Sonography Certification, Certificate and Diploma Program Overviews

Community colleges and universities offer certificate programs to those who want to pursue careers in sonography. These are typically for people already employed in the health care industry who wish to broaden their skills.

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Essential Information

A diagnostic medical sonographer bounces high-frequency sound waves off a patient's body to take internal pictures and compile data that physicians use for diagnostic purposes. A one-year certificate in sonography requires completion of college level courses in science and math, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose and transcripts. Previous health care experience is also required by some programs.


Certificate Program in Sonography

A certificate program in sonography teaches students how to work with patients, equipment and other physicians in health care settings, and sometimes involves clinical experience. The following are some of the typical courses found in sonography certificate programs:

  • Anatomy
  • Medical terminology
  • High-resolution sonography
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Obstetric sonography

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Job opportunities for sonographers and cardiovascular technologists/technicians are expected to grow at a rate of 24% from 2014 through 2024, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov. In 2014, the BLS reported the median annual salary for diagnostic medical sonographers was $68,970.

Professional Certification and Continuing Education Information

Classes for some certificate programs count as credit toward an associate's degree in sonography; 4-year programs that culminate in a bachelor's degree are also available. No state requires sonographers to be licensed, but employers often prefer to hire those who become certified and registered through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS), according to the BLS. Related certifications include radiologic technician, surgical technologist or cardiovascular technologists.

For one who meets the proper requirements, it takes only a year to attain sonographer certification. Jobs in sonography are on the rise.

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