Top Ultrasound Technician Programs

Jumpstart your career by earning an ultrasound technician degree. Here, we list the top ultrasound technician programs.

May 27, 2022 • 0 Min Read

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Ultrasound/Sonography Tech Programs

Ultrasound technician programs prepare students for careers in diagnostic medical sonography. Graduates use ultrasound technology to work with patients. They work in outpatient and in-patient settings.

Ultrasound technician programs may convey a certificate or an associate degree. Applicants need a high school or GED diploma. Coursework covers topics such as biology, anatomy, and applied sciences. Learners complete a clinical experience in a medical setting.

Read on for information about ultrasound tech programs, including costs and salary potential.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Ultrasound Technician Programs

What's the difference between sonography and ultrasound tech?

These titles are interchangeable. Both sonographers and ultrasound technicians use ultrasound technology to diagnose or track medical conditions.

How long does it take to become an ultrasound technician?

Learners can earn an associate degree in two years. Students can explore accelerated ultrasound technician programs to graduate sooner.

What degree do you need to become an ultrasound tech?

Ultrasound technicians need a degree or certificate in ultrasound technology, sonography, or vascular technology. Most schools offer these programs as associate degrees.

Why Get an Ultrasound Technician Degree?

Students who earn a sonography degree online or on campus can pursue a career in a growing field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects medical sonographer and technician jobs to grow 14% from 2020-2030. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $70,380.

Many schools offer sonography training programs online. Learners can complete coursework from anywhere. However, most programs require onsite clinical experiences.

How Much Does an Ultrasound Technician Degree Cost?

The cost of an ultrasound tech degree varies by school and program. Associate degree-seekers at public institutions spent an average of $3,570 on tuition in 2020. Learners at private institutions spent $14,590.

Students can save money by enrolling in online ultrasound tech programs. Online enrollees do not need to relocate to attend the most affordable school. Most programs allow online students to complete clinical requirements locally.

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.

Courses in an Ultrasound Technician Program

Ultrasound technician programs cover applied sciences, biology, and anatomy. Classes vary depending on students' specialization. See below for common courses in ultrasound technician programs. Keep in mind that course titles and descriptions vary by school.

  • Introduction to Sonography

    Students learn the basic foundations of sonography, ultrasounds, and scanning. Learners explore terminology and anatomical relationships. The course prepares students for learning more in-depth information about sonograms and ultrasounds.
  • ECG for Cardiac Sonographers

    Electrocardiogram (ECG) courses teach learners how to interpret an ECG, which is a simple test that monitors the heart. An ECG can indicate various heart conditions. Enrollees learn how to spot various patterns and features of the ECG and compare them against baseline numbers. The course trains students to read ECG charts in clinical settings.
  • Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation

    This course teaches students about the basic physics of human tissue. Learners study how scanning technology works. Ultrasound technicians must understand sound-tissue interaction. The course explains how pulse-echo principles apply to diagnostic sonography.

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How to Become an Ultrasound Technician

Aspiring ultrasound technicians need a degree or certificate from an accredited program. Many employers prefer candidates with professional certification. These certifications typically require a degree from an accredited program. Candidates must also pass an exam.

Candidates can pursue certification in several specialties. Sonographers can obtain more than one certification to boost their knowledge and job prospects.

Ultrasound technicians perform various duties depending on their specialty. For example, cardiovascular technologists take images of the heart and blood vessels. OB-GYN sonographers use ultrasound technology to monitor a baby and mother's health.

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. Candidates must pass an exam and fulfill prerequisites. ARDMS offers exams throughout the year at various locations. Applications typically cost a few hundred dollars.

Top Ultrasound Technician Programs

  1. Ferris State University
    Location

    Big Rapids, MI

    Tuition

    $13351

    FSU's College of Health Professions offers an ultrasound technician program comprising 84-86 credits and leading to an associate of applied science degree in diagnostic medical sonography (DMS).

    The curriculum includes introductory courses in diagnostic medical sonography, sonographic imaging, ultrasound physics, and obstetrics and gynecology imaging. Enrollees also study pathophysiology of abdominal organs, hemodynamics and doppler principles of sonography, and sonographic cross-sectional anatomy.

    To graduate, students must not receive a grade lower than C in any required courses. The DMS program requires candidates to complete a five-credit clinical internship experience prior to graduation.

    FSU's DMS program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

  2. Parker University
    Location

    Dallas, TX

    Tuition

    $23950

    The ultrasound technician program at Parker in Dallas, Texas, leads to an associate of applied science (AAS) degree. The 75-credit associate degree in diagnostic sonography accepts only 15 students per year to ensure personalized attention.

    Students must complete 27 credits of general education coursework, which makes up the program's pre-professional phase. Learners need a grade of C or higher in all general education classes and a minimum 3.0 GPA before they can apply for the program's professional phase.

    Major coursework covers subjects such as intermediate ultrasound physics, principles of vascular technology, sonography of superficial structures, and sonographic sectional anatomy. During their final semester, candidates complete a four-credit clinical experience.

    Parker's AAS in diagnostic sonography is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

  3. Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences
    Location

    Lancaster, PA

    Tuition

    $26916

    Established in 1893 as a training school for nurses, PA College now offers more than two dozen degrees in the health sciences field, including an ultrasound technician program. The associate of applied science in diagnostic medical sonography comprises 66 credits. Most students graduate after two years of full-time enrollment (including summer terms).

    Preferred applicants possess a high school 3.0 GPA or higher. The program requires applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores, unless two years have elapsed from the time of an applicant's high school graduation.

    In addition to general education classes, the diagnostic medical sonography curriculum includes coursework in human anatomy and physiology, abdominal sonography, ultrasound physics, and ethical and legal dimensions in the health sciences. The program also requires degree candidates to complete 12 credits of hands-on clinical training.

  4. The University of Findlay
    Location

    Findlay, OH

    Tuition

    $24122

    UF offers an ultrasound technician program that leads to an associate of arts degree in diagnostic medical sonography. Applicants need a high school diploma or equivalent with a minimum 2.5 GPA. They must also submit ACT or SAT scores and satisfy prerequisite courses.

    Students begin the program with one semester of lab and classroom work. The curriculum covers subjects such as anatomy and physiology for health professions, physics and instrumentation, cross-sectional anatomy for sonographers, and healthcare ethics.

    After the first semester, enrollees begin the program's clinical education component. They spend 35 weeks (at least 1,400 clock hours) at approved clinical sites in the region where they can apply key classroom concepts in the workplace. Candidates must also complete a capstone course prior to graduating from the program.

  5. Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health
    Location

    Omaha, NE

    Tuition

    $24802

    NMC's ultrasound technician program requires at least 76 credits for completion. The program leads to an associate of science in multispecialty sonography. Classes cover topics like pathophysiology and pharmacology, applied sectional anatomy, sonographic physics, and high-resolution structures.

    Extensive hands-on training and clinical immersion in various clinics and hospitals supplement classroom learning. Most students graduate after 21 months of continuous enrollment. The program qualifies graduates to sit for the abdomen and obstetrics examinations administered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

    Applicants need a high school diploma or equivalent with a minimum 2.5 GPA and must show completion of prerequisite coursework in areas like lifespan psychology, medical terminology, physics, and algebra.

    The multispecialty sonography program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

  6. University of Alaska Anchorage
    Location

    Anchorage, AK

    Tuition

    $13288

    UAA offers an ultrasound technician program that leads to an associate of applied science in diagnostic medical sonography. The program welcomes applications from certified and licensed practitioners with recent experience in direct patient care. Graduates can sit for various credentialing examinations administered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

    The program initially accepts students as pre-major enrollees. At this stage, students complete prerequisite courses including human anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, and essentials of human disease. Students must pass all prerequisite courses with a grade of C or higher before they can enroll in classes in the major.

    The major includes coursework in abdominal sonography, vascular technology, and sectional anatomy for diagnostic imaging. Students also gain extensive hands-on training through at least 1,680 hours of clinical rotations in hospitals and clinics.

  7. Mount Aloysius College
    Location

    Cresson, PA

    Tuition

    $20914

    MAC offers an ultrasound technician program through the Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences Department. The program leads to an associate of science in ultrasonography and typically only accepts 15 new students each year. Graduates can sit for various exams administered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

    The program features 26 general education credits, 47 major credits, and 17 credits of other required coursework. Classes in the major cover topics such as superficial structures and vascular ultrasonography, physics and instrumentation, imaging principles, and cross-sectional anatomy.

    The program requires students to participate in clinical rotations during the summer term. Students must take the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation exam during the summer before their first clinical rotation.

    MAC's medical imaging ultrasonography program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

  8. Mercy College of Health Sciences
    Location

    Des Moines, IA

    Tuition

    $19095

    The ultrasound technology program at MCHS in Des Moines, Iowa, comprises 76 credits and leads to an associate of science in diagnostic medical sonography (DMS). Full-time students typically earn the degree in five semesters. Applicants must show satisfactory completion of college-level work in classes such as human anatomy, college algebra, and medical terminology. The program requires a minimum 2.5 GPA.

    General education classes make up 29 credits and include courses in natural science, statistics, humanities, and servant leadership. Major courses cover topics like human physiology, ultrasound physics, bioethics, and principles of pathophysiology. Students also complete 12 credits of clinical experiences, allowing them to apply classroom learning to the workplace.

    The program only accepts 12-16 new students every year. DMS students can opt to pursue one of two tracks: a general program or cardiovascular sonography.

    The DMS program at MCHS is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

  9. Southeast Technical Institute
    Location

    Sioux Falls, SD

    Tuition

    $12501

    Southeast Tech offers an ultrasound technician program consisting of 80 credits and leading to an associate of applied science degree in diagnostic medical sonography (DMS). The program requires the submission of SAT or ACT scores. Applicants must also meet at least one of the following criteria: a minimum 3.0 high school GPA; a GED score of 550; a minimum 2.5 college GPA (based on a minimum of 16 credits); or satisfactory completion of coursework in math, science, and science (at least a grade of B).

    The DMS curriculum includes coursework in cross-sectional anatomy, abdominal sonography, acoustical physics and instrumentation, and superficial and pediatric sonography. Degree candidates also complete a seven-month clinical rotation at an approved medical facility. Most full-time students graduate in 24 months. Learners must pass all related registry examinations to earn the degree.

    Southeast Tech's DMS program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

  10. SUNY College of Technology at Alfred
    Location

    Alfred, NY

    Tuition

    $15319

    Alfred State's ultrasound technician program consists of 64 credits and leads to an associate of applied science degree in diagnostic medical sonography (DMS). The program requires the completion of prerequisite coursework in algebra, geometry, biology, and physics.

    DMS candidates enroll in classes on topics like radiation physics, sonographic procedures, pathophysiology, and sectional anatomy. Clinical education takes place in several area hospitals and includes a 12-week full-time assignment during the summer term. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA and a grade of C+ or higher in core science courses to be eligible for graduation.

    The DMS program prepares graduates to sit for credentialing exams administered by American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and the American Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

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