OB/GYN
- Introduction to vascular sonography
- Sonography for the abdomen
- Circulatory system sonography
- Medical ethics and law in sonography
Salary Information and Employment Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job openings in the field of ultrasound technology were expected to grow 44% between 2010 and 2020. Some of the expected growth will result from patients choosing sonography over radiologic procedures, since sonography does not employ radiation and is therefore seen as safer. As of 2012, the median annual earnings in the field were $65,860, with the lowest ten percent earning under $45,000 and the top ten percent earning over $90,000.
Continuing Education Information
To be registered as ultrasound technologists, graduates must pass the American Registry in Diagnostic Medical Sonography exam. This exam is available in different specializations. Students may also go on to pursue bachelor's degrees in ultrasound technology. Graduate programs, which are not common, are available as specializations within health science programs; most employers do not look for sonographers with graduate credentials.
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