Sonographer Certification and Certificate Program Overviews

Oct 18, 2019

Students in sonography certificate programs learn to perform ultrasound procedures safely, produce images, maintain equipment, keep detailed records, and communicate effectively with physicians and patients.

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Essential Information

A number of schools offer certificate programs in diagnostic medical sonography. Some allow students to focus on specialties in general sonography, cardiac sonography or vascular sonography. These programs can be completed in as little as 18 months.

Sonography certificate programs are best suited for those in the healthcare industry because such programs require prior medical education and training. Applicants must have work experience in a healthcare setting, and a medical associate's degree is necessary in some cases.

Graduates can obtain professional certification by passing an examination, if they meet education and experience requirements.

Certificate in Sonography

Sonography certificate programs have few, if any, electives. Programs use a combination of academic study and clinical practice to provide training in the use of ultrasound technology for medical imaging. The curriculum may include the following courses:

  • Sonography introduction
  • Sonography instruments and physics
  • Cross-sectional imaging
  • Abdominal imaging
  • Pelvic imaging
  • Obstetric and gynecologic imaging

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Healthcare workers who graduate from a sonographer certificate program are qualified to move into positions as diagnostic medical sonographers. Between 2018 and 2028, employment of diagnostic medical sonographers is projected to increase by 19%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( As of May 2018, these professionals earned a median annual salary of $72,510.

Continuing Education Information

Cardiovascular Credentialing International offers a certification exam for cardiac sonographers. Additionally, the American Registry of Radiologic Technologist certifies vascular and breast sonographers and the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography's general exam offers certification as a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. All these certifications require completion of an examination, among other requirements.

Sonographer certificate curriculum includes traditional courses and clinical experience opportunities. Students may specialize in a particular sub-field, such as cardiac sonography.

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