Echocardiography Training Programs and Requirements

Learn about echocardiography training programs. Find out about the requirements for admission and see the courses that students might complete. Explore the job outlook and salary statistics for cardiovascular technologists and technicians.

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Essential Information

Echocardiography training programs are 1- to 2-year programs offered by colleges and universities. An associate's degree and completion of specific medical coursework might be required of applicants.

Programs are designed to teach those with health care training or experience how to produce ultrasound images of the heart. Students may also learn to assist physicians in performing other cardiac procedures through hands-on practice during clinical training.

Educational Prerequisites

An associate degree or a degree from a 2-year allied health school may be required for admission to an echocardiography training program. Some schools require that students have completed courses in medical terminology, anatomy and physics. Experience working in a health care setting is required by some schools and considered beneficial for admission by others.

Course Topics

Echocardiographers, also called cardiac sonographers, use sound waves to create images of the heart. An echocardiography education program's goal is to train a specialist who can supervise an echocardiography lab. Students might learn how to operate the sonogram equipment. The coursework might teach them about the different types of echocardiograms, such as transthoractic and transesophageal. Students study the principles of echocardiography, as well as the physics behind it. Studies may include:

  • Echocardiography principles
  • Anatomy of the cardiovascular system
  • Physics of ultrasound
  • Stress echocardiography
  • Echocardiography for critically-ill patients
  • Medical ethics

Job Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for all types of cardiovascular technologists and technicians is expected to increase by 24% from 2008-2018 due to an aging population and the prevalence of heart disease (www.bls.gov). According to Salary.com, the median salary for an echocardiographic technician was $61,920 in March 2012.

Professional Certification

While professional certification is not mandatory, most employers hire only echocardiographers who hold professional credentials. The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) and Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) both have credentialing programs. ARDMS offers the Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS) credential in three areas - adult, pediatric and fetal echocardiography. CCI offers the Registered Congenital Cardiac Sonographer (RCCS) and Registered Cardiac Sonographer (RCS) credential.

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Schools with Echo Ultrasound Training Programs: How to Choose

Popular Schools

  • 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
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (16)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (7)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (3)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your classroom preference?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Florida (3 campuses)
    • Minnesota (1 campus)
    • New Jersey (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Texas (3)

    What is your highest level of education?

  • School locations:
    • Arizona (1 campus)
    • California (1 campus)
    • Florida (6)
    • Idaho (1)
    • Kansas (2)
    • Kentucky (2)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Missouri (1)
    • Ohio (7)
    • Oklahoma (2)
    • Tennessee (1)
    • Texas (1)
    • Virginia (5)
    • West Virginia (1)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Master
        • Master in Medical Assisting and Administration

    What year did you graduate from high school?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Currently not accepting applications from Texas residents
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be at least 16 years old and have a high school diploma or GED.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • MBA --Healthcare Management

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Which degree level do you plan to pursue?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Distance Learning Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Undergraduate Certificate in General Studies (Medical Assistants)

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must hold a Bachelor's degree or higher
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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