Ultrasound Technician Certification

There are many schools offering courses that may prepare you to pursue ultrasound certification while covering the basics of sonography. Pursuing ultrasound technician certification may be a great way to get started on a brand-new career path.

What does ultrasound certification involve?

  • Pursuing a certificate, associate's degree, or bachelor's degree with a focus in ultrasound/sonography. (Typically, certificates require one to two years of full-time study after high school. Associate's degrees may be completed in two to three years, while bachelor's degrees take four years.)
  • In addition, ultrasound technicians may register with the American Registry of Diagnostic Sonographers (ARDMS).
  • To be eligible for ARDMS registration, students have two choices: attend a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Canadian Medical Association (CMA); or attend a program without CAAHEP or CMA accreditation and then undergo one year of work study in a clinical setting under the auspices of the Society for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS).

What do I need to learn to acquire skills for ultrasound certification?

  • Students receive training in ultrasound instrumentation, anatomy, physiology, physics, patient care, medical ethics, and terminology. Clinical externships are also part of the curriculum.
  • Specialty training occurs, too, in areas such as obstetric and gynecologic sonography, abdominal sonography, or neurosonography.

What else should I know about ultrasound certification?

  • Registration with the ARDMS is not required, but it may increase your employment opportunities and wages.
  • Once you begin working as an ultrasound technician, it's advisable to participate in continuing education and/or recertification.
  • Although some ultrasound certification programs prefer previous experience in the medical field, most require only a high school diploma or GED.