What Kind of Degree Do You Need to Be an Ultrasound Technician?

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As an ultrasound tech, you can easily make $60,000 annually, and some experienced workers even make six figure salaries. You’ll make more with an advanced degree in any field, and this is definitely true for ultrasound techs. You don’t need a degree to get started in this field, but many employers prefer educated workers, so you’ll have a better chance at finding a job if you go to college. There are many sonography educational paths you can consider.

The highest degree you can get directly in sonography is a bachelor’s degree. Bachelor’s degree programs typically take four years to complete, though it depends on your specific program and whether you go to school full time or part time. The advantage to getting a bachelor’s degree is that you can specialize in one area of sonography, and your advanced education means that you’ll be eligible for higher-paying jobs. Although there are no master’s programs in this field directly right now, having a bachelor’s degree does allow you to consider a master’s degree in a related areas, such as health administration or public health.

Many ultrasound technicians option instead to get an associate’s degree. This type of program takes just two years instead of four, so you’ll be able to get started more quickly working in your field. Your education won’t be as specialized, but you’ll still learn the basics of sonography and patient care. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredits both bachelor’s degree and associate’s degree programs, which are offered by colleges, universities, and hospitals. Through some of these programs, you can take classes online to get your degree.

Not every employer requires a degree. For some, a one-year training certificate is enough for employees to get started working as a sonographer. This is becoming more and more rare, however, since the job market is highly competitive and employees want to avoid mistakes that could lead to patient injury or lawsuits. So, although a degree is not legally required, getting one makes sense in most cases.

If you go through an associate’s degree program or bachelor’s degree program, you also have the choice of being certified with your state through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). While not required to legally practice sonography, most employers prefer to work exclusively with sonographers who have passed the certification exam. You aren’t eligible for the exam until you’ve gone through a degree program. Additionally, you can also seek specific certification in your ultrasound specialty. For example, Cardiovascular Credentialing International provides a certification program for sonographers specializing in the heart.

If you’re currently working as a sonography, you may be able to go back to school for a bachelor’s degree for free. Many employers provide tuition assistance programs to help their best employees get an advanced education, and you can also often participate in continuing education classes offered directly from your employer. Having a degree in ultrasound tech is the only way to ensure that your education leads to a job, so considering bachelor’s degree programs in this field makes sense.

Online Ultrasound Tech Degree Programs

Having a degree in the healthcare field is a wise move for anyone looking to become a part of a growing medical field. Becoming an ultra sound tech generally requires some formal training, with the most popular form of education being a two-year degree in a field such as medical assisting, as there aren't really any degrees specific to ultrasound technicians. The following schools offer accredited online degree programs in related healthcare fields.

Purdue University
Purdue University

HLC

Programs Available:

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Ultimate Medical Academy
Ultimate Medical Academy

ABHES

Programs Available:

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Rasmussen College
Rasmussen College

HLC

Programs Available:

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Southern Technical College
Southern Technical College

ACICS

Programs Available:

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American Institute
American Institute

ACICS

Programs Available:

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ECPI University
ECPI University

ACICS

Programs Available:

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McCann School of Business and Technology
McCann School of Business and Technology

ACICS

Programs Available:

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CollegeAmerica
CollegeAmerica

ACICS

Programs Available:

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