Diagnostic medical sonography associate's degree programs are offered at community colleges and technical schools. The program is rooted in a science and technology-based curriculum, which focuses on laboratory learning experiences. Students may also be required to spend time in a hospital learning about equipment and shadowing other sonographers. College algebra and general physics are recommended prior to enrollment.
Associate's Degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Diagnostic medical sonography associate's degree programs prepare students to be familiar with the equipment they use and to understand what they are looking at for diagnostic purposes. Coursework includes medical terminology, psychology, and anatomy-heavy curriculum. Courses may include the following:
- Medical ethics
- Sonography physics
- Vascular sonography
- Medical law
Popular Career Options
Since this is a specific degree, virtually all students go onto a career as a sonographer. However, once involved in that career, there are several specializations the sonographer can get involved in. Career options may include the following:
- Obstetric and gynecologic sonographer
- Abdominal sonpgrapher
- Breast sonographer
Salary Info and Employment Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of diagnostic medical sonographers is expected to grow by 26% from 2014 through 2024. Median annual earnings of diagnostic medical sonographers were $68,970 in May 2015, with the highest ten percent earning more than $97,930.
No state currently requires a certification in sonography for employment. However, several organizations, including the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) provide professional certification to professional sonographers through credentialing and registration. Certification requires passing an exam and completing a number of continuing education courses. Certification helps sonographers keep up with medical and technological advancements required for the occupation.
Through didactic coursework and clinical training, associate's programs in diagnostic medical sonography prepare students for work as sonographers in various specializations. Graduates of these programs may also pursue voluntary certification. Faster-than-average growth in employment opportunities is expected from 2014-2024 in the sonography field.