How to Become an Ultrasound Technician

Steps for Ultrasound Techs: Education and Certification

As an ultrasound technician you will be responsible for running sonography equipment that takes a clear image of various organs and potential abnormalities. You will also be responsible for taking measurements and providing physicians with calculations in addition to images for accurately diagnosing illness.

How Long Does It Take to Become an Ultrasound Tech?

To become an ultrasound technician you will want to prepare for a minimum of one year of vocational training and up to four years for a bachelor’s degree. The most common degree level for ultrasound technicians is an associate’s degree.

Ultrasound Technician Associate’s Degree and Licensing Steps 

It is important to select a community college or online school that is accredited for ultrasound technicians. Completing your degree at an accredited school will aid you in gaining employment with reputable medical facilities including hospitals.  Ultrasound technicians must have knowledge of the functions of the body including those of individual organs in order to be complete job duties.

Step One: Prerequisites/Requirements To Become Ultrasound Tech

Prerequisite courses may vary from school to school.

Complete prerequisite courses including:

  • English: Technical Writing, Professional Report Writing or The Research Paper
  • Math: Precalculus or higher.
  • Physics: Basic Concepts or higher.
  • Sociology: Introduction to Sociology
  • Biology: Human Anatomy I and II
  • Medical Terminology

Step Two: Entering an Ultrasound Technician Program – Requirements

After completing prerequisite courses you will be ready to enter into an ultrasound technician program. Two full years, including summer quarters, are required to complete your associate’s degree. In this program you will develop your knowledge of the ultrasound equipment and the technology behind sonography. You will take courses in the following subjects:

  • Physics
  • Anatomy
  • Biology
  • Medical Ethics
  • Pathopsysiology
  • Obstetrics
  • Ultrasound Equipment

Step Three: Clinical Education

Included in your schooling will be an internship or clinical training, which may take place at a hospital. During your clinical education you will learn in an environment similar to the one in which you will work upon graduation.

Step Four: Certification with ARDMS

Not all states require that ultrasound technicians become licensed or certified, however, employers do seek out techs that have completed ARDMS certification. ARDMS can offer you opportunities to become certified in specialty areas (normally requiring additional education):

  • Breast
  • Abdomen
  • Vascular
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology

Step Five: Continuing Education

Continuing education is a vital part of your career as an ultrasound technician. In order to maintain certification in specialty areas, you will be required to take courses that relate to your current certification. These courses may include education regarding advancements in medicine and research. Given that sonography is a technological field, you may also take courses that will focus on new equipment that you will use in your work.

The investment you make in your education will help you to advance in your career with a solid knowledge of the human body and ultrasound technology. Taking the time to complete your associate’s degree may equal greater career opportunities with stable medical organizations. Likewise your education will provide you with the skills necessary to provide excellent patient care and reliable diagnostics that save lives.

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