In an Associate of Science in Medical Sonography program, students learn to accurately use specialized instrumentation that produces images showing specific areas of the interior human body. Areas of emphasis can include abdominal, obstetrics, gynecology, cardiology and small body parts. Training in echocardiography or vascular areas require more advanced study and is usually found in a bachelor's degree program.
Applicants must have a high school diploma, and some volunteer or prior work experience in a health care setting may be required. College entrance test scores and prior math and science coursework may be considered. Special entrance examinations are occasionally required. Some programs accept currently licensed medical professionals only.
Associate's Degree in Medical Sonography
Associate's programs in medical sonography commonly combine didactic coursework with clinical experiences. They normally take 18 months to two years to complete. Some courses may be available online. Some course topics generally included within the curriculum are:
- Medical ethics
- Patient care
Career Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects employment for diagnostic medical sonographers to grow by 19% between 2018 and 2028. According to 2015 BLS data, the average salary for these professionals was $72,510.
Medical sonographers may progress their career through certification and through specialization in certain fields such as abdominal or cardiology. To obtain a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) credential, applicants must meet education and professional experience prerequisites and complete a certifying examination. Such a designation is not required to practice as a sonographer, but employers prefer to hire those who have successfully completed the RDMS process. The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography administers the certification process for general sonographers and for those who specialize. Bachelor's degrees are also available for those who want to have more responsibilities and higher pay grades in the field.
Associate's programs in medical sonography prepare graduates for entry-level diagnostic medical sonographer positions. In addition to traditional coursework, these programs include clinical training with medical imaging equipment. Many programs have extensive prerequisites for admission.