Students enrolled in this ultrasound technology associate's degree program learn in classrooms, laboratories and clinical settings, often completing internships or practical experiences to gain hands-on experience with the equipment used in the field. Programs often include both broad or specialized study in areas like obstetrics and gynecology, abdomen, vascular technology and fetal echocardiography.
Ultrasound technology programs are generally found at technical and community colleges. Some programs require students to complete prerequisite coursework in relevant fields, including physics, biology and algebra. ACT or SAT scores are typically not required.
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Associate's Degree in Ultrasound Technology
Courses in ultrasound technology associate degree programs introduce the concepts of the field and survey the skills necessary for careers in patient care. Courses focus on topics such as:
- Human anatomy and physiology
- Medical terminology
- Introduction to patient care
- Principles of ultrasound technology
- Sonography for the OB/GYN
- Introduction to vascular sonography
Salary Information and Employment Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including vascular technologists, were projected to have a much faster than average job growth of 24%, from 2014-2024. Some of the expected growth will result from patients choosing sonography over radiologic procedures, since sonography does not employ radiation and is therefore seen as safer. As of May 2015, the median annual earnings in the field was $63,630.
Continuing Education Information
To be registered as ultrasound technologists, graduates must pass the American Registry in Diagnostic Medical Sonography exam. This exam is available in different specializations. Students may also go on to pursue bachelor's degrees in ultrasound technology. Graduate programs, which are not common, are available as specializations within health science programs; most employers do not look for sonographers with graduate credentials.
Students interested in a career in ultrasound technology can pursue an associate's degree in ultrasound technology. By learning in a classroom and clinical setting, students have the option to specialize in various specialties, such as obstetrics and gynecology, abdomen, vascular technology and fetal echocardiography.