How Long Does It Take to Be an Ultrasound Tech?

How long does it take to be an ultrasound tech? The answer may surprise you. We’ll explore the training required and the career outlook to help you make an informed decision.

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How Long Does It Take to Be an Ultrasound Tech?

Becoming an ultrasound technician takes about two years if you attend a full-time program. Some programs may take longer, and part-time programs will obviously take longer as well. You’ll need to have an associate’s degree to pursue this career.

Associate’s Degree

The length of time it takes to become an ultrasound tech depends on the type of training you receive. An associate’s degree from an accredited program typically takes two years to complete, while a certificate program can be finished in as little as one year.

Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography, also called ultrasound technology, can prepare you for a career in this rapidly growing medical field. These programs typically take four years to complete and include classroom, laboratory and clinical components. Admission to these programs is often competitive, and prerequisite coursework in anatomy and physiology, algebra and other sciences may be required. During your studies, you can expect to take classes such as physics, instrumentation, pathophysiology and vascular sonography.

Master’s Degree

The length of time it takes to become an ultrasound tech depends on the education and training you receive. You can earn a certificate in as little as a year, but most ultrasound techs have an associate’s degree, which takes two years to complete. If you want to specialize or advance your career, you may need to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree, which can take four or more years.

What Are the Prerequisites for Becoming an Ultrasound Tech?

While the length of an ultrasound technician program may vary, most full-time students can complete the training in about two years. The prerequisite for becoming an ultrasound tech is having a high school diploma or equivalent. Some programs may also require you to complete prerequisite coursework in math and science.

Associate’s Degree

To pursue a career in ultrasound technology, you will need at least an Associate’s degree from an accredited school. While there are certification programs available, most employers prefer to hire candidates with at least some formal education.

In addition to completing an accredited program, you will also need to pass a national exam administered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). Once you have passed this exam, you will be able to use the title of Registered diagnostic medical sonographer (RDMS).

Bachelor’s Degree

Becoming an ultrasound technician usually requires completing an accredited training program and earning a bachelor’s degree. Some community colleges offer associate’s degree and certificate programs in diagnostic medical sonography, but most employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed a four-year degree program.

There are more than 50 accredited ultrasound technician schools in the United States, and many of them offer online or hybrid (a combination of online and in-person) programs. Online programs may be a good option for students who need to balance their studies with work or other commitments.

The majority of ultrasound technician programs include clinical rotations, which give students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with patients. During their clinical rotations, students may work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, or doctor’s offices.

Master’s Degree

You may be wondering how long does it take to be an ultrasound tech? The answer is that it depends on the level of education you wish to obtain. Many ultrasound technicians begin their careers by completing a training program at a community college, which takes about two years. However, if you wish to advance your career and earn a higher salary, you will need to obtain a bachelor’s or master’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography. These programs typically take four years to complete.

What Is the job outlook for Ultrasound Techs?

Ultrasound techs are in high demand due to the aging population. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the job outlook for ultrasound techs is good, with a projected 19% growth in the field from 2016 to 2026.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment for ultrasound technicians will grow by 17% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. This projected growth is due to an aging population and advances in medical technology, which allow for earlier detection and diagnosis of health conditions.

As the baby boomer population continues to age, there will be an increased demand for diagnostic imaging procedures, such as ultrasounds. In addition, as new technology improves the quality of images produced by ultrasound machines, more doctors are using ultrasounds to diagnose health conditions.


Ultrasound techs are in high demand and the job outlook is very positive. The median salary for an ultrasound technician is $74,320 per year, which is much higher than the median salary for all occupations. The top 10% of ultrasound techs earn more than $100,000 per year, making this a very lucrative career choice.

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