Associate of Ultrasound Technology: Degree Overview

An associate degree for ultrasound technology qualifies graduates to assist physicians in a variety of medical fields. Obstetrics is the most commonly known area in which ultrasound technology is used, but ultrasound also helps physicians diagnose heart, abdominal and vascular problems.

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Ultrasound Technology Associate Degree

A 2-year associate degree in ultrasound technology program gives students the practical training needed to work in the medical field as ultrasound technologists, also known as sonographers, who use sound waves to obtain images of organs and soft tissue inside the body. It typically includes classroom, laboratory and clinical experience and results in an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science. It covers the technology of sonography, scanning procedures and the interpretation of ultrasound images. Some schools offer generalized programs, while other schools ask the student to choose a major, such as cardiac or vascular ultrasound.

Educational Prerequisites

Applicants to an ultrasound technology program must have a high school diploma or a GED certificate. Some schools prefer applicants with previous health care experience. Most programs require that students have completed courses in biology, anatomy, medical terminology and English composition.

Course Topics

Ultrasound technology associate degree programs teach specific methods of scanning for different purposes. Possible required courses include:

  • Physics
  • Anatomy
  • Abdominal sonography
  • Vascular sonography
  • Obstetric sonography
  • Ultrasound equipment
  • Medical ethics

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects employment for diagnostic medical sonographers to grow by approximately 46% between 2012-2022, largely due to the health care demands of an aging population (www.bls.gov). The BLS also predicts that the biggest job growth will be in physicians' offices and at outpatient clinics. In May 2013, the BLS reported that the median annual salary for a sonographer was $66,410.

Continuing Education Information

Many employers require job candidates to have professional certification. The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) offers exams in nine specialty areas. After passing the 3-hour, 170-question test in any specialty, the individual is certified as a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS), a Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS) or a Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT). ARDMS also offers credentials in musculoskeletal sonography and in sonographic principles.

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Ferris State University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
        • Medical Radiologic Therapist
        • Nuclear Medical Technologist
        • Respiratory Care Therapy
        • Ultrasound and Sonography Technologies
      • Nursing Professions
      • Optometric and Ophthalmic Services
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
  • School locations:
    • Oklahoma (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Oklahoma State University include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
        • EMT and Paramedic
        • Radiological Science and Technologies
        • Ultrasound and Sonography Technologies
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • Michigan (3 campuses)
    Areas of study you may find at Baker College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Massage and Related Therapeutic Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
        • Electrocardiograph Tech. - ECG, EKG
        • Medical Radiologic Therapist
        • Ultrasound and Sonography Technologies
      • Nursing Professions
  • School locations:
    • Puerto Rico (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Universidad Del Este include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
        • Medical Radiologic Therapist
        • Radiological Science and Technologies
        • Ultrasound and Sonography Technologies
      • Nursing Professions
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Informatics and Illustration
      • Medical Residency Programs
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
        • Radiation Protection Technology
      • Medical Residency Programs
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      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions

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