Students interested in entering this field can find the training they need at community colleges, technical schools and universities. A 2-year associate degree is generally required for aspiring echocardiography techs, but 4-year bachelor's degrees can also be found in cardiovascular technology.
Schools with Cardiovascular Technology Programs
Students can study cardiovascular technology at these schools:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|Arkansas Tech University||Russellville, AR||4-year, Public||Associate||$6,192 in-state, $11,352 out-of-state|
|Florida SouthWestern State College||Fort Myers, FL||4-year, Public||Associate||$3,401 in-state, $12,979 out-of-state|
|Augusta Technical College||Augusta, GA||2-year, Public||Certificate||$2,644 in-state, $4,780 out-of-state|
|Bunker Hill Community College||Boston, MA||2-year, Public||Associate||$3,576 in-state, $8,520 out-of-state|
|Central Georgia Technical College||Warner Robins, GA||2-year, Public||Associate||$2,674 in-state, $4,810 out-of-state|
|Central Piedmont Community College||Charlotte, NC||2-year, Public||Associate||$2,664 in-state, $8,808 out-of-state|
|Chattanooga State Community College||Chattanooga, TN||2-year, Public||Certificate||$3,973 in-state, $15,373 out-of-state|
|City College of San Francisco||San Francisco, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate||$1,598 in-state, $7,554 out-of-state|
|Delaware Technical Community College - Stanton/Wilmington||Wilmington, DE||2-year, Public||Associate||$3,632 in-state, $8,522 out-of-state|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
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School Selection Criteria
These are some important considerations for students choosing a school:
- While an associate's degree is the basic requirement for work in the field, students potentially considering graduate education in the future should look into bachelor's programs.
- Students should look for programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education (CAAHEP), as those who do not may need to complete additional clinical work to apply for professional certifications.
- Students might look for programs that emphasize certain specialties, like fetal, adult and pediatric echocardiography.
Associate of Applied Science in Echocardiography
In an associate program, students learn how to take images of the heart and cardiac system. Pre-professional courses may include anatomy, physiology and medical terminology. In the professional portion of the curriculum, students examine echo sonography-specific topics, like the diagnostic principles of ultrasound and Doppler imaging.
Clinical rotations in cardiovascular catheterization, invasive cardiology and vascular labs may be required. Minimum entrance requirements for an associate program include a high school diploma or GED and a passing score on the SAT or ACT exams.
Bachelor of Science in Echocardiography
Students in a bachelor's program learn many of the same skills as associate program students, including how to recognize different heart diseases and how to operate echocardiography equipment.
Clinical practicums under the guidance of a licensed sonographer are required. Some bachelor's programs expect students to take pre-professional courses through another university; applicants may need to be registered cardiac sonographers.
Students who complete echo sonography programs may be prepared for a job in the field, professional certification or advanced education, depending on their degree level and the school's accreditation. Program graduates can earn professional certification through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) and Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI).