Ultrasound Technology Associates Degree Programs

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.

Essential Information

Students enrolled in this ultrasound technology associate's degree program will 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.

  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or the equivalent
  • Program Specializations: Sonography for the abdomen, circulatory system, and obstetrics and gynecology, among others
  • Other Requirements: Internships and practicums

Associate's in Ultrasound Technology Degree Program

Courses in ultrasound technology associate degree programs introduce the concepts of the field and survey the skills necessary for careers in patient care. Courses focus on topics such as:

  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Medical terminology
  • Introduction to patient care
  • Principles of ultrasound technology
  • Sonography for the OB/GYN
  • Introduction to vascular sonography

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including vascular technologists, were projected to have a much faster than average job growth of 24%, from 2014-2024. 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 May 2015, the median annual earnings in the field was $63,630.

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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