Ultrasound technicians use specialized equipment to create images of the inside of the human body. Their work helps diagnose medical issues and detect any health conditions in fetuses.
Learn more about ultrasound technician careers and the top schools for you to explore this exciting career path.
Featured Online Programs
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
Top Ultrasound Technician Programs
These rankings include
#1 Best Ultrasound Tech Schools and Programs
Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
A leader in online education, Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences provides flexible online study opportunities for distance learners from all walks of life.
The associate in diagnostic medical sonography is an attractive option for students seeking college-level study to prepare for ultrasound technician careers. students complete industry-specific classes, gaining necessary knowledge and skills. Based on their career interests, students can choose electives, minors, and degree concentrations.
Learners in the medical sonography program join a supportive virtual learning community upon enrolling. Students have the option to collaborate with faculty members on research projects or pursue internships relevant to the field. Students can apply for scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities to reduce the cost of their degree. The college reports that 89% of all incoming students receive a financial aid award.
To find out more about enrollment requirements and the benefits of an online education, speak with the admissions office today.
Why Get an Ultrasound Technician Degree?
Ultrasound technicians are in demand as the U.S. population gets older. Between 2021 and 2031, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the number of diagnostic medical sonographer jobs to increase by 15% and the number of medical sonographer and cardiovascular technologist and technician jobs to grow 10%.
How Much Does an Ultrasound Technician Degree Cost?
The cost of a degree depends on what degree you get and what type of institution you attend. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), attending a two-year school costs an average of around $4,000 per year. You can also attend a four-year ultrasound tech school. The average cost of tuition and fees at a four-year, public institution is about $10,000 per year, according to the NCES.
How Much Do Ultrasound Technicians Make?
Salary varies depending on many factors, including professionals' specialty, employer, and geographic location. Top-earning ultrasound techs make nearly $97,000 annually. Professionals who work at outpatient care centers typically earn more than those at hospitals or physicians' offices.
Most employers prefer to hire sonographers with a degree from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Many employers also prefer candidates certified in sonography and CPR.
Organizations like the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) offer certification exams. Students can also pursue certification through Cardiovascular Credentialing International or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
What Courses Are Taught in an Ultrasound Technician Program?
Ultrasound technician programs cover applied sciences, biology, and anatomy. Classes vary depending on your specialization. Common courses in ultrasound technician programs include:
- Introduction to Sonography: You'll learn the basic foundations of sonography, ultrasounds, and scanning. Learners explore terminology and anatomical relationships. The course prepares you to learn more in-depth information about sonograms and ultrasounds.
- ECG for Cardiac Sonographers: Electrocardiogram (ECG) courses teach you how to interpret an ECG, which is a simple test that monitors the heart. An ECG can indicate various heart conditions. You'll learn how to spot various patterns and features of the ECG and compare them against baseline numbers. The course trains you to read ECG charts in clinical settings.
- Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation: This course teaches you about the basic physics of human tissue. You'll study how scanning technology works. Ultrasound technicians must understand sound-tissue interaction. The course explains how pulse-echo principles apply to diagnostic sonography.
How to Become an Ultrasound Technician
You need a degree or certificate from an accredited program to become an ultrasound technician. Many employers prefer candidates with professional certification. These certifications typically require a degree from an accredited program. You must also pass an exam.
You can pursue certification in several specialties. You can obtain more than one certification to boost their knowledge and job prospects.
Ultrasound Technician Licensure
Not all states require ultrasound technician licensure. Only technicians who work in New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Oregon need licensure. Typically, earning a license requires an application and exam.
ARDMS offers professional certifications in many areas, including pediatrics. You must pass an exam and fulfill prerequisites. ARDMS offers exams throughout the year at various locations. Applications typically cost a few hundred dollars.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ultrasound Technician Programs
What's the difference between sonography and ultrasound tech?
Sonography and ultrasound tech are more or less the same thing. However, in the medical field, generally, a sonographer has additional training and certification in diagnostics, as well as in creating the images.
What degree is best for ultrasound technician?
You can become an ultrasound technician with an associate degree from an ultrasound technician school, though some schools offer a four-year bachelor's degree. If you want to teach sonography or lead a sonography department, a bachelor’s degree may give you an advantage.
What state pays ultrasound techs the most?
Ultrasound tech salaries are highest in the state of California, according to the BLS. The average annual salary in California for a diagnostic sonographer is $114,480. Among the top ten highest-paying metropolitan areas, all but one are in California.
All rankings and school descriptions on this page were created and reviewed independently by the ASO Rankings Team.