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Sonography Education Requirements and Career Information

A sonographer is responsible for using an ultrasound machine to create medical images of patients' internal organs. Many education paths are available for prospective sonographers, but the most common route is a 2-year degree program at an accredited sonography training program.

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Sonography Career Information

Sonographers use equipment that directs high-frequency sound waves to body organs and tissue to generate medical diagnostic images. Opportunities are available to generalize or specialize in a particular field of sonography, such as the female reproductive system, vascular system, brain or abdomen.

Career opportunities are available in hospitals, medical clinics and imaging centers. Ultrasound technology is expected to remain popular, because it doesn't use radiation and patients do not experience any side effects from this procedure. According to SimplyHired.com, as of 2010, the average salary for a sonographer is $52,000 per year.

Education Requirements

The Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) has approved over 150 sonography training programs in the country. Most of these programs are available through 2-year degree programs at technical and community colleges. This has become the standard educational route for prospective sonographers. Hospitals, vocational schools and universities also provide a range of certificate, diploma and bachelor's degree programs that are acceptable to most employers and are recognized in the industry.

Many programs prefer that applicants have a strong educational background in science and healthcare. Allied healthcare professionals interested in pursuing a sonography education may complete special 1-year certificate programs. Bachelor's degree programs may include advanced courses in science, patient care, medical ethics, fundamentals of physics, anatomy and physiology and intensive training in instrumentation. Sonography programs require students to participate in supervised clinical training in a professional setting.

Graduates of a sonography program must pass the professional certification exam offered through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).

While certification may not be required by all states, it does prove to potential employers that an applicant has the ability to work in this field.

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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 be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

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

    Which subject are you interested in?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must have completed 12 college credits
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • California (19 campuses)
    • Washington (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Certificate - Health Administration

    What is your highest level of education?

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

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at George Washington University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
        • Athletic Trainer
        • EMT and Paramedic
        • Physician Assistant
        • Ultrasound and Sonography Technologies
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Grand Valley State University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
        • Athletic Trainer
        • Physician Assistant
        • Ultrasound and Sonography Technologies
      • Nursing Professions
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • 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:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Rochester Institute of Technology include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
        • Athletic Trainer
        • Nuclear Medical Technologist
        • Physician Assistant
        • Ultrasound and Sonography Technologies
      • Medical Informatics and Illustration
      • Nutrition Services
      • Optometric and Ophthalmic Services
      • Public Health and Safety

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics