How Do You Become an Ultrasound Tech?

Considering a career in ultrasound technology? Here’s everything you need to know about how to become an ultrasound tech

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Get an Associate’s Degree

Becoming an ultrasound technician starts with completing an accredited program. There are many choices for programs at both the associate’s and bachelor’s levels, but most employers prefer to hire those with at least an associate’s degree.

Aspiring ultrasound techs can expect to complete coursework in such topics as physiology, medical ethics, anatomy and patient care. Most programs also include a clinical component, which gives students the opportunity to gain real-world experience before graduation.

Get a Bachelor’s Degree

To become an ultrasound tech you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in medical sonography. You can find programs at many colleges and universities, as well as online. Depending on the program, it can take anywhere from two to four years to complete. In addition to completing didactic coursework, you will also need to complete clinical rotations in order to gain hands-on experience.

Get a Master’s Degree

You can become an ultrasound tech by getting a Master’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography. Alternatively, you may be able to get a certificate or diploma from an accredited program. You will also need to pass the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) exam.

Get a Doctorate Degree

In order to become an ultrasound tech, you need to have a pretty high level of education. You will need to get a Doctorate degree in order to qualify for this job. This is the highest level of education that you can get in this field, and it will take you about four years to complete. Once you have your Doctorate degree, you will be able to work in any state in the country.

Get Certification

The certification process for ultrasound techs is managed by two main organizations: the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) and the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). In order to become certified, you’ll need to pass an exam administered by one of these organizations.

Both the ARDMS and NCCA offer multiple certification exams, each of which covers a different area of specialization. For example, the ARDMS offers exams in abdominal sonography, breast sonography, Fetal Echocardiography, musculoskeletal sonography, neurosonography, and obstetric and gynecologic sonography. Once you’ve passed an exam and been awarded a certificate, you can use the credential ” Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer” (RDMS) or “Registered Sonographer” (RS).

In addition to passing an exam, most ultrasound tech programs require that you have at least one year of full-time work experience as an ultrasound technologist before you can sit for the certification exam.

Get Licensed

You will need to complete an accredited diagnostic medical sonography program and earn a passing score on the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) exam to earn your license. Once you have completed these steps, you will be able to work as an ultrasound technician.

Get Registered

In order to become an ultrasound tech, you will need to have at least an associate’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography. There are several accredited schools across the country that offer this type of program. Once you have graduated from an accredited program, you will then need to take and pass a national certification exam in order to become registered with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).

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